Open Access Law Program

Science Commons, a subset of the U.S. Creative Commons movement, has an Open Access Law Program. (There doesn’t appear to be a Humanities Commons project; it’s kind of nostalgic to see law as a science.) Essentially the program asks journals to subscribe to a set of principles, to wit:

that a journal 1) take only a limited term license, 2) provide a citable copy of the final version of the article, and 3) provide public access to the journal’s standard publishing contract. In return, the author promises to attribute first publication to the journal.

As of now some forty journals have taken the pledge, University of Ottawa Law & Technology Journal being the sole Canadian among them.

In order to make matters even easier, the Open Access Law Program provides a model publishing agreement that allows the parties to choose the appropriate Creative Commons license.

This is not an exclusive organization. That is, a journal can ascribe to their principles informally or formally while remaining a member of other collectives or organizations supporting open access to scholarly work.

From what I can judge, there appears to be very little effort within the Canadian academic community to pursue a policy of open access to legal scholarship. Please do let me know if I’m wrong in this.

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