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Academic Law Libraries and Scholarship: Communication, Publishing, and Ranking

Neacsu, Elena Dana; Donovan, James

We argue that the increasing role of scholarly impact in determining a school’s status will provide a new opportunity for libraries to assume a critical institutional role behind its traditional support of scholarship and teaching. In practice, this increased role can evolve in a multitude of ways. Based on the data used here, a strong argument can be made in favor of each library taking charge of both their faculty scholarly impact and publication of its school’s journals. Based on the success story of Perma.cc, a good argument can be made in favor of creating a consortium supporting both these endeavors. Either way, our thesis is that libraries cannot confine themselves to the roles they played in the predigital era. Law faculties create scholarship, and law students decide how much of that scholarship is published in student-edited journals. Academic law libraries are best situated to publish those journals on the digital platforms that librarians curate. Libraries have evolved from hubs of information into nuclei of scholarship support through creative use of technology. Law schools need us to streamline this process. Universities need us to start the long-due process of rethinking the libraries' role in the journal publishing enterprise.

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Journal of Law and Education

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Diamond Law Library
Published Here
January 8, 2021