Terms of Business

Section 1. Statement of mission of the Law School blog

1.1 At the University of Bristol Law School, we are committed to open and diverse academic scholarship of the highest quality. We conduct research which is ambitious and cutting edge, addressing important and challenging questions of society and governance. We want the results of our scholarly investigation to be known and put in practice in a way that contributes to the well-being of Bristol, the South West, the UK and the wider world.

1.2 The Law School Blog is our tool to communicate, disseminate and showcase our world-leading research beyond traditional academic channels. It is our collective public engagement platform, through which we aim to reach our wider audiences and grow our community of scholars and researchers. The blog builds upon our research outcomes, makes them accessible, and provides evidence-led and reasoned arguments that inform, enrich and shape social and policy debates.

Section 2: Role of the editor

2.1 The blog is edited by a member of staff appointed by the Head of School. The editor of the blog is a member of the School’s Research Committee, sits in its meetings and reports to Research Director.

2.2 The editor of the blog is tasked with liaising with colleagues to encourage contributions to the blog, and with ensuring quality standards.

2.3 The editor retains discretion to decide whether to publish blog contributions. In exercising such discretion, the editor of the blog needs to take due consideration of the principles stated in section 4.

2.4 The editor can consult with other members of the Research Committee when making decisions on the publication of contributions for the blog. The decision to consult with Research Committee is at the discretion of the blog editor.

Section 3: Contributor’s responsibilities

3.1 Contributors to the blog are responsible for ensuring that the content of proposed contributions are in line with the principles stated in section 4. All blog contributions are published under the responsibility of the contributor/s, and publication in the blog does not imply endorsement by the Law School of the views expressed in any given contribution.

3.2 Contributors to the blog are responsible for liaising with the blog editor ahead of the intended date of publication of their contribution, and to support the editor in the process of getting the contributions ready for publication.

Section 4: Editorial principles

4.1 In deciding whether to propose and/or publish contributions, the contributor/s, the editor and Research Committee will take into account the following principles.

  1. The Law School is committed to publishing diverse views including those which are controversial, internally or externally, so long as they meet research quality criteria. Research-based controversial views should thus not be disadvantaged (diversity).
  2. The Law School is committed to using the blog to showcase the wide-ranging research carried out by all of its members, and to give equal opportunities to foster its visibility and accessibility by non-academic audiences (representativeness).
  3. The Law School is committed to strengthen its reputation through the blog. Due consideration needs to be given to the reputational impact of the publication of blog posts (reputation).

4.2 There are factors that can advise against the publication of a blog contribution, such as:

  1. The publication of a recent piece by the same contributor/s with much of the same content (originality).
  2. The publication of a previous contribution by the same contributor/s, to which the new proposed contribution contributes no new research or new arguments (additivity).
  3. The need to avoid the risks of allowing the Law School blog to become a vehicle for advocating particular cases or concerns to such an extent that the School as an institution would become associated with those causes and concerns (independence).

4.3 Therefore, in making a decision on whether to publish a blog contribution, the blog editor and/or Research Committee shall take into account the abovementioned principles of diversity, representativeness and reputation of the blog, as well as the quality of the proposed contributions in terms of originality and additivity of the underlying research, and the challenge of ensuring continued independence of the blog.

4.4 Contributors to the blog need to consider these principles when proposing content for the blog and when deciding whether to accept or challenge the decisions made by the editor.

Section 5: Process for disputes

5.1 In case a contributor disagrees with the decision of the editor whether to publish a blog contribution, the editor’s decisions can be challenged by the contributor by raising the issue with Research Director for formal discussion at Research Committee. It its communication with Research Director, the contributor shall directly justify the suitability of the piece for publication in view of the principles set in section 4.

5.2 If a decision not to publish is challenged, the editor of the blog will explain the decision in terms of the principles established in section 4, and thereafter abstain from any ensuing deliberation or vote on the appropriateness of such decision at Research Committee. Where blog contributions are time sensitive, Research Committee will consider the appropriateness of discussing the issue virtually.