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Libertarian Papers

From Mises blog. Archived comments below. Update: the journal concluded in 2018, after 10 years of issues.


To Authors, Readers, and Potential Libertarians:

A new libertarian journal–a new type of libertarian journal–is born today. Libertarian Papers is an exclusively online peer-reviewed journal. Its home is this elegant, fast, easy-to-use website. Please feel free to browse around.

Publishing online has allowed us to break free of many of the constraints faced by paper-based journals. Scholars working in the libertarian tradition will find dealing with us to be a refreshing change. For instance, we publish articles consecutively, online, as soon as they are peer-reviewed and a final copy is submitted. No waiting for the next issue or printing delays. We have also done away with arbitrary space limits. And we don’t care what citation style you use, as long as it is consistent, professional, and enables the reader to find the work referenced. Neither our time nor the author’s need be wasted converting from one citation style to another, or wondering whether “2nd. ed.” goes here or there, or whether it should be “2d. ed.” instead. In a digital age, old forms must give way to new forms.

And as our publications are online and open, you won’t find our authors furtively posting a scanned copy of their paper articles on their own sites, while their article is trapped in musty paper on a dark shelf–but if they want to, they are free to do so, since to the extent possible everything here is published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Want to republish your piece in a book? No need to ask us for permission. We want to spread the ideas of liberty, not impose DRM on them.

And of course readers will love the ease of access. Subscription is by RSS feed, and free. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or other social media to come. And unlike other academic journals, we allow comments on our articles, via the blog posts announcing them. Libertarian Papers is completely free and open, because readers’ being willing to devote time to studying the ideas of liberty is payment enough for us. It is the profit we seek. And we think having readers who love to use our site and read our articles is what authors want, too.

A few words of thanks are in order. The assistance and support of Jeff Tucker of the Mises Institute, web designer Aristotle Esguerra, and Lew Rockwell and the Ludwig von Mises Institute have been invaluable in getting the website set up and the first non-issue out. Libertarian Papers is also proud to have an outstanding Editorial Board, with world-class scholars working in the libertarian tradition. Their help and commitment was also indispensable in helping this project come to fruition. And various loyal and devoted friends in the libertarian cadre, such as Gil GuilloryManuel Lora, and Anthony Gregory, helped in various ways behind the scenes. A hearty thanks to them all.

That brings us to our first issue–or non-issue, rather. We’re very proud of our first set of published articles–the seven articles that are being published today, immediately after this post is published (and then rolling them out about one hour apart, consecutively, throughout the day). These pieces include articles by two eminent libertarian thinkers, Jan Narveson (writing on Nozick, justice, and restitution) and Robert Higgs (on depressions and war). Also being published today is a previously unpublished memo from Ludwig von Mises to F.A. Hayek, relaying Mises’s concerns and advice about the then-nascent Mont Pèlerin Society, followed by a previously unpublished memo from Murray Rothbard to the Volker Fund, about libertarian tactics and strategy. The last three articles to be published today–about four hours from now–are a fascinating three-part exchange between Nicolás Maloberti and Joshua Katz about libertarianism, positive rights, and “Possibility of the Legitimate State.”

Several more articles are in the works. We expect to publish throughout the year–and beyond. Stay tuned.

Archived comments:


Comments (6)

  • Dennis
  • Mr. Kinsella,

    Will the “Journal of Libertarian Studies” still be published, or is “The Libertarian Papers” replacing it?


  • Published: January 22, 2009 8:35 AM

  • jeffrey
  • The Libertarian Papers is the successor journal for new times. I’m super excited about what Stephan has done. It is an amazing case of intellectual entrepreneurship. I can tell you that he has been on fire for this idea and he saw it through from concept to implementation in an amazingly short period of time.

    We’ve faced a real dilemma with how to get out in front on the issues of scholarly publishing in the digital age. The old rules don’t work. We can see this all around us as print publications go belly up every day, and old-school hard copy journals lose all their subscribers and are folded into massive state-university library databases.

    We needed a journal that would immediately reach everyone who is interested–academics or non-academics. We needed something for maximum access that anticipated trends, not merely caught up to them.

    The JLS was a pioneering publication in its time, and we are now starting work on putting out complete volumes in hard copy, and I’m certain that they will sell well and continue to have influence. But for the future, Kinsella is really on to something here. There is energy to this and incredible clarity.

    The resources go to getting the information out there rather than all the waste that comes with old-world mailings and subscriptions.

    Meanwhile, the JLS will take on new life as a brilliant archive that will be circulated the world over.

    I can only offer my highest congratulations to Kinsella for his daring and innovative project.

  • Published: January 22, 2009 9:01 AM

  • Dna Mahoney
  • Speaking of the JLS, and QJAE, have there been any new issues since early last year? That seems to be the last time they were updated online.
  • Published: January 22, 2009 10:29 AM

  • Kathryn Muratore
  • I just want to correct this statement:

    And unlike other academic journals, we allow comments on our articles, via the blog posts announcing them.

    I know that PLoS, a science journal whose model is somewhat similar to Libertarian Papers and is certainly a leader in the open-source academic publishing world, has a comments section on articles (I’m not certain that they have this for all of their journals, but they definitely have it for PLoS ONE). Nonetheless, I suspect that Libertarian Papers is joining a very short list of journals that allow comments.

  • Published: January 22, 2009 1:18 PM

  • Stephan KinsellaAuthor Profile Page
  • We launched at 7:00 a.m. CST today. We’ve gotten tremendously positive comments and buzz already–see., e.g., . The site has been live just over 6 hours, and we have already had over 2000 visitors, and 5000 page views (which means visitors are looking around). Many of them coming to the site from announcements on LRC andMises.org, but also from announcements on Liberty & Power, The Independent Institute’s The Beacon, Ron Paul’s Campaign for LibertyLet Liberty Ring, and many others.

    We also have a growing number of followers so far on Twitter, and 40 people have joined our Facebook group already. And more articles are still to come, today!

  • Published: January 22, 2009 1:28 PM

  • Vanmind
  • Bookmarked, for sure.

    I’m curious about the content management strategy. I’ll bet I could help, considering I’m an AIIM-certified ECM Master (http://www.aiim.org/Education/ECM-Enterprise-Content-Management-Training-Courses.aspx). I don’t charge much, especially when it’s a good cause.

  • Published: January 22, 2009 5:34 PM

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