The views expressed in the Legal Information & Technology eJournal are those of the contributing authors and do not imply the endorsement of the sponsor, advisory board, or editors.

The Legal Information & Technology eJournal is sponsored by the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section (ALL-SIS). The purpose of the Section is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information on academic law libraries and to represent its members' interests and concerns within the American Association of Law Libraries. The eJournal is also sponsored by the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries (MAALL), an official chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries. MAALL includes members from academic, court, and law firm libraries in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

Sponsored by the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association
of Law Libraries and the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries

"The Open Access Advantage for American Law Reviews" Free Download

JAMES M. DONOVAN, University of Kentucky College of Law Library
CAROL A. WATSON, University of Georgia Law School
CAROLINE OSBORNE, Washington and Lee University - Library

Open access legal scholarship generates a prolific discussion, but few empirical details have been available to describe the scholarly impact of providing unrestricted access to law review articles. The present project fills this gap with specific findings on what authors and institutions can expect.

Articles available in open access formats enjoy an advantage in citation by subsequent law review works of 53%. For every two citations an article would otherwise receive, it can expect a third when made freely available on the Internet. This benefit is not uniformly spread through the law school tiers. Higher tier journals experience a lower OA advantage (11.4%) due to the attention such prestigious works routinely receive regardless of the format. When focusing on the availability of new scholarship, as compared to creating retrospective collections, the aggregated advantage rises to 60.2%. While the first tier advantage rises to 16.8%, the mid-tiers skyrocket to 89.7%. The fourth tier OA advantage comes in at 81.2%.

Citations of legal articles by courts is similarly impacted by OA availability. While the 15-year aggregate advantage is a mere 9.5%, new scholarship is 41.4% more likely to be cited by a court decision if it is available in open access format.

"Should Your Law Review Article Have an Abstract and Table of Contents?" Free Download

LEE PETHERBRIDGE, Loyola Law School Los Angeles
CHRISTOPHER ANTHONY COTROPIA, University of Richmond School of Law

To explore whether abstracts and tables of contents impact the scholarly influence of academic work in the field of legal studies we analyze the impact of these document elements on citation to articles published in top 100 law reviews. We observe that on average both abstracts and tables of contents associate with large increases in scholarly influence. Compared to articles that use neither document element, articles that include just an abstract are cited on average roughly 50% more, and articles that include just a table of contents roughly 30% more. Including both document elements corresponds to the largest increase in citation, over 70%. The Article discusses the title question, and in view of the magnitude and persistence of document element effects and evidence indicating that document elements offer an independent explanation of scholarly influence, answers it in the affirmative. It concludes by offering a hypothesis capable of explaining the effects of abstracts and tables of contents. Specifically, that both of these document elements work by reducing cognitive burdens researchers experience when performing research tasks, although sometimes in different ways.

"Accountability and Transparency as Learning Processes in Private, Public and Global Governance" Free Download
Serie Documentos de Trabajo - Documento No. 546


This paper argues that accountability in organizations should not be constrained to responsibilities alone, but it must also comprise the previous commitments without which responsibilities remain meaningless. It also asserts that transparency should not be merely predicated upon the production of information but be focused instead on stakeholders who lay claim to their essential rights of being informed. Afterwards, it deals with a learning-process approach that brings to light the prime linkage between accountability and transparency in the building of private, public and global governance.

"Kennedy v Information Commissioner: Should New Zealand Recognise a Common Law Duty to Disclose Official Information?" Free Download

TIM COCHRANE, University of Pennsylvania Law School

The United Kingdom Supreme Court recently recognised a common law duty on public agencies to disclose official information in Kennedy v Information Commissioner [2014] UKSC 20, [2014] 2 WLR 808. This duty exists independent of the United Kingdom's Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), and may require disclosure even where information is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. This article considers whether a similar duty may exist in New Zealand common law, alongside the New Zealand equivalent to the FOIA, the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). This article first reviews Kennedy and then discusses the OIA. It then argues that recognition of a common law disclosure obligation, operating as an alternative to the OIA, is appropriate in light of fundamental common law principles and relevant legislation.

"Data Ships: An Empirical Examination of Open (Closed) Government Data" Free Download
48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 48)

KARINE NAHON, The Information School, University of Washington
ALON PELED, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Political Science & Public Administration

As part of endorsing the open government data movement in many parts of the world, governments have worked to increase openness in actions where information technologies play a major role. Releasing public data was perceived by many governments and officials as a fundamental element to achieve transparency and accountability. Many studies have criticized this approach and illustrated that open government data does not necessarily lead to open government. Our study examines for the first time in a systematic, quantitative way the status of open government data in the US, by focusing on the disclosure of data by US federal agencies. Our findings suggest that most US federal agencies largely do not follow the open government policies of 2009 and 2013. The paper discusses the type of public data that is released, and analyzes the (non)strategy of its release.

