With Goal of Promoting Open Access to Legal Scholarship, Yale Law School Launches Law Archive

With the goal of making legal sc،lar،p freely available outside of “proprietary and predatory frameworks,” Yale Law Sc،ol has launched Law Arc،e, a free and open arc،e for publi،ng legal sc،lar،p.

Developed by Yale’s Lillian Goldman Law Li،ry and the Center for Open Science (COS), which provides the OSF Preprints platform that ،sts the site, the arc،e enables researchers and sc،lars to upload research plans, preprints (articles yet to be ،r reviewed), fully published papers, and collected data. 

“There are limited options for researchers and sc،lars to deposit sc،lar،p in a repository wit،ut bearing some type of cost, either monetarily or by ceding control over their data,” said Femi Cadmus, law libr، and professor of law at Yale, w، leads Law Arc،e’s advisory board and steering committee.

“The primary goal of Law Arc،e is to break down barriers to access to legal sc،lar،p and information by developing a truly free and open platform for the sharing of research,” she said. 

Yale Law Libr، Femi Cadmus.

Related: LawNext Episode 43: The AALL’s Femi Cadmus on the Changing Face of Law Libr،s. 

The li،ry said that the arc،e’s development was inspired by its commitment to access to justice initiatives related to “filling gaps in the availability of free and open legal information outside of proprietary and predatory frameworks.”

Its development means that researchers, sc،lars, and the general public now have a reliable source for access to current and historical legal commentary and ،ysis found in legal sc،lar،p.

Only Platform of its Kind

According to the li،ry, this is the only free open access platform for legal sc،lar،p that integrates collaboration tools, data storage, and sharing of legal sc،lar،p.

T،se collaboration features make it possible for researchers from different ins،utions to work on projects in a central project ،e, with the ability to integrate tools such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and GitHub. Law Arc،e supports and promotes transparent and re،ucible research, a requirement of many funding agencies.

For visitors to the site, they can search for papers using keywords or by browse papers by their subject. Either when sear،g or browsing, filters allow the user to refine results by data range and other factors.

“The importance of free, reliable, and open access to legal sc،lar،p and information is critically important,” said Yale Law Sc،ol Dean Heather K. Gerken. “Yale Law Sc،ol is invested in pu،ng forward innovative initiatives like Law Arc،e that provide equitable access to legal information.”

The arc،e is supported by an advisory board led by Cadmus and composed of law faculty and libr،s from six ins،utions. It is managed administratively at the Yale Law Li،ry by a steering committee and co-administrators Michael VanderHeidjen, ،ociate director, sc،larly & research services, and Nor Ortiz, technology & research libr،.

A Successor to LawArXiv

This is not the first time an arc،e was launched to promote open access to legal sc،lar،p. In 2017, I wrote here about the launch of LawArXiv, a website devoted to preserving open access to legal sc،lar،p.

That initiative was developed by the Cornell Law Li،ry in collaboration with three law li،ry ،izations, at least partly in response to the 2016 acquisition of the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) by publisher Elsevier, and concerns a، sc،lars that SSRN’s free access would get locked behind a paywall.

Like this latest arc،e, that earlier effort was ،sted on the OSF Preprints platform.

But in 2021, LawArXiv said it would no longer accept new article submissions, effectively shutting down.

According to a 2021 post on TSLL TechScans, a law libr، blog, the reason for the shutdown was, at least in part, the limitations of the OSF Preprints platform and the unwillingness of its developer, COS, to support new features requested by the LawArXiv steering committee.

On top of that, COS had ins،uted a new ،sting fee s،ing in January 2021. That left LawArXiv’s backers debating whether it was worth paying the fee knowing the platform lacked the features they believed they needed for the arc،e to grow.

“After extensive research and discussion of various options, the LawArXiv Steering Committee ultimately decided to end the partner،p with COS,” the blog reported.

COS addressed this issue in a post it published earlier this week announcing the new Yale arc،e. It says that, since the closing of LawArXiv, its OSF Preprints platform has undergone significant enhancements.

“These improvements are designed to enrich the user experience, foster community engagement, and expand the discoverability of preprints and published papers,” the COS post said.

It also said that Yale’s oversight of this arc،e is significant in terms of its long-term viability.

“With the transition to a model under the Yale Law Li،ry’s umbrella, there is an unwavering commitment to ،sting free and open legal sc،lar،p, supported by an advisory board of libr،s and law faculty,” the post said. “This structure aims to streamline decision-making and enhance the platform’s ability to serve the legal academic community for years to come.”

منبع: https://www.lawnext.com/2024/04/with-goal-of-promoting-open-access-to-legal-sc،lar،p-yale-law-sc،ol-launches-law-arc،e.html