Open Access •

Casebooks and the First Sale Doctrine

What’s going on with casebooks and the first sale doctrine? If you’re a law professor or student, you may have heard rumblings last week about a new program from Wolters Kluwer’s AspenLaw called the Connected Casebook. Under the initial proposal, print casebooks would come with long term access to a digital edition with note taking and highlighting tools. In exchange, students would be required to return their print books to Aspen at the end of the term and forbidden from reselling or giving them to other students. Aspen has since backpedalled, but this arrangement is still an option.

You can read more about what happened and why this potential encroachment on the first sale doctrine is problematic in my guest post at the American Association of Law Libraries’ Washington Blawg.

While the suggestions there are intended more for law librarians, another thing you can do to help is to use and request open casebooks. There are a couple open casebook platforms (as well as some individual open casebooks), including HLS’s own H2O. 

App of the Month: Sitegeist

Sitegeist LogoIf you are one of the many students who has ventured away from the Law School campus for the summer, you might find yourself in a new city that you don’t yet know much about. One great mobile app that will help you to learn more about the demographics, popular hot spots and weather of your current location is Sitegeist. Created by the Sunlight Foundation, which ” is a non-partisan non-profit that uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent and accountable,”  this app pulls together information from a variety of publicly available APIs, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Yelp!, and Dark Sky to create a picture of the area around you. All information is displayed in the form of visually appealing infographics and in many cases they link you out to more information if your interest is piqued. Whether you want to learn more about a city you have never visited or you are looking to familiarize yourself with a city you have lived in your whole life, Sitegeist is a fun example of how publicly available data can be used. The app is available for free for both iOS and Android devices. If you like the app, you might want to also check out the other two apps created as part of the National Data Apps series: Sunlight Health, a healthcare rating and drug safety app, and Upwardly Mobile, an app to help users find new places to live based on the available data.

Interested in finding more mobile apps? Check out our guide to Mobile Apps for Legal Research and More.

852 RARE : Just Launched: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Digital Suite!

The Harvard Law School Library is pleased to announce the release of the Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Digital Suite.  The Suite is comprised of five manuscript collections as well as three image groups. Every attempt was made to digitize as much of each collection as possible and only a small percentage of the Library’s Holmes primary material that was not digitized. The manuscript collections included in the Suite are:

A forty year old Holmes as the newly minted Lecturer on Common law at the Lowell Institute. olvwork385804.

1)    The John G. Palfrey Collection of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Papers,  1715-1938

2)     Mark DeWolfe Howe Research Materials Related to the Life of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 1858-1968

3)    The Edward J. Holmes Collection of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Materials, 1853-1944

4)     Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Addenda, 1818-1978

5)    Letters from Holmes to Lady Castletown Small Manuscript Collection

The key component of the OWH, Jr. Suite is the discovery environment developed by the Library’s Digital Lab and called 3D (Discovery and Delivery of Digital collections). 3D enables a person to search and browse across all eight collections in the Suite from one access point. A search of the over 100,000 digitized documents and over 1,000 images can also be easily refined by the site’s faceted search functions.

The Suite also supports active involvement from users who are offered the opportunity to add tags to items as well as participate in discussions. Visitors to the site are encouraged to increase the accessibility to the collections by adding tags designating topics, names, dates, and locations to items they view.  Researchers can also participate in forum discussions about the collections themselves or topics they introduce.  By becoming active members of the OWH community, users increase the utility and discoverability of the site.

The Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Digital Suite was made possible by the work of many individuals. The Library’s Digital Lab team of Steve Chapman, Andy Silva, Lindsay Dumas and Craig Smith all developed the 3D software as well as did quality assurance checks on material returning from imaging services. Ed Moloy and Margaret Peachy of the Library’s Historical & Special Collections unit provided the finding aids with the additional metadata necessary for 3D’s optimal functionality.

Post contributed by Edwin Moloy, Curator of Modern Manuscripts

Interested in getting published?

