Columbia Science and Technology Law Review Goes Open Access

The following is an announcement from Luis Villa, the outgoing Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review (STLR). Beginning with Volume X STLR will become a “formal open access journal and comply with the recent Durham Statement on open access” and will become the first Columbia journal to publish through the Columbia University Library’s archival quality Academic Commons publication system:


Most of you know me from past ventures; for those who don’t, my apologies for reaching out to you in this manner, but it is a one-time event that I hope you’ll find it worth your attention.

My name is Luis Villa, and I’m the outgoing Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review (STLR). I’m writing to you because of your past interests in open access scholarship and the law.
I am excited to announce that beginning with this volume, STLR will become a formal open access journal and comply with the recent Durham Statement on open access. As part of that process, our articles will be published under a Creative Commons NC-ND license, and we’ll become the first Columbia journal to publish through the Columbia Library’s archival-quality Academic Commons publication system.

While small, our journal has always had consistently high quality (third in citations per article amongst science and technology law journals, according to the Washington and Lee ratings). We hope that this move will further improve the visibility, availability, and permanence of our scholarship, for the benefit of both the journal and of our authors. We also hope it will allow us to be a trend-setter for other Columbia journals, as we all inevitably move into the brave new economics of publicly available scholarship. I was excited to hear today that one other Columbia journal has already approached the library about following in our footsteps, and as you’re all aware this is part of a larger trend across all law schools (exemplified by the Durham Statement.)

While we realize that in the grand scheme of things this is not huge news, we think that as part of the larger, recent trend towards open access this is to some extent newsworthy. If you’d like to write about this in your own blogs or other work, you can read our formal announcement and link to it at

Besides the Open Access announcement, we also think we have some high quality scholarship in this volume, particularly interesting pieces on the mailbox rule in an internet age and a game-based simulation of the economics of patents. The volume itself is available at or directly from the Columbia Library at the (slightly more cumbersome 😉

Finally, if you’re interested in publishing with us in the future, you can reach out to the EIC directly at, or through BePress ExpressO.

Thanks for your time and attention; please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or thoughts.

Full text of letter from EIC follows:

Hello, and welcome to Volume X of the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review.

Starting with this volume, we’ve made two significant changes to how we publish, and I wanted to write this note to explain those changes and why we did them.

First, we’ve decided to meet the standards set out by the Open Access Law Program and formally seek to become an Open Access Law Journal. To that end, we’ve refined our author agreement (already very liberal) to explicitly ensure that authors retain their copyrights, and we are making our agreement public on our website. At the same time, we are also embracing open publication, formally putting our articles under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial No-Derivatives license, and allowing our authors to distribute themselves under even more liberal licenses if they so choose.

Second, in order to meet the standards set forward by the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship, we’re moving our backend from our own server to professionally maintained,
archival-quality services run by the Columbia Library. We were already publishing in the relatively open PDF format. As a result of these two choices, we can now be fully confident that our digital scholarship has the same permanence and long-term shelf life as a paper journal-
a big step forward for digital scholarship in general.

For readers of our journal, these two small changes should not have much impact. Expect the same high quality content, delivered more reliably, and with clearer terms explaining your ability to use and share our scholarship with others. In addition, as a result of our partnership with the Columbia Libraries, in coming volumes you’ll see new functionality on our website, like subscriptions via email.

For authors, both current and future, we expect that these changes will improve our already high citation rankings. It will also clarify your rights and make sure that your writing benefits you, first and foremost. Authors interested in these benefits, should, of course,
feel free to contact us about publication!

It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve with a terrific, patient staff this year; we hope you enjoy and learn from the results, as we have.


Luis Villa
Editor-in-Chief, STLR Volume X

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