Legal Information Management

Current Issues

The Future of Legal Research

John Bell


This article is based on a presentation given by John Bell at the annual conference of The Society of Legal Scholars (SLS)1 held in Bristol in September 2012. His talk reflects the immediate challenges facing law schools, academic lawyers and the legal publishing industry in the light of the recent Finch Report2 and the subsequent response by the Government3 whereby it has adopted an open access policy to publicly funded research.


  • higher education;
  • funding;
  • open access;
  • legal publishing;
  • academic

John Bell, FBA, has been Professor of Law (1973) at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Pembroke College since 2001. Previously, he was Professor of Law at the University of Leeds (1989–2001) and Fellow and Tutor in Law, Wadham College, Oxford (1979–1989). Between 2005 and 2009 he was the Chair of the Council of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Cambridge. He is the editor of The Cambridge Law Journal.