NEWPORT, R.I. (May 31, 2013) Members of the U.S. Naval War College's International Law Studies (ILS) editorial board discuss potential articles to include in Volume 89 of ILS. Pictured above (from left to right) are U.S. Army Col. Daria Wollschlaeger, Coast Guard Cmdr. David O'Connell, Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Thurnher, Marine Corps Maj. Timothy Kelly, Sasha Radin, professor Michael Schmitt and Navy Cmdr. James Kraska. (Courtesy photo)

By Daniel S. Marciniak, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
June 20, 2013

NEWPORT, R.I. – The international law department at the U.S. Naval War College completed the transition of its International Law Studies (ILS) periodical to an online journal, May 2013.

The oldest produced international law publication in the U.S., ILS traces its roots to 1895 when the first volume was published as International Law Situations.

“Our goal was to honor the history of the series and the authors who have contributed articles,” said Marine Corps Maj. Timothy Kelly, managing editor of ILS.

For years the series had been known as the “Blue Books,” reflecting the color of the hardbound print volumes produced on an annual basis. Past volumes have drawn articles from top scholars in the field of international law, often stemming from ILD’s annual conferences.

“In early 2013, we decided to take advantage of the opportunities in digital publishing, to leverage the influence of the publication and make it more accessible to a wider audience,” said professor Michael Schmitt, chairman of ILD and editor-in-chief of ILS.

With international law issues ever evolving, the online journal will allow ILD to publish high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship in a matter of weeks, as opposed to the months-long process involved in compiling and publishing in traditional print form.

“The vast majority of legal research is now being done on internet sources,” said Kelly. “ILD is now in a better position to meet the demand signal and ensure ILS remains as influential as it has [always] been.”

The department will publish individual articles as they are produced, with all articles being compiled into an annual volume, published in e-book format.

Twenty-four articles from the most recent volume, Volume 89, are currently available on the ILS website at All past volumes are also accessible through the site, as well as through Westlaw, LexisNexis and HeinOnline.

Along with the transition to online publication, the department established a board of advisors, comprised of distinguished international law academics from universities and organizations around the world. The board will provide input on the overall direction of the publication.

“We are fortunate to have such an esteemed group of advisors who can help guide and shape international law in the coming years," said Schmitt. "With their assistance, I fully expect the series to be even more influential in the field.”

Edited by U.S. Navy Cmdr. Carla McCarthy
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