n Mousaion - The state of open access adoption in legal scholarly communication : an analysis of selected open access resources

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



The study of law focuses, among other aspects, on important issues relating to equality, fairness and justice in as far as free access to information and knowledge is concerned. The launching of the Open Access to Law Movement in 1992, the promulgation of the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship in 2009, and the formation of national and regional Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) should serve as an indication of how well the legal world is committed to freely publishing and distributing legal information and knowledge through the Internet to legal practitioners, legal scholars and the public at large around the world. In order to establish the amount of legal scholarly content which is accessible through open access publishing innovations and initiatives, this study analysed the contents of websites for selected open access resources on the Internet internationally and in South Africa. The results of the study showed that there has been a steady developing trend towards the adoption of open access for legal scholarly literature internationally, while in South Africa legal scholarly literature is under the control of commercial publishers. This should be an issue for the legal scholarship which, among its focus, is to impart knowledge about the right of access to information and knowledge.

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