Before a forthcoming paper of mine gets completely preempted by a blog post and its comments, I should note that I have a forthcoming symposium piece, not yet on SSRN, that analyses legal scholarship in terms of James English’s Economy of Prestige. Send me an email, and I’ll send you a copy.
UPDATE (4/26/06): I have uploaded the paper to SSRN. Here’s the abstract:
This Essay was written as part of a Symposium on open access publishing for legal scholarship. It makes the claim that open access publishing models will succeed, or not, to the extent that they account for the existing â€œeconomy of prestigeâ€ that drives law reviews and legal scholarship. What may seem like a lot of uncharitable commentary is intended instead as an expression of guarded optimism: Imaginative reuse of some existing tools of scholarly publishing (even by some marginalized members of the prestige economy â€“ or perhaps especially by them) may facilitate the emergence of a viable open access norm.