On 7 November 2008, the directors of the law libraries at ten highly regarded U.S. law schools met in Durham, North Carolina at the Duke Law School. That meeting resulted in the "Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship," which calls for all law schools to stop publishing their journals in print format and to rely instead on electronic publication coupled with a commitment to keep the electronic versions available in stable, open, digital formats.
Particularly now, with growing financial pressures on law school budgets, ending print publication of law journals deserves serious consideration. Very few law journals receive enough in subscription income and royalties to cover their costs of operation. The Statement anticipates both that the costs for printing and mailing can be eliminated, and that law libraries can reduce their costs for subscribing to, processing, and preserving print journals. There are additional benefits in improving access to journals that are not now published in open access formats and in reducing paper consumption.
Each of the directors who signed the Statement agreed to take it to the dean of their school for discussion and signature. It has also been signed by the chief information officers at top U.S. law schools. The Statement is being posted and publicized in hopes that more signatures can be gathered and that all law schools will begin to moving toward accomplishing its goals.