Monday, February 23, 2009

Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship

During Building Dedication Week in November 2008, a group of law library directors (including representatives from University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Georgetown, Harvard, New York University, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, the University of Texas, and Yale) held a meeting at the Duke Law School. Hosted by Senior Associate Dean for Information Services Richard A. Danner, the group drafted the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship, which is now posted at

The goal of the statement is to "urge every U.S. law school" to publish "definitive versions of journals and other scholarship produced at the school immediately available upon publication in stable, open, digital formats, rather than in print." Several additional law schools have already been added as signatories to the statement, and individuals will be able to sign on via the website later this week.

The Duke Law School has long been a leader in open access to legal scholarship, providing the full text of its student-edited journals back to 1997 and archiving faculty publications into its Faculty Scholarship Repository. The Durham Statement aims to continue discussion of open access ideals in the realm of legal information, and to inspire additional law schools to work toward its goals.