Open Access & Legal Scholarship

Open access is an important thing to think about whenever you are creating or consuming scholarship.  And it’s not important just because it happens to be Open Access Week.

Richard A. Danner talks about the importance of legal scholarship in his article, “Open Access to Legal Scholarship: Dropping the Barriers to Discourse and Dialogue.”

“Legal scholarship is written to discuss, explain, and analyze the law, and to point researchers toward pertinent authorities in the sources of ‘public legal information’ identified in the Declaration on Free Access to Law and issued by legislatures, courts, and other bodies with law-making power, the sources. This literature supports and influences the professional work of judges, lawyers, and legal scholars, and explains the law to the public.” (p. 67)

And open access was defined in the Budapest Open Access Initiative as:

“By ‘open access’ to this [scholarly] literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”

If you’re interested reading more about open access and legal scholarship I have prepared a short one-sheet bibliography for you to consult:  Open Access & Legal Scholarship: Select Bibliography.  Also see the Law Library Open Access page for more information on open access and free access to law.

And join us today outside the library at lunch to talk about open access and the growing concern around the Death of Evidence in Canada.  There may even be cookies!