Friday, November 5, 2021

Revisiting the Durham Statement on Open Access

Sunday, November 7 marks the thirteenth anniversary of a fateful meeting at the Goodson Law Library. During the Law School's Dedication Week festivities in 2008, marking the end of a fifteen-month building renovation project, a group of academic law library directors gathered in the library's conference room. That meeting was the genesis of the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship, formally released in February 2009 after several months of drafting. The Durham Statement aimed to improve the dissemination of legal scholarly information through formal commitments to open access and electronic publication.

In February 2021, the current directors of the signatory law libraries formed a Durham Statement Review Task Force, comprised of representatives from four drafting schools, in order to explore the current status of the Statement's adoption, examine barriers to adoption, and recommend best practices going forward, including potential revisions to the statement language. The Final Report of the Durham Statement Review Task Force was completed in August 2021 and is now available on the Duke Law Scholarship Repository.

The Task Force reviewed scholarly literature on the impacts of open access publication and the Durham Statement itself. The group also surveyed academic law library directors in order to determine the status of the Durham Statement's implementation, including barriers to adoption of its various calls to action and suggested language for a potential revised or new version of the Statement. 

For more information about the history and background of the Durham Statement, visit the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship and Frequently Asked Questions. Both pages include a link to the Task Force's Final Report.