#LawRepositories - OER & Perma.cc - Glassmeyer & Ziegler


Sarah (@sglassmeyer) & Adam (@abziegler)

Assume the following are true:
P1: Access to information is access to justice.
P2: Access to justice is the responsibility of the legal profession.
∴ Legal professionals make access to justice happen by providing access to information.

3 Ideas:
  • Data (the “raw" law)
  • Information
  • Knowledge

A lot of knowledge goes into our repositories, but not a ton of information or data.

3 Aspects:
  • Content
  • Container
  • Conveyance
    • Free repositories have been the subject of the talk

Information is Locked Away:
  • Publishers are treating digital materials different from print materials.
  • Copyright extension (in term and scope).
    • Orphan work problem: 25% - 50%
  • Format changes.

What does it mean to “pay" for content?
  • Taxpayers pay for courts, professors, licenses.

Technology is available!
  • Publish and distribute from the desktop.

Definition of Open Source vs. Open Access
  • OS refers to the software
  • OA refers to the content

What Open is NOT:
  • Garbage
  • “Given away"
  • Forbidding
    • Sometimes things under CC license don’t look “open"

Much of what is going on in law repositories is “Fauxopen Access"

OER / Casebooks:
  • Removes barriers to education ($$)
  • No more reinventing the wheel all the time
    • Why do we struggle to teach “What Are Primary Legal Materials?" over and over?
  • Public domain legal materials for:
    • Law schools
    • CLEs
    • Paralegal training programs

Finding “Stuff" in Virtual Boxes of Crap:
  • SSRN
  • TWEN & Blackboard (or other LMS, I suppose)
  • Published court opinions

It’s ok to start small! So...
  • Don’t hide the license
  • Make the document “re-mixable"
  • Make lots of copies so people don’t have to hunt for it!

Repos / Platforms / Networks

Harvard Library Innovation Lab: http://librarylab.law.harvard.edu/about.html

Law-Specific Projects:

Will discuss Perma.cc in depth today:

Link Rot (Perma.cc)
  • https://perma.cc/about
  • Links. Will. Break.
    • (There was a great conference on this topic in October at Georgetown Law)
  • Perma.cc is a simple web app. Resolves links to the very page the author intended to reference.
  • But it’s also a code repository!
    • Available on GitHub
  • 85 law libraries acting as Perma.cc registrars.
  • Perma is also a platform; recently released an API.
    • Recently have built a small Word plugin, being tested now.
  • Finally, Perma is a network.
    • Institutional combination.
    • Library mirroring.

Q&A Notes:

Law schools have chosen a commercial repository vendor. Is this a problem?
  • Sarah says yes. Question is where the content is hosted?
    • Cost a concern. Stability, too.
  • Quarterly archive feature of bepress.
Progress on Perma box:
  • Prototype has been created.
  • Still being tested.

Perma workflow problems for law journals:
  • There is no manual, but some folks have developed resources.
    • Libguide at Boston College on it (link to be circulated)
  • Audience noting resistance from journals
  • Courts have different sensitivities.
    • Links being created might be used to forecast an opinion.

That’s all, folks! Great conference!
-AK (@kirschsubjudice)