Journals have played a crucial role in the institutionalization of modern scientific activity. The dramatic changes in their ways of functioning over the last twenty years may be linked to profound changes in the very nature of science. So there are strong reasons for scientists to dedicate some attention to them. A debate by representatives of the editorial boards of various academic journals could be an appropriate setting for such a discussion. This meeting could tackle many topics, and in particular the following, some of which are particularly pressing in the field of sociology of law:
- The impact of the fact that journals are now most often consulted on line, with a probable focus on individual papers, after centuries of consultation in libraries, where collections and issues where the most visible structure.
- The articulation with new media of scientific communication, such as blogs, discussion groups, social media, and so on.
- The increasing influence of big players, such as multinational publishers, indexing agencies, governmental agencies supporting financially scientific publications, and so on.
- The relationship – possible new types of alliances – with non-academic media, which are exposed to similar changes, and are challenged to defend professionally produced information in the face of the heterogeneous contents that circulate on the social media.
- The challenge to publish in languages other than English, at a time when impact factors favour publications written in the most widespread languages, and thus likely to address a numerically broader audience. And the challenge, under these conditions, to publish specialized journals.
- The relevance of disciplinary identities now that innovation, flexibility, and sensitiveness to public demands are first stage criteria in the evaluation of scientific activity.
- The challenge to maintain practices of – to imagine new forms of – cooperation in a field increasingly conditioned by the competition between authors, and between journals.
Chair: Pierre Guibentif | DINÂMIA'CET-IUL, ISCTE-IUL
Laurence Dumoulin | Droit et Société Full Paper
Jiri Priban | Journal of Law and Society
Susan Sterett | Law & Society Review
Artur Stamford da Silva | Revista Brasileira de Sociologia do Direito Full Paper
Letizia Mancini | Sociologia del Diritto
Michelle Cottier | Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie