Osgoode Digital Commons: One Million Downloads and Still Counting!

ODCBannerOsgoode Digital Commons, the institutional repository and digital archive of Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, offering world-wide access to the research and publications of the School’s scholarly community, achieved a significant milestone when it reached one million downloads in the early morning of Monday, November 21, 2016, less than three years since its inception.

The honour of being the one-millionth full-text download from Osgoode