"Making the Modern Family: Interracial Intimacy and the Social Production of Whiteness" Free Download
Harvard Law Review, Vol. 127, p. 1341, 2014

CAMILLE GEAR RICH, USC Gould School of Law

This Book Review uses Angela Onwuachi-Willig's Book, According to Our Hearts, Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family as an opportunity to explore the multiracial family's role in American society. The discussion unpacks the discussion of "interracially" explored in her book by precisely outlining the various discrimination modalities covered by her discussion of interraciality-based discrimination. The review reveals that Onwuachi-Willig explores six different types of discrimination, some of which require engagement with cutting-edge disputes in antidiscrimination theory and law. The Review teases out these various discrimination constructs and asks in a more deliberate fashion how they are related to one another and whether the injuries they cause merit redress by anti discrimination law. The review next turns to the question of the socio-cultural role played by the interracial family, in particular it's historical role in socializing members to embrace white or near-white identities. The Review explores whether anti discrimination law has any vested interest in protecting these families from race discrimination, despite their assimilationist tendencies and further, explains how these families will play a critical role in helping to address contemporary race discrimination.

"Stop Counting (Or At Least Count Better)" Free Download
JOTWELL: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots) 2014, Forthcoming


For American legal scholarship to fulfill its purpose, it must have an impact on the development of the actual law as it is enacted and interpreted in the United States. However, legal scholarship broadly — and law review articles in particular — has become less influential on judges and members of the practicing bar over time. This short essay argues that the decline is partly attributable to the open reliance on metrics that primarily represent influence within the legal academy when measuring the value of a scholar’s work. In particular, I argue that a focus on metrics with only a tenuous connection to non-academic usage of a new scholar’s work, such as download counts, law journal citation count-based ranking methodologies, and article placement, incentivizes new legal writers to write for other academics rather than for judges, attorneys in practice, or policy-makers.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries and the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries.

This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts in all areas of legal information scholarship. Topics include (but are not limited to): 1) the impact of legal information on domestic, comparative, and international legal systems; 2) the treatment of legal information authorities and precedents (e.g., citation studies); 3) the examination of rules, practices, and commentary limiting or expanding applications of legal information (e.g., citation to unpublished opinions and to foreign law); 4) the study of economic, legal, political and social conditions limiting or extending access to legal information (e.g., trends in the legal publishing industry, intellectual property regimes, and open access initiatives); 5) the finding and use of legal information by academics to produce legal scholarship, by law students to learn the law, by attorneys in practice, and by judges and others decisionmakers to determine legal outcomes; 6) the history of legal information systems and technological advancements; 7) legal information system design and assessment; and 8) the relationship of substantive areas of law (such as information law, intellectual freedom, intellectual property, and national security law) and other academic disciplines (e.g., information science) to legal information. This includes the scholarship of law librarians, other legal scholars, and other academic disciplines.

The eJournal also includes working papers, forthcoming articles, recently published articles, and selected documents (such as White Papers, briefings, reports, course materials) on the practice of law librarianship. Submissions are welcome in all areas of law librarianship including: 1) administration, management, and leadership; 2) facility design and construction; 3) evaluating and marketing law library services; 4) all aspects of public, technical, and technology services; 5) collection development, including sample collection development policies and procedures; 6) electronic resource management and development including licensing, digitization, and institutional repositories; 7) research and reference services; and 8) legal research instruction teaching methods and substantial or innovative course materials.


To submit your research to SSRN, sign in to the SSRN User HeadQuarters, click the My Papers link on left menu and then the Start New Submission button at top of page.

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Legal Scholarship Network (LSN), a division of Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP) and Social Science Research Network (SSRN)



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Advisory Board

Legal Information & Technology eJournal

Associate Dean/ Director of the Law Library, University of South Carolina School of Law, Associate Dean for the Law Library & Associate Professor of Law, University of South Carolina - Coleman Karesh Law Library

Professor, University of Texas School of Law

Associate Director and Head of Technical Services, William A. Wise Law Library, University of Colorado Law School

Library Director & Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law - Leon E. Bloch Law Library

Associate Dean for Information Services, Professor of Law, Professor of Information Resources and Library Science, and Editor, Legal Reference Services Quarterly, University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law, Cracchiolo Law Library

Rufty Research Professor of Law & Senior Associate Dean for Information Services, Duke University School of Law

Assistant Professor of Law and Director of Library Services, Emory University School of Law - Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library

University of Washington - School of Law, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Library and Computing Services, University of Washington School of Law - Gallagher Law Library

International & Foreign Law Librarian, University of California School of Law Library - Boalt Hall Law Library

Director, Academic Advising, Senior Law Lecturer, University of Washington School of Law

Professor of Law and Director, University of Nebraska College of Law, Schmid Law Library

Associate Dean for Finance & Administration; Professor of Law, University of New Mexico School of Law

Associate Law Librarian for International and Foreign Law, Georgetown University Law Library

Library Director and Associate Professor, Brooklyn Law School, Editor, Law Library Journal, American Association of Law Libraries