Law journals likely to switch from printed to online open-access format
On 7 November 2008, the directors of the law libraries at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, New York University, Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, the University of Texas, and Yale University met in Durham, North Carolina at the Duke Law School. That meeting resulted in the "Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship," which calls for all law schools to stop publishing their journals in print format and to rely instead on electronic publication coupled with a commitment to keep the electronic versions available in stable, open, digital formats . . . .
. . . Each of the directors who signed the Statement agreed to take it to the dean of their school for discussion and signature. It has also been signed by the chief information officers at top U.S. law schools. The Statement is being posted and publicized in hopes that more signatures can be gathered and that all law schools will begin to moving toward accomplishing its goals.
So it looks like law schools are really getting serious about switching from printed law journals to online open-access law journals.
The Durham statement makes no recommendation in regard to whether the online law journals should be peer-reviewed. A dirty little secret about law journals is that most are not peer-reviewed or even faculty-reviewed but are just student-reviewed! Furthermore, these law journals are not just educational exercises for the student editors but have been frequently cited by court opinions -- the Harvard Law Review alone was cited 4410 times by federal court opinions alone in the decade 1970-79 alone, though the frequency of citation of law journals by court opinions appears to have declined in recent years. Anyway, peer review is less important in online journals than in printed journals, because immediate and unlimited responses can accompany online journal articles.
A popular group of online open-access journals in science is called the Public Library of Science (PLoS). The articles are peer-reviewed and a fee is normally required for their publication. Harvard University's faculty of arts and sciences requires online open-access publication of faculty members' scholarly articles unless a waiver is requested.. Also, the National Institute of Health has a new open-access policy for publications that are based on NIH-funded research, but this policy is threatened by a bill in Congress .
Ironically, Darwinists have been making a fetish out of the importance of publication in traditional printed peer-reviewed journals even while such publication has become less important because of the increasing popularity of online sources. In many cases, my ideas about coevolution (a summary is here and other articles about coevolution are in the "Non-ID criticisms of evolution" post-label group of articles) are not even considered because they have not been published in traditional peer-reviewed journals! That, of course, is just a cop-out.