August 16, 2012
More on OUP Journals and Westlaw
I see Dan Filler, independently, picked up the story about the removal of most OUP journals from Westlaw. As it happens, I was corresponding with Rhodri Jackson at OUP about this issue, and was invited to share the following information and explanation:
The central fact of Daniel Sokol's piece, that we have pulled some journals from Westlaw, is correct. This happened as of August 1, 2012, and was announced here:
There are some things we would correct or add to in Daniel's post. Firstly, European Journal of International Law, Reports of Patent, Design and Trade Mark Cases, and Industrial Law Journal remain in Westlaw.
Secondly, many of the journals Daniel lists were never in Westlaw in the first place, and many are not in Westlaw OR Lexis now. I’ve listed the actual titles removed from Westlaw at the bottom of this email. All our titles remain in the LJI (Legal Journals Index).
Thirdly, re the W&L rankings, whilst Daniel is correct that the W&L rankings are based on Westlaw, it is unlikely removal from Westlaw will have any discernible impact on a journal’s ranking. Citations to journals are pulled from Westlaw – so OUP journals would only fall in those rankings if they received a significant proportion of their citations from one of the removed titles. W&L will still pull citations to OUP journals in other publications in Westlaw’s databases.
More generally, it’s never quite as straightforward as us taking a decision that affects all our journals. We have standard policies but the final decision on appropriate licensing is taken on a journal by journal basis.
Hopefully that helps clarify. As to why - we took the decision to take journals out of Westlaw because we have agreed a preferred licensing partnership deal with Lexis Nexis. We continually evaluate which services are the best fit for our titles, and at present Lexis’ global reach and commitment to working with us to disseminate our content (including new journals) stands out. Usage of the journals within Westlaw was very low, and runs somewhat counter to the dire warnings regarding discoverability which Daniel makes.
We’re very keen to ensure that all our journals are discoverable and citable, and we do appreciate that some scholars and practitioners use Westlaw and the JLR. We are working with Lexis to make our journals as visible and easy to find within their database as possible. It’s also worth noting that the primary method of delivery for all our journals is of course through our own site http://www.oxfordjournals.org/subject/law/index.html. We have licensing agreements with multiple providers including Lexis, Westlaw, Hein, and EBSCO, but usage of the journals at all of those venues is dwarfed by that at Oxford.
I hope that helps clarify, but if you have follow up questions we'll be happy to answer
Titles Removed from Westlaw as of 1 August 2012
British Journal of Criminology
Human Rights Law Review
International Journal of Constitutional Law
International Journal of Law and
International Journal of Law, Policy and
International Journal of Refugee Law
Journal of Competition Law & Economics
Journal of Conflict and Security Law
Journal of Environmental Law
Journal of International Criminal Justice
Journal of International Dispute Settlement
Journal of International Economic Law
Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization
Journal of Refugee Studies
Law, Probability and Risk
Medical Law Review
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
Statute Law Review
This is useful information, and it's certainly right that the effect on any kind of "citation" rankings will be minimal. On the other hand, this move is not without costs for US-based legal scholars, who overwhelmingly do their research on-line and some of whom (I'm one of them) never use Lexis anymore (I don't even know my Lexis password, it's been so many years!). Scholarship that isn't in the Westlaw database is going to be missed by some non-trivial number of researchers. That's unfortunate indeed, and may well give some pause about submitting to these journals. (As a sidenote, the W&L journal rankings are pretty worthless, I'm surprised to learn anyone is looking at them.)
Thoughts from readers? Comments must have a full name in the signature line and a valid e-mail address, or they won't see the light of day.
June 07, 2012
A resource for those interested in studies of the judiciary and jurisprudence more generally
December 20, 2011
Blogs with quality readers
November 15, 2011
From "Law Porn" to "Law Spam"
Stephen Bainbridge (UCLA) comments.
October 06, 2011
"Why Blogs are Bad for Legal Scholarship," Redux
This still seems to me basically right, though I think the continued rise in importance of faculty-edited journals has blunted some of the bad effects of blogs.
September 20, 2011
A rare triumph for decency in Cyberspace
We had noted aspects of this case previously, but judging from the statement now on the far right "Overlawyered" site, it looks like the victim has prevailed against the ideological zealots he claimed defamed him:
Arthur Alan Wolk, Esquire, Walter K. Olson, David M. Nieporent, Esquire and Overlawyered.com agreed to settle Wolk's longstanding libel claims against Overlawyered.com, et al.
The parties agreed to dismiss with prejudice all litigation pending between them and also agreed to release each other from all claims. Overlawyered.com removed from its web site certain posts about Wolk that led to the case as well as other posts that commented on the case's dismissal by the Court last August. Wolk removed from his web site a post he wrote about Overlawyered.com.
Upon submission of materials to Overlawyered.com in the litigation, Overlawyered learned that Wolk took protections for his clients in the Taylor v. Teledyne case [contrary to earlier allegations posted on Overlawyered.com].
July 26, 2011
Three Cheers for On-Line Publication!
Richard Danner (Duke) and colleagues have undertaken to gauge the attitudes of law professors towards exclusively on-line or electronic publication; Professor Danner kindly offered the following useful summary of their findings (I responded to the survey--my publication decisions would have been unaffected by print publication):
Increasingly, U.S. law journals post current articles in freely accessible PDF format on their web sites. Yet, they also continue to publish print issues despite evidence that new legal scholarship is read not in print, but online in SSRN or the journals’ own postings. Subscriptions to print are declining, and law libraries are no longer preserving journals in print. Yet, law review editors, who themselves rarely use print in their research, fear the impacts of ending print publishing on their journal’s reputation and ability to attract the best authors. Does it matter to law journal authors whether their work is published in print? We surveyed 464 authors of articles published in the last two completed volumes of the lead journal at the law schools ranked in the top fifteen by US News in March 2010. Over 51 percent replied.
Sixty eight percent of the respondents indicated that continuing publication of print issues would not have affected their decision to publish the particular article in the journal where it appeared. Yet, when asked more generally what they would do if they had had offers from more than one of the journals on the list, other than those they considered to be the most prestigious, 51 percent of the authors said that a journal’s continuing publication of print issues would be the deciding factor in choosing which offer to accept. When broken down by years teaching, however, only 38 percent of authors who had been teaching for six or fewer years said that print would be the deciding factor in their decision. Although the survey results suggest that print remains important to law journal authors, it will become less important over time.
The paper also provides demographic information about authors who publish in the lead journals of top ranked law school.
July 15, 2011
Thomas Cooley Law School Sues Lawyers and Bloggers for Defamation
Who exactly has standing to complain of defamation here? What am I missing? (I haven't read the complaints, I should add, I am just going off the news story.)
June 09, 2011
More Moral Insight from Professor Reynolds
After reading our example from earlier in the week, a reader in New York kindly sent another example of acute moral insight from Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds (who is apparently already renowned for his enthusiasm for murder, genocide and war!); in this case, Professor Reynolds is responding to a reader's query: "Why should we be all fired up about women's health and not men's health? Is there a special role of government in taking care of women? Why?". Reynolds' answer:
Because women want an Uncle Sugar to take the place of a husband?
Certainly that must be the reason.