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JILT 1996 (2) - Editorial


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It is too early to say whether we have succeeded with our concept of an adventurous new journal. However, the signs are promising. JILT has been well received by our readers who have commented very favourably on the style and content.

Three measures of success which may be worth considering are, whether JILT is being read, whether it is achieving academic respectability and whether it is achieving the goals it set for itself. For a specialist law journal, JILT has achieved a good readership with its first issue with an estimated 3,000 hits in just over 3 months. It is too early to say whether it will achieve academic respectability, but the quality of academic submissions indicates faith in the new idea.

In relation to the third measure, we have deliberately set out to create the concept of a ?iving?journal which includes a flagship refereed section, a variety of other contributions and encouragement of discussion of the articles. As Bruce Grant suggested at the Society of Public Teachers of Law Conference (1996 JILT 1) in September 1995, it is not easy to achieve serious discussion of articles published in an electronic journal. A Forms based comment facility or email is not the best means of encouraging conferencing. We intend to experiment with new conferencing software on the internet to see if it provides a better incentive to discussion. However, we are pleased to include in this issue serious comment on two pieces from the last issue. This issue also includes a work in progress article by John Pickering which invites comments and suggestions as to the use of the internet for teaching law as a preliminary to final publication. We invite readers to contribute to discussion . Please do not be concerned with the particular method of sending the comment to JILT. Even snail mail will suffice!

The special feature in this issue includes a mixture of refereed and non-refereed contributions. The editors believe that contributions from the world of practice can enhance our academic understanding of issues such as access to information.

Issue 2 includes a revised version of De Mulder and Combrink article originally published in Issue 1. The possibility of revising their articles has been welcomed by contributors, especially to the Special Feature in this issue, as it can enable to portray uptodate scholarship on a fast moving subject. Where the revisions are minor, as is the case with the De Mulder article, the citation will be Version 1.1 etc. Major revisions would be indicated as Version 2 etc. In an electronic journal, you can have your cake and eat it. Readers can read both the original version, thus maintaining historical authenticity, and the revised version. Citations can be, just as is the case with new editions of books, to whichever version is appropriate.

It is also pleasing to note that significant interest has been shown in the development of other electronic journals as part of our Electronic Law Journals environment. Once again, we welcome suggestions for new journals.

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