OBserving Law - IALS Open Book Service for Law

OBserving Law - the IALS Open Book Service for Law is being developed as part of the School of Advanced Study's Humanities Digital Library open access book publishing initiative.

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. 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 work which will widen knowledge and understanding, and play a major role in policy, practice and legal education. Submissions 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.

Featured Book

We are delighted to launch the new service with our first title published in Autumn 2016.

Provisional cover for Electronic Signatures in Law. 4th edition

Electronic Signatures in Law
Stephen Mason
4th edition

Available now in the Humanities Digital Library

This fourth edition of the well-established practitioner text sets out what constitutes an electronic signature; the form an electronic signature can take; and discusses the issues relating to evidence – illustrated by analysis of relevant case law and legislation from a wide range of common law and civil law jurisdictions.

Stephen Mason

Stephen Mason is a leading authority on electronic signatures and electronic evidence, having advised global corporations and governments on these topics. He is also the founder and editor of the international open source journal the Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review. Stephen is an Associate Research Fellow at the IALS and Visiting Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Tartu, Estonia.


Publishing Open Access with the IALS

OBserving Law aims to provide a new open access monograph publishing service for legal researchers. 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.

Submit a Proposal
Please contact: steven.whittle@sas.ac.uk in the first instance with proposals and queries.

Charges and Waivers
In order to cover the costs of publication, authors who have access to publication funding must pay a book publication fee. Authors who do not have access to publication funding may be entitled to a fee waiver. We also work alongside publishing partners, such as learned societies and professional associations, to enable fee-free open access publishing for Early Career Researchers.

The fee to authors is £5,000 (GBP) for full colour publication. Books will be made available as ebooks in pdf and epub format as freely accessible, DRM-free, digital files, and available for print purchase.


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

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

POD (print on demand) paperback purchase option 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.

IALS Editorial Board

Editorial oversight is provided by an Editorial Board for the IALS Open Book Service for Law with representatives drawn from the UK legal research communities and scholarly professional associations for law. Terms of Reference

IALS Consultant Editors

We are developing a broad team of consultant editors with particular subject expertise in law. Expressions of interest to assist the law service with peer review very welcome. Please contact: steven.whittle@sas.ac.uk

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.

Page last updated: 10th April 2017