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Back to His Future II: Kaplan on Open Access Publishing

Prof. Kaplan’s 1966 self not only describes the web, he describes a new publishing paradigm it facilitates, known today as open access publishing (described, with links, at Wikipedia here). This catches my eye because, as I mentioned in a recent post styled “Whither Law Reviews?”, we’re having a conference here at Lewis & Clark Law School on March 10 entitled “Open Access Publishing and the Future of Legal Scholarship.” (You can learn more about the conference here.)

Prof. Kaplan’s insight on open access publishing is below the fold …


Kaplan’s Unhurried View at pp. 120-21:
“Copyright is likely to recede, to lose relevance, in respect to most kinds of uses of a great amount of scholarly production which now sees light in a melange of learned journals and in the output of university presses. In the future little of this will ever be published in conventional book or journal form. Authors will offer their manuscripts for editorial screening; upon acceptance the material will enter directly into the electronic system [described on p. 119], where it will be open to quick retrieval for consultation and study. (One energetic mind has conceived that the cost of introducing works into a system may finally run so low as to justify inclusion, in earmarked ‘compartments,’ of works rejected by the editors: an authors’ paradise!) For many of the uses available through the machine, exaction of copyright payments will be felt unnecessary to provide incentive or headstart–especially so, when the works owe their origin, as so many will, to one or another kind of public support.”