Aaron Kirschenfeld

Short thoughts on topics that interest me combined with selected link-sharing. And because having one blog really isn't enough.

Showing all posts tagged "Law Repositories 2015"

#LawRepositories - OER & - 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:

Law-Specific Projects:

Will discuss in depth today:

Link Rot (
  • Links. Will. Break.
    • (There was a great conference on this topic in October at Georgetown Law)
  • 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 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!

#LawRepositories - Breakout - LIPA (Margie Maes)

  • Preservation in print and digital form.
    • PALMPrint for primary law print (facility in Massachusetts) in partnership with NELLCO.
    • Legal Information Archive for digital (with OCLC).

Law Libraries Should Know:
  • Archiving law review materials in bepress in CLOKSS available.
  • Partnership with Archive-It (for Web archiving).

Lots of interactions not captured here. Very well-attended breakout.

#LawRepositories - Is Digitization Preservation?

Sharon Bradley:

As a librarian interested in preservation, people are the enemy. They eat, they have dirty hands, they lose things. (Tone was sarcastic, folks!)

LLMC / Jerry Dupont - Use means digital use. Content is what folks are interested in.

Digitization Myths:
  • We’re too small, it’s only me.
    • Do what you can, and then you’ve done it. Your own small part.
  • We can’t afford it.
    • Student labor, equipment not too expensive. Fuji ScanSnap worthy of lust!
  • We don’t have the technical skills.
  • Not a priority.
    • It can’t wait. The books are falling apart.

Beth Williams:
Agrees with Sharon more than disagrees.

Digitization Myths from the managerial perspective:
  • It’s (primarily) about (open) access
    • “Intellectual output" = call for new term needed!!
    • Editorial input might be the sine qua non of publishing, but are publishers doing it?
    • Digitization means creating something new.
    • Digitization is about both access and preservation.
      • Need to be considered independently.
  • Preservation is backup and recovery
    • Backup and recovery is a disaster-planning mechanism, not for access or preservation necessarily.
    • Bit rot is probably the most dangerous thing.
  • Acquisition of a turnkey repository is enough
    • We need to be doing more with repositories.

  • What’s the goal?
    • Maintain the object for as long as needed that is authentic and accessible.
    • Reduce handling.
  • Ensuring authenticity
    • When you digitize, you’re the custodian.
  • Trusted Digital Repositories (TDRs)
    • Most have decided that bepress meets the needs, but it’s not open-and-shut.
  • Control and Structure
    • It’s a constant process of evaluation.


  • No single preservation strategy
    • We’re talking about tools but also where things will be in the future.
  • Migration
    • 3 to 5 years. Seems like a lot. But keep it in mind.
  • Structure
  • Processing
    • Less process, more product.
    • We can get caught up in the details, leading to delay.

Guidelines from OCLC
  • Do no harm
  • Don’t preclude future use
  • Don’t let the first two be obstacles to action
  • Document what you do

Final point is that the data is your data.

“Digital information lasts forever — or five years, whichever comes first."
- Jeff Rothenberg

Q&A from Carol and Audience
Have you chosen not to digitize something at all?
  • Not volitionally, but because the things have not been identified.
  • Materials not significant. Intellectual value.

Interesting question → Work of an archivist as opposed to the work of a digitizer.
  • But, leave the organization of the creator in place if you can.
  • Archival students can be helpful. Box-level content organization can be done rather easily.

Grants for preservation or digitization?
  • St. Mary’s (TX) has received grant, but had a bad experience with a particular set of papers through DPLA Hub.
  • Have been several grants recently, Univ. of Utah (IMLS)
  • LYRASIS (mass digitization), Sharon has worked with them.
    • Margie Maes mentions it’s a challenge with smaller law collections
  • Duke has its own digitization center university-wide, can do small projects.

#LawRepositories - Lightning Talks

Todd Ito & Thomas Drueke
  • University of Chicago (Chicago Unbound)
  • Databases and scripts
  • A real-live relational database!
    • UI is MS Access

  • Mostly Python and SQLServer
    • Excellent third-party tools that are helpful in academic law libraries
  • Customizations built on DigitalCommons
  • Selenium for browser automation

David Holt
Migrating student journals
  • Different strategies employed by different libraries.
  • Why automate?
    • Saves time...
    • Saves effort...
    • Consistency

How to get metadata into the repository (batch upload):
  • Journal structure
  • Public links from Dropbox
  • bepress spreadsheets filled out well

Screen scraper used at Santa Clara is OutWit Hub.
  • Also harvesting from ILP

Parsing the data:
  • The most difficult part

Information & instructions available:

Sean Chen
Leveraging OAI-PMH
  • Repositories are necessarily for content
  • Content reuse requires shaping content

Metadata Harvesting — You’ve got to have a way to get the content out
  • OAI-PMH is simple
  • and stable
  • and used by bunch of different languages

eTOCs → Can be generated
Batch XML used in Wordpress

Use harvesting to create CrossRef records, DOAJ, indexing and abstracting for vendors.

With Law Journal Publishing:
  • Student editors
  • Challenging publishing environment
  • But the product is important!

