May 25, 2017

Law Library database makes more legal scholarship available

The Cornell Law Library is partnering in the development and management of LawArXiv, a new online database of legal scholarship that aims to make important research more widely available to scholars, legal researchers and the public.

LawArXiv is a free, open access repository for legal scholarship, maintained and owned by legal scholars and law librarians.

The Law Library developed, supports and manages LawArXiv in collaboration with the Legal Information Preservation Alliance, the Mid-America Law Library Consortium and the NELLCO Law Library Consortium. Through grants, the Center for Open Science serves as the technology partner and hosts the platform.

“Our partnership in the LawArXiv project is a reflection of Cornell Law School’s deep and enduring commitment to open access principles, and the availability of legal information to all,” said Femi Cadmus, the Edward Cornell Law Librarian.

Members of LawArXiv said they are committed to long-term stewardship of the site, which they created to meet a growing need for access to this information. LawArXiv is designed to make it easier for researchers to search and retrieve the latest legal research, which can otherwise be hidden behind paywalls or difficult to find.

LawArXiv administrators have already started adding current research to the site.

“Scholars have a moral duty to make their work broadly accessible,” said James Grimmelmann, professor of law at Cornell Law School and Cornell Tech and a member of the Law Library’s Legal Scholarship Advisory Board. “In this day and age, if the public can’t find and read your work, it’s not really ‘published.’”

Melanie Lefkowitz is staff writer, editor and social media coordinator for Cornell University Library.