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June 21, 2008

Liveblogging the CALI Conference 2008: Open Access to the Law

Open access law is here (or coming soon), but law schools aren't big players in advancing it, or more importantly, doing interesting things with all that law. These new players are all different birds: they have different motives, are decentralized, are administratively independent, differently funded, and operating in a wide variety of national settings. And they are not going away, nor federating under one banner. So Tom Bruce at Cornell Law School is building OAI-PMH, a framework for querying and harvesting from these repositories to enable some technological federation. Repositories that adhere to OAI-PMH standards should respond to the following questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What have you got?
  3. How is your repository organized?

And using this standard should allow educational efforts like eLangdell® to tie materials to caselaw.

John Joergensen at Rutgers is experimenting with one Open Law initiative, public.resource.org...

... and has integrated it into the library's own federal law search page, with features enhancements to the results display and associated metadata. This is leading Rutgers to consider dropping Lexis to cut costs down the road, though doing so would sacrifice the Lexis database of secondary, non-legal materials. Furthermore, law schools are worried about the future of Hein Online: many no longer receive paper copies of journals and are entirely dependent on Hein. A backup, owned by law schools themselves, presents more safety.

It looks like CALI will be jumping in to provide some leadership and coordination of future, joint efforts. Stay tuned.

June 21, 2008 in Conferences | Permalink

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