This week The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law has joined the forefront of American law schools in moving its legal scholarship to the readily accessible world of digital online publishing. Initially, the new online repository, called Scholarship at CUA Law, will include the Law School’s own law journals. Over time, the repository will be expanded to include publications of the CUA Law faculty, and showcase symposia and other events happening at the school as well.
Many other law schools publish their own law journals online, but few, if any, have transitioned their entire lineup to a digital only format. Often, they choose to keep printing at least one, typically their principal law journal, in the traditional bulky paper version.
As of April 2, 2014, the newest material published by all three of the law journals sponsored by the Columbus School of Law may be viewed online.
The journals are the Catholic University Law Review
, CommLaw Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law and Policy
, and the Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy.
Access to the complete archive of each journal will follow soon.
The move is the result of a contract with Digital Commons, a company that specializes in “successful, sustainable institutional repositories.” Digital Commons has assisted many colleges and universities in the U.S. with moving some portion of their scholarship online.
“The rich legal scholarship that has traditionally been featured in our journals deserves to be seen by the widest audience possible, and in a convenient and readily-accessible format,” said Daniel F. Attridge, Dean and Knights of Columbus Professor of Law at Catholic University’s law school. “Only a digital format meets the needs and expectations of today’s academic researchers. We are pleased to offer our legal publications online through our new Scholarship at CUA Law website.”
The Columbus School of Law’s decision to stop printing law journals accords with a Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship developed by the directors of leading law libraries. It calls for all law schools to stop publishing their law journals in print format and to rely instead on open access electronic publication available in stable, digital formats.