Mark Williams & Dan Blackaby
Combination of Cornell Law with LII
  • Addition of 22 additional fields to those required by bepress.
  • A way of connecting things in the Google search results.
  • Addition of a Google Author ID
  • SSRN IDs are also identifiers

And now, it’s time for dinner. Will be back tomorrow at #LawRepositories

#LawRepositories - Hollie White and Avery Le - Using Metrics to Make Repository Decisions

Collecting the numbers:

The Obvious:
  • Number of papers
  • Number of downloads
  • Email of monthly usage from bepress
  • Author reports

Systematic Collecting:
  • What’s important to community?
  • When will you collect it?
    • Regularly!
  • Who wants to know?

bepress usage reports allow drilling down into the data.
Google Analytics.
  • For VISITS

Hollie collects:
  • Overall and collection level downloads.
  • Article level collections
  • Visitor information, looking for spikes.

Visits ≠ Downloads ≠ Citations
100 DLs to 1 Citation? Research a bit stale on this.

Communicates raw numbers to library leadership.
Also, to journal editors.
  • 9 student-run journals.
Monthly newsletter.
Annual celebration.

What’s Normal?
  • Every repository is different.
    • But, custom alerts in Google Alerts. Close to real-time monitor.
  • Spikes in traffic:
    • Is it a bot?
    • Is it conspiracy theorists?

Research Questions
  • Correlations and Multiple Regressions for statistical analysis of collection
    • Analysis in STATA
  • Example: Do metadata and downloads correlate?
  • Ranking of downloads

Visualizations of metric data:
  • Who do you show this to?
    • Faculty
    • Administrators
  • Search Queries (from Google Analytics)
    • Tool: Tagul
  • Donut Chart (social media data)
    • Tool: AmCharts
  • Map (network domains)
    • Tool: Google Fusion Tables

Use — turn metrics into metadata. Some keywords more searched then others? Why not use them?

#LawRepositories - Breakout - Management of Repositories: Issues and Concerns

I sat at a table discussing...

Staffing Repositories:

Most of the folks at the table had repositories with bepress; one librarian has repository through SSRN.
  • The division between the two is a requirement of an abstract, which of course isn’t a bad idea whether it’s required or not.

Print workflows for technical services / collection services folks have been scaled down with the paring of collections. Work on the repository adds new tasks and skills to the jobs. This would be a distributed model of staffing a repository, with many hands but one head.

Staff work in customizing bepress Digital Commons is limited — will often tell journal students that there are simply some things that can’t be done on the system. Customer support good and absolutely essential at time of set-up.

Promoting repositories (not quite on topic) is a matter of showing the metrics and convincing faculty to participate.

As for grants to hire staff, the only thing that seems to move the needle is digitizing a unique collection.

#LawRepositories - Kyle Courtney & James Heller - Copyright

Kyle Courtney

Federal Law with Constitutional origin
Importance of § 107, § 108, § 109 — Need to be our bread & butter.

Difficult Issues:
  • Identifying the author
  • Lots and lots of § 106 rights in the bundle!
    • Some rights retained by author
    • What counts as an author’s “personal website"
      • Sometimes it can be a repository site
    • Other non-commericial rights
  • The SPARC author addendum

How to Fill a Repository:
  • Faculty grant non-exclusive rights to repository for all future scholarly article
    • § 205(e) - Nonexclusive licenses as written agreement
    • Shifts the default; doesn’t force faculty.
  • Experimenting with different strategies to get faculty involved

James Heller

Very short set of comments and opened to questions:

  • Would receiving a DMCA takedown notice be embarrassing?
  • Developing a “SHERPA/RoMEO" for law journals?
    • There is a wiki — did not catch the name. [Help commenters?]
  • Content license:
    • Does § 108 first-sale apply? No way.
  • Panelists seem to be highly NON risk-averse about the distribution of U.S. law review publications.
  • No such cavalier attitude about professional publishing society.

#LawRepositories - Paul Royster - Keynote - Shaping the Repository


Nebraska-Lincoln - Repository on Digital Commons

The Philosophy of the UNL Repository:
  • Service-first approach
  • Make it easy
  • Immediate feedback to authors
  • Maximum uploading
  • Repository belongs to the faculty / not to the university, or the people… (Interesting.)

11th Amendment Sovereign Immunity?

Tractor Test Reports
  • The unique collection, might be popular.
  • You’ll never know

Royster’s Unvarnished Opinions on Repositories
  1. Do it for them and they will approve
  2. Doesn’t believe in OA for the sake of OA
  3. CC licenses (but not a requirement)
  4. No depository mandate
  5. Control over IP scholars create
  6. It’s a publishing operation

Repository as Platform for Original Publishing
  • Print on demand
  • Free ebooks
  • 33 titles to date from publishing / really about access

Publishing Business Model is Broken:
  • Audience: 25 million U.S. college students and faculty; 3 billion internet uses online
  • Use library publishing as a bulwark against publishers
  • Eventually replace them?
  • Publishers exploit the faculty, bleed the library. We can make them stop.