Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship

Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship

Last week, a group of law library directors issued a statement about moving toward an open access regime for legal scholarship.

One of the key questions raised about this statement is whether or not it’s the right time to move to online versions of legal scholarship. This question is plainly one of the important things to be considering as we transition from an analog era to one that is — as it is today — a hybrid of digital and analog. Part of the response to this question is that the library community, along with technologists and scholars and just about anyone who cares about the future of information, ought to work together on agreed-upon standards for how to ensure preservation of works born digital. One answer could be to work toward an agreement as to what count as stable, open, and digital formats, while agreeing also to retain a limited number of paper copies as a back-up. The archivists of these preservation copies might be a combination of the publishing institution (in this case, probably law schools, primarily), plus one or more agreed-upon repositories (perhaps a mix of a few law libraries, the Law Library of Congress, and other institutions devoted to archival work.

Also: a nice (positive) analytical piece from Duke.

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