Friday’s Scholarship About Scholarship

On some Fridays, we highlight scholarship, news, and blog posts about scholarship. If you would like to recommend something for this feature, please send us a note (legalscholarshipblog [at]

  • This week (Oct. 24-30) has been Open Access Week, “A global event, now in its 5th year, promoting Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research.”
  • For access to thousands of open access journals from around the world, see Directory of Open Access Journals. Click here for Law and Political Science.
  • Richard A. Danner (Duke) recently posted Open Access to Legal Scholarship: Dropping the Barriers to Discourse and Dialogue (October 14, 2011). J. Int’l Com. L. & Tech., Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

    This article focuses on the importance of free and open access to legal scholarship and commentary on the law. It argues that full understanding of authoritative legal texts requires access to informed commentary as well as to the texts of the law themselves, and that free and open access to legal commentary will facilitate cross-border dialogue and foster international discourse in law. The paper discusses the obligations of scholars and publishers of legal commentary to make their work as widely accessible as possible. Examples of institutional and disciplinary repositories for legal scholarship are presented, as are the possible impacts of such initiatives as the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship.

  • Limor Peer, Building an Open Data Repository: Lessons and Challenges (September 15, 2011). Available at SSRN:

    The Internet has transformed scholarly research in many ways. Open access to data and other research output has been touted as a crucial step toward transparency and quality in science. This paper takes a critical look at what it takes to share social science research data, from the perspective of a small data repository at Yale University’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies. The ISPS Data Archive was built to create an open access digital collection of social science experimental data, metadata, and associated files produced by ISPS researchers, for the purpose of replication of research findings, further analysis, and teaching. This paper describes the development of the ISPS Data Archive and discusses the inter-related challenges of replication, integration, and stewardship. It argues that open data requires effort, investment of resources, and planning. By itself, it does not enhance knowledge.

  • Jennifer Howard, Princeton U. Adopts Open-Access Policy, Chron. Higher Educ., Sept. 29, 2011