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Author Guidelines

General guidelines:

Submissions to JOAL must respect some requirements, as follows:

JOAL accepts submissions for each section of the journal. Authors are kindly invited to choose the most suitable section for their submission.

During the submission process, authors are required to check that they are following the Submission Preparation Checklist, as it appears below.

JOAL welcomes papers in International English.

Authors are asked to provide metadata pertaining to their proposal in English. An asterisk marks mandatory metadata, as follows:

  • name and surname,
  • e-mail address,
  • title of the contribution,
  • abstract (max 150 words).
For each submission, the authors can suggest an academic discipline or sub-discipline, subject classifications for his/her paper, and they can propose some keywords for indexing. 

Accepted papers will be available for the final publication in PDF. 
Considering this fact, authors are asked to follow these instructions:

Notes (in the final paper they will result as endnotes) must be placed inside the text and not as annotation, this way:\footnote{annotation text}

Bibliography must comply to the MLA style, following the instructions at the end of this section.

Tables can be placed in text with a proper caption.

High resolution images must be uploaded separately as additional files: their name in the text has necessarily to be the same of the uploaded file. Authors should supply a caption for each image.


In the preparation of bibliography authors must:

Arrange entries in alphabetical order by authors' last names (surnames), or by title (for sources without authors).

Capitalize the first word and all other principal words of the titles and subtitles of cited works listed. (Do not capitalize articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions, or the "to" in infinitives.)

Shorten the publisher's name; for example, omit articles, business abbreviations (Co., Inc.), and descriptive words (Press, Publisher). When multiple publishers are listed, include all of them, placing a semicolon between each. When more than one city is listed for the same publisher, use only the first city.

Use the conjunction "and," not an ampersand [&], when listing multiple authors of a single work.

References must be formatted according to MLA style and comply with the following examples:

Book, one author:

Reed, Chris. Computer law. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

Two or more authors:

Leenes, Ronald E., Koops, Bert-Jaap and De Hert, Paul. Constitutional rights and new technologies : a comparative study. The Hague : T.M.C. Asser Press ; Cambridge ; New York : Distributed by Cambridge University Press, 2008.Print.

Article in a book:

Kowalewski, Michael. "Jack Kerouac and the Beats in San Francisco." San Francisco in Fiction: Essays in a Regional Literature. Ed. David Fine and Paul Skenazy. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1995. 126-43. Print.

Journal article, one author:

Shefter, Martin. "Institutional Conflict over Presidential Appointments: The Case of Clarence Thomas." PS: Political Science & Politics 25.4 (1992): 676-79. Print.

Article in an online periodical. If pagination is unavailable or is not continuous, use n. pag. in place of the page numbers, eg.

Britt, Phillip. "Taking the Byte Out of Cybercrime." Information Today Dec. 2008: n. pag. Web. 8 June 2009.



The abstract, as a brief and accurate synthesis of the document content, should be no longer than 250 words. It should describe the topics of the article in a clear and exhaustive way. We suggest that you avoid any biographical references, and use an impersonal style.

Classification and Keywords

During the submission process, authors can propose a class for his paper using  academic discipline or sub-discipline, subject classifications or 4-5 keywords summarizing the themes of the article.

Modifications to published articles

The online publication represents the official publication of research results. As soon as an article is published online, it is citable and quotable. If changes are then made, confusion can easily arise, with authors citing different versions of the same publication.

JOAL has therefore decided not to make systematic use of the technical possibilities that an online publication offers and not to simply replace a published document with an updated one. After online publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an Erratum, which will be hyperlinked to the article.

Submission Preparation Checklist

All submissions must meet the following requirements.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.

Free and open access to legal information in the digital age

Appropriate topics for this section include:

  • Access, authorization and authentication of digital legal information
  • Quality and timeliness of online legal services Licensing for digital resources
  • Trends in Legal Publishing
  • IPR Issues and challenges
  • Best practices of information and knowledge management in libraries

Data organization and legal informatics

Appropriate topics for this section include:

  • Multi-lingual legal databases
  • Automatic processing of large-scale legal data on the web
  • Semantic web technologies and law
  • Uniform tools for legal referencing
  • Social networking technologies and their implications for free access to law

Open government data and its applications

Appropriate topics for this section include:

  • Role of ICT in development of comparative jurisprudence
  • Government information policy
  • Governance and funding models for sustainability of free acess to law
  • Governance and accountability
  • Challenges and barriers in free access to law in developing countries
  • E-rulemaking
  • E-participation


Legal Services Based on Free Access to Legal Information

Appropriate topics for this section include:

  • Teaching law using internet resources
  • Open legal publishing
  • Economics of legal information

Reports and Reviews

JOAL welcomes occasional conference reports and reviews on websites, information services, software, and ICT tools in the legal area.

Articles should be no longer than 1.500 words. Conference reports should refer briefly to a list of topics discussed at the conference and present their main positive or negative aspects.

Sharing Opportunities and Initiatives

JOAL publishes announcements of projects and initiatives, as well as calls for expressions of interest in specific themes or aspects of open access to law.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.