Whither the Monograph?: Changes to the ABA Standards on Library and Information Resources and Their Unintended Consequences for Legal Scholarship

2 Northwestern Law Journal des Refusés (forthcoming)

10 Pages Posted: 6 May 2024 Last revised: 22 Jun 2024

Date Written: May 1, 2024

Abstract

Recent actions by the American Bar Association threaten the future of scholarly monographs related to law. Resolution 302, passed by the ABA House of Delegates at its midyear meeting in February 2024, substantially revised the standards on library and information resources by omitting any reference to a core collection and adding a corresponding interpretation that states, “[t]he appropriate mixture of collection formats . . . need not . . . include[] physical books.” This Essay argues that these changes to the ABA standards, which are intended to clear the way for the proliferation of online law schools, will have serious unintended consequences for legal scholarship. Specifically, these changes will hinder access to a significant part of the corpus of legal scholarship at many law schools and lead to fewer publishing opportunities for legal scholars. This Essay proposes that another organization, the Association of American Law Schools, mitigate these effects by adding language to its bylaws that require member schools to continue to steward permanent collections that support scholarly research and sustain legal scholarship.

Keywords: legal information, law libraries, legal scholarship, legal education, law book history

Suggested Citation

Mignanelli, Nicholas, Whither the Monograph?: Changes to the ABA Standards on Library and Information Resources and Their Unintended Consequences for Legal Scholarship (May 1, 2024). 2 Northwestern Law Journal des Refusés (forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4814681

Nicholas Mignanelli (Contact Author)

Yale Law School ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06510
United States

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