Rethinking Digital Repositories and the Future of Open Access

5 Pages Posted: 9 May 2018 Last revised: 11 May 2018

See all articles by Margaret A. Schilt

Margaret A. Schilt

University of Chicago - Law School

Karen L. Shephard

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Carol A. Watson

University of Georgia School of Law

Date Written: May 9, 2018

Abstract

Over the last two years, changes in the legal publishing arena involving digital repository platforms have raised concerns about the future of open access. In the summer of 2016, Elsevier, a leading commercial publishing company, acquired SSRN (the Social Science Research Network), including its Legal Scholarship Network. Elsevier’s move concerned many legal scholars and law librarians, who feared that the open access policies of the SSRN platform would disappear. Slightly more than a year later, concerns intensified when Elsevier purchased bepress, developer of the Digital Commons platform used by many academic law libraries for their digital repositories, as well as for hosting their law reviews and journals. While there has been no indication that the open access initiatives of these platforms will be altered, the possibility that a future need for profits could jeopardize free and open access remains a real fear in the legal scholarly community.

Keywords: Bepress, Digital Commons, SSRN, open access, scholarship, repositories, Elsevier, LawArXiv

Suggested Citation

Schilt, Margaret A. and Shephard, Karen L. and Watson, Carol A., Rethinking Digital Repositories and the Future of Open Access (May 9, 2018). 22 AALL Spectrum, 28 (2018), University of Georgia School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-20, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3175954

Margaret A. Schilt (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Karen L. Shephard

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Carol A. Watson

University of Georgia School of Law ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States
706-542-5078 (Phone)

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