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February 27, 2007


Dana Powers

I've heard from a number of law students here that posting to SSRN requires approval and that currently graduate students are not given approval (at least at Stanford). A number of them are apparently working to build an alternative forum for publishing scholarly research. Not being an academic myself, however, I'm still not sure why people don't just post papers to a blog or something similar. It all seems terribly elitist to me, frankly.

James Grimmelmann

The issue of credentialling is an important one I didn't get into as much as I could have. Ideally, posting would be easy, and all that we'd need institutional credentialling for would be to confirm that one's claimed affiliations, if any, are accurate. Not being faculty at a sponsoring university shouldn't lock one out of the scholarly conversation.

There're also some people at Yale, affiliated with the Journal of Law and Technology, who are trying to put together a repository for student working papers. These two groups probably ought to be in touch with each other. Dan Hunter's Open Access to Infinite Content, 10 Lewis & Clark Law Review 101 (2006), does a nice number on what open access does to some old and elitist conceptions of scholarship and publication.

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