Recent Posts on Academic Publishing

SkyscraperThere have been a fair number of relatively interesting blog posts on academic scholarly publishing recently, so I thought I’d share some of them with you, in case you missed them.

  • John W. Houghton, information research, The costs and potential benefits of alternative scholarly publishing models. HT Law Librarian Blog (natch). From the abstract:

    Results. We find that different scholarly publishing models could make a material difference to the costs faced by various parties and to the returns on investment in R&D that might be realised.

    Conclusion. It seems likely that more open access could have substantial benefits in the longer term. While the benefits may be lower during a transitional period they would be likely to be positive for both open access publishing and self-archiving alternatives.

  • Whit D. Pierce & Anne E. Reuben, Wake Forest Law Review, Empirical Study: The Law Review Is Dead; Long Live The Law Review: A Closer Look at the Declining Judicial Citation of Legal Scholarship. HT Law Librarian Blog (who HT’d somebody else, but I’m not sure exactly how far down that rabbit hole I have to go).

    Our data indicate that judicial citation of law reviews might not be in decline at all, and that in some cases, just the opposite might be true.

    While blogs can, and do, provide a valuable resource for practitioners, they do not necessarily produce the same sort of thoroughly researched and edited work that the traditional student-edited law review provides.

    It seems then, that online companions strike a happy balance between the responsiveness and digestibility of blogs and the careful editing of traditional law reviews.

    The point is this: legal scholarship as a means for shaping the law is not a thing of the past but that reality is not a reason for law reviews to rigidly maintain the status quo. The simple fact that so much attention has been devoted by both judges and scholars to ensuring that the legal scholarship supply is meeting the judicial demand demonstrates a continuing need for academic commentary on particularly relevant topics.

    Of course, it’s written by students on law review, who don’t exactly have a completely impartial stake in the matter.

  • James M. Donovan & Carol A. Watson, Citation Advantage of Open Access Legal Scholarship.

    To date, there have been no studies focusing exclusively on the impact of open access on legal scholarship. We examine open access articles from three journals at the University of Georgia School of Law and confirm that legal scholarship freely available via open access improves an article’s research impact. Open access legal scholarship – which today appears to account for almost half of the output of law faculties – can expect to receive 50% more citations than non-open access writings of similar age from the same venue.

    Kind of a small, heterogeneous sample, though.

  • John Willinsky, Slaw, To Encourage Learning, Stop Including Journal Articles in Course-Packs.

    The option I am proposing is about more, however, than mitigating financial burdens. It is about returning to copyright’s core principles, found in the encouragement of learning. To encourage learning within “the business terms” and public interests of current copyright law, the one thing that every post-secondary instructor in this country can do is to stop including scholarly journal articles in course-packs.

  • Joseph Branin, College and Research Libraries, College & Research Libraries Goes Fully Open Access. The journal of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is now (or, rather, will be as of April 2011), an open access journal.

Someday I’d like to write something. Gotta think of something interesting to write about, first, I suppose.


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