Kevin O’Keefe Says…”Legal Academic Publishing May Be Broken *” We Say DIY

Below is  how the LexBlog founder outlines his argument.

What he says is true but what he doesn’t say clearly is that 99% of the time all the problems outlined below come down to one thing “Outsourcing” and outsourcing to two specific organisations, in the main Lexis & Westlaw.

Academics and Govt have been the same the world over for the past 20+ years, they have believed the spin fed them by the duopoly ( + a degree of laziness, get somebody else to do it) + (greed “they promised us more money” which we doubt was ever pumped back into publications)

It’s not that Academic Legal Publishing is  broken it is the fact that individuals who should have known better handed over control to people and organisations they shouldn’t have.

Solution – if no non-compete clause has been signed ( we hope they weren’t that dim !) just go ahead and start again and start your own legal academic publications ,  it is easy to resurrect the old organisational model and combine that with the fact one can virtually publish for free these days with an option of a plethora of platforms


  1. Blogger
  2. WordPress
  3. Medium
  4. Substack

Just for starters

We’re happy to tell you how to do it for a cost of zero. We won’t tell you to publish with us . All you need is a bit of commonsense, some organisation and people who promise to write actually do so. It really isn’t anymore complicated than that.


Lexblog write

Academic publishing is broken.

That’s the word from Brazilian journalist, Raphael Tsavkko Garcia, who reports for Al Jazeera and MIT Tech Review, among other news outlets, in an excellent piece in Bookseller.

Garcia’s points may be as applicable to legal publishing – think law reviews and other legal periodicals – as any academic publishing.

*[There may be inaccuracies on this post as to the accessibility of legal academic articles. Rather than delete the post, I have left it up because it has been circulated on social media. Further comments from me forthcoming.]

  • It is increasingly difficult for academics to have access to the articles they need to do their work – even their own articles.
  • Well-ranked journals don’t even give the authors access to the articles they wrote.
  • Authors cannot get access through their schools, unless the school is a subscriber and often they are not.
  • Colleagues in the author’s field cannot get access unless they or their institution are subscribers.
  • Authors and colleges need to pay large sums to read one piece or to cite it.
  • Large repositories of journals and professional publications are extremely expensive and more and more universities handpick which ones they will subscribe to, creating countless difficulties for researchers to have access to much-needed articles and journals.
  • Because of lagging technology, academics can spend more time figuring out how to access an article than actually reading it, making notes and citing it – or having to pay a full price for the entire journal, let alone a shameful amount for one article.
  • Academics are threatened by big publishing companies if they decide to make the content they have produced available for free.

The dilemma is that academics need to publish in such journals for status and tenure. Law schools need their professors in law journals and the like to sustain rankings and, in turn tuition monies.


Legal Academic Publishing May Be Broken *