Duke Law School’s commitment to open access principles and continued leadership in free digital publication of legal scholarship, have been highlighted by two significant milestones in recent months.
The Law School’s Scholarship Repository, launched in 2005 to maximize open access to the scholarly works of Duke Law faculty and affiliates, passed the 10,000-entry mark in April, and has now been used to download scholarly works more than 3 million times.
The repository, which re-launched in 2009 in partnership with BePress' Digital Commons, initially provided free, full-text access to more than 3,000 scholarly articles written by Duke Law faculty or published in Duke Law’s student-edited journals. The repository’s 10,000th piece of scholarship is a 1942 article by William R. Roalfe, The Duke University Law Library: An Account of Its Development, according to Digital Initiatives Librarian Hollie White.
“Every piece in our repository is something written by faculty, either current or historical, or published by one of our journals,” White said. “It is just a fantastic collection of hard work from decades of Duke Law community members.”
“What I am most impressed with is the amount of scholarship available in the repository,” said Senior Associate Dean for Information Services Richard Danner, a leading proponent of open access in legal scholarship who has overseen the creation of the repository. “It shows the amount of work that Hollie and others on our staff have done to make sure that the scholarship of our faculty and journal authors is readily available in a stable, open environment.”
The number of people using the repository to view and download legal scholarship speaks to the need for free access to those kinds of materials, White said.
“I think it is exciting that the library has been able to work with our community to collect such a great representation of Duke Law’s scholarly output, and our 3 million-plus downloads just goes to show how that scholarly output really fulfills a greater need for this information to be freely available to the general public,” she said. “In April 2013 alone we had over 200,000 downloads.”