International Economic Law
University of Vienna
Professor of International and European Law
Important Grants and Merits
Erwin-Schrödinger Scholarship, several FWF (Austrian Science Fund) research grants, ESF (European Science Foundation) research grant
As in other scientific areas, access to and dissemination of high quality academic output ranks among the top priorities of legal research. As a scholar, I am often in need to gain quick access to articles published in top journals. Fortunately, many of them are available either physically in our faculty library or through the online subscriptions of the university. However, this access results from my privileged position within the well-equipped environment of the University of Vienna. Nevertheless, even here we do not have all the access we would need. In my role as an author, I am more worried about the dissemination of research outcome which may be less easily accessible to scholars in other institutions. Open Access would immensely facilitate their work.
My only concern with Open Access is the issue of safeguarding high-quality publication. In the legal field, there is a vast number of grey publications often of minor quality; thus most scholars rely on top publishers. I personally work mostly with UK based publishers where it is clear that once a submission has been peer-reviewed it will be printed without further costs to the author (thus entailing no lengthy printing cost applications). They are able to do this on the basis of commercial considerations using the copyright assigned and the revenue received from subscriptions. Any system of Open Access should guarantee similar high quality publishing without additionally burdening authors with financing their publications.