Rethinking Digital Repositories and the Future of Open Access
22 AALL Spectrum, 28 (2018)
5 Pages Posted: 9 May 2018 Last revised: 11 May 2018
Date Written: May 9, 2018
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
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