Thinking about trying to publish in a law journal? Many law students have done it! Join the library in exploring the tools you can use to make the process of submitting an article for publication easier, including:

•how to identify potential journals and measure their impact/quality
•how to use ExpressO and other means to submit your manuscript
•how to assess publication agreements and your rights as an author

Sessions are available:
April 12th, noon-1:00pm
April 12th, 5:00-6:00pm

Register here.

More Open Access to Law from Justia

New daily opinion summary alerts service

In March, Justia launched a fabulous daily opinion summary service where you can receive alerts by jurisdiction or legal practice area.  http://law.justia.com/subscriptions    Recently,  it announced that along with the United State Supreme Court and all Federal Appellate Courts, the service now includes all 50 states and over 60 legal practice areas/subjects.   You can have them delivered by Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to a blog/RSS feed.   http://law.justia.com/about-daily-summaries

Eventually, they hope to include summary blogs with RSS feeds for all [U.S.] state supreme courts, the US Supreme Court and all Federal appellate courts.

According to Cicely Wilson at Justia, summaries are written by a team of 4 writers (lawyers), all of whom are bar-certified.

You can read the original announcement about the service and  its update when it added its 50th state at

 

New website for legal commentary

Justia also recently launched Verdict, a great new website dedicated to legal analysis and commentary about a variety of issues from an interesting array of contributors including Marci Hamilton and Michael Dorf.  It even includes a section with book reviews. Read more about its launch on the Justia website and check out Robert Ambrogi’s Justia launches site for legal commentary for a great description of the service.  http://bit.ly/nYfi6N

An Interview with Jeff Dunn, creator of HLS Journals

jeff

Last year, you might have noticed some major changes to the websites for our law journals with the launch of HLS Journals, a great new platform for looking at aggregated content for most HLS journals.   We recently interviewed Jeff Dunn (Web Coordinator for the Dean of Students Office), responsible for the care and maintenance of the law journal websites.

Et Seq.: When did you launch the new aggregated service? Why did you decide to do it?
Jeff: I launched HLSJournals.com in the fall of 2010. Like most projects, it was born out of the need for me to quickly see what each journal is writing about without having to navigate to individual sites. By automatically pulling in information, I was also able to promote articles on a journal’s behalf with minimal effort. For example, HLSJournals automatically populates Facebook and Twitter and has an RSS feed all its own that users can subscribe to.

Et Seq.: What are the statistics like on it?
Jeff: Even though the site has never been promoted by HLS or any student journal, it figures prominently in search results for student journals and articles. Since it publishes articles at the exact same time as the regular journals, the web crawlers see it as a timely and authoritative source with lots of backlinks. This has led to us seeing about 2,000 pageviews/day on average. When journals are covering something more topical that people are searching for, that number has risen to nearly 10,000 pageviews/day.

Et Seq:. I know that you are also experimenting with mobile technology, including Kindle eBooks on Amazon. Do you have some preliminary download statistics, and why you decided to do it?
Jeff: The Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policyhas been the first test case for the Student Journals in the world of Kindle publishing. Thanks to the more than 300 downloads per volume, we have decided to start pushing all student journals onto the platform. This is being done alongside another big push toward other mobile apps as well.

Et Seq.: You have done a lot of major redesign on the journal websites individually. Could you share some of the enhancements, changes?
Jeff: The biggest change has to be the increase in online-only content. When I first started in 2008, most journal websites were simply lists of journal articles with some PDF links here and there. That type of site wouldn’t be tolerated by today’s typical web user. Nearly all HLS Student Journal websites are dynamic and engaging sites that are frequently updated by the students. Most enhancements over the past year have now been for a step beyond simply making nicer-looking websites. Students now want private wikis, document sharing systems, polling systems, payment systems, and more. My office is always up to the challenge and it’s always exciting when a student comes up with an innovative idea that we implement. The best part is the time when other journals see this new feature and want it for themselves as well. It just shows you that there’s a purpose to all the crazy requests you get from students. The most recent request was to “recreate LinkedIn but just for our journal” which was a bit beyond our scope. I won’t name the journal but it’s actually not a bad idea…

Et Seq.: Why do you like using WordPress as a platform for the journals?
Jeff: It’s open source and always on the cutting edge of security, optimization, and user experience. As one of the most well-regarded publishing platforms, I started using WordPress in 2007 and was glad to see that it was the victor in the publishing wars. Joomla and other platforms have simply been left in the dust by the WordPress community. As a platform for the journals, WordPress is by far the most robust and easy-to-use for the students. They are not necessarily as tech-savvy as me and my office (some students are, however) so having a relatively simple UI and UX is crucial. I certainly tested and considered other options but the WordPress ecosystem (premium theme websites, plugins, WordCamps, support forums, etc.) means WordPress will be around for a very long time, barring any sudden changes to the WordPress mission.

Et Seq.: Any other plans you can share?
Jeff: We’re jumping with both feet into the world of mobile apps. We are currently developing and testing iPad, iOS, and Android apps that aggregate and make all journal content a lot easier and more fun to find and enjoy. We also have a couple of other projects that aren’t quite ready to be made public just yet.

If you want to hear more about Jeff’s work with WordPress as a journal publishing platform, you might want to check out his remarks during October’s Implementing the Durham Statement: Best Practices for Open Access Law Journals at Duke Law School.

Supreme Court TV: They’re Younger than That Now

A recent press release announced:

“Proceedings of the Supreme Court . . . can now be watched live over the internet, in a significant development for the transparency and accessibility of the highest court in the land.”

“[Now] legal professionals, students and members of the public interested in the work of the Supreme Court do not have to travel . . . to see proceedings.”

Amazed? Okay, the ellipses replace “of the United Kingdom” and “to London,” but still, especially to an American, it is pretty big news. Live streaming of the UK Supreme Court’s hearings and judgments began on May 16, via Sky News.

According to the press notice, the Sky News site provides links to the Supreme Court’s case summaries for those being webcast. Check the Court’s Sittings Page to plan your UKSC viewing, being mindful of the 5 hour time difference.

UK colleagues recommend the UKSC Blog for excellent coverage of the Court and upcoming cases.

For commentary on this development, read Max Atkinson’s Blog (“The case for banning television from courts fell apart years ago”).

On March 16, 2011, Lord Neuberger presented the Judicial Studies Board Annual Lecture, entitled “Open Justice Unbound? It makes provocative reading for citizens of this New World nation.

A tip of the tricorne to The BIALL Blog.

On Your Mark: The DPLA Beta Sprint is On!

The Library: Roaring into the Future

The Library: Roaring into the Future, by Eric Drooker. New Yorker, May 23, 2011.

Do you dream of a comprehensive digital public library that would make online access to knowledge available to all? The Digital Public Library of America Steering Committee does, and today invites you to submit your ideas to a beta development phase of their undertaking.

The committee looks forward to receiving ideas, models, and prototypes, whether clearly practical or a little surprising, for aspects of the DPLA, including but not limited to tools, user interfaces, and architecture. Everyone is a stakeholder and everyone’s idea is welcome.

Statements of interest must be received by June 15, 2011. Final submissions will be due by September 1, 2011. Read more about it here.

Roar on!

Q and A on Open Access with Subbiah Arunachalam of the Centre for Internet and Society (Bangalore)

Amrit Dhir, a 1L at Harvard Law School, has been working with the library on open access activities.  He recently had an opportunity to interview Subbiah Arunachalam of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in India.  Check out the interview on the Berkman website.

CRCL Colloquium: Gay Rights and Lefts: Rights Critique and Distributive Analysis for Real Reform

March 9, 2011
5:00pm
Harvard Law School, Austin North

The Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review is hosting a colloquium tonight. Professor Libby Adler from Northeastern University School of Law will be presenting her paper “Gay Rights and Lefts: Rights Critique and Distributive Analysis for Real Law Reform” and will respond to remarks on the piece that were posted last week. Professor Adler’s presentation will be followed by comments from Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Professor Adrienne Davis of Washington Law School.