OBserving Law - IALS Open Book Service for Law

OBserving Law - the IALS Open Book Service for Law is part of the School of Advanced Study's Humanities Digital Library open access book publishing initiative. Our open access books are free to read online and download in PDF format for anyone in the world to use.

  • The aim of the IALS Open Book Service for Law is to provide a showcase for the vibrant state of legal scholarship, by publishing the best monographic works in law and making them free to read anywhere.
  • The imprint embraces the full scope of legal scholarship, from doctrinal analysis, to theoretical exploration and empirical study, and also welcomes interdisciplinary approaches.
  • The aim is to publish innovative and intellectually stimulating fully peer reviewed work which will reach a worldwide audience, widen knowledge and understanding, and play a major role in policy, practice and legal education.
  • We welcome proposals from individual authors and editors from across the academic and legal research community - including within and external to the University of London, and from learned societies and organisations.
  • Our business model is designed to meet the requirements of the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2027 policy on long-form scholarly work and offer authors a full range of quality assured open access and print on demand options.

Now published

The latest publication from OBserving Law - the IALS Open Book Service for Law is an up-to-date edition of Electronic Evidence edited by Stephen Mason and Daniel Seng with a team of specialist contributors.

Electronic Evidence. 4th edition. Edited by Stephen Mason and Daniel Seng

Electronic Evidence
Edited by Stephen Mason and Daniel Seng

4th edition

Free to read online and download now from OBserving Law in the Humanities Digital Library

  • Over 4,373 downloads recorded (as at May 2018)

In this updated edition of the well-established practitioner text, Stephen Mason and Daniel Seng have brought together a team of experts in the field to provide an exhaustive treatment of electronic evidence. This fourth edition continues to follow the tradition in English evidence text books by basing the text on the law of England and Wales, with appropriate citations of relevant case law and legislation from other jurisdictions.

Also available: Electronic Signatures in Law

Publishing Open Access with the IALS

OBserving Law aims to provide a new open access monograph publishing service for legal researchers, enabling their work to reach the widest possible audience worldwide. This initiative, very much part of the Institute's research facilitation role, is developing a freely available national service.

Open access refers to the free access and generally free reuse (usually with some restrictions) of published research. It represents a shift in attitudes towards both the dissemination and utility of research and the cost of access to readers and scholars.

We welcome submissions and proposals for monographs, textbooks, edited volumes and other scholarly works, including shorter form books, reference materials and born-digital content. Submissions for consideration by the IALS Editorial Board will be accepted from individual authors and editors, both within and external to the University of London, and a publishing service will also be provided to learned societies and organisations.

IALS Open Book Service for Law - Editorial Board

Editorial oversight is provided by an Editorial Board for the IALS Open Book Service for Law - bringing together the skills and experience of academics, librarians and publishing professionals.

  • Professor Diamond Ashiagbor (IALS) - Joint General Editor and Chair
  • Professor Fiona Cownie (Keele University)
  • David Gee (IALS)
  • Richard Hart (Consultant Publisher)
  • Professor Rosemary Hunter (Queen Mary University of London)
  • Professor Ambreena Manji (Cardiff University)
  • Steven Whittle (IALS) - Joint General Editor

IALS Open Book Service for Law - Advisory Board

We are developing an Advisory Broad with representatives drawn from the UK legal research communities and scholarly professional associations for law to provide a team of consultant editors with particular subject expertise in law.

  • Jules Winterton (Director, IALS) (Chair)
  • Professor Anthony Bradney (Keele University)
  • Dr Naomi Creutzfeld (representative of the Socio-Legal Studies Association - SLSA)
  • Professor Fiona de Londras (University of Birmingham)
  • Professor Judith Freedman (Worcester College, University of Oxford)
  • Dr Jessica Guth (representative of the Association of Law Teachers - ALT)
  • Professor Ratna Kapur (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Dr Prabha Kotiswaran (King’s College London)
  • Professor Imelda Maher (University College Dublin)
  • Sandy Dutczak (representative of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians - BIALL)
  • Professor Sally Sheldon (University of Kent)
  • Dr Prabhakar Singh (Jindal Global Law School)
  • A representative of the Legal Research Network - LERN
  • A representative of the Society of Legal Scholars - SLS

Peer Review Policy

All books published in our open access programme must meet necessary standards for originality, significance and rigour. Proposals will be considered by our Editorial team and independent expert academic reviewers. We are committed to the publication of high quality academic research which adheres to the requirements of the Research Excellence Framework.

Expressions of interest to assist the law service with peer review are very welcome. Please contact: steven.whittle@sas.ac.uk

Ready for REF 2027 policy on OA monographs

All long-form research published in book form will need to be made available in open access formats to qualify for submission for the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise in 2027. This will effectively include long-form narrative work and monographs published after the 2021 REF submission. Our business model and scholarly publishing system providing open access digital publication of peer reviewed books is ready now.

Publication Formats

OBserving Law is part of a shared catalogue for the Humanities Digital Library developed with the PKP Open Monograph Press open source application linked to the SAS-Space e-repository for sustainability and preservation.

Titles will be made freely available in PDF format with single volume and separate chapter versions, each with assigned DOI and title ISBNs.

Print on demand (POD) paperback purchase option and epub format purchase options will be offered as standard with a hardback choice for libraries and others that may prefer that format.

Will look to enrich digital version with live hyperlinks and other opportunities to expand the online presence through discussion and commentary.

Open Access publishing fees

OBserving Law - the IALS Open Book Service for Law plans to publish a number of titles each year without a publication fee, Book Processing Charge (BPC)  or charges to authors. Books will be made available as ebooks in pdf format as freely accessible, DRM-free, digital files, and will also be available for epub purchase and/or print on demand purchase.

In addition eligible works may be funded and published through the SAS Humanities Digital Library arrangements for authors who do not have access to publication funding. The HDL also works alongside publishing partners, such as learned societies and professional associations, to enable fee-free open access publishing for Early Career Researchers.

Fund sources for Open Access Scholarly books

Submit a Proposal

Please contact: steven.whittle@sas.ac.uk in the first instance with proposals and queries. Please refer to Submission Guidelines for more information.


Page last updated: 30th July 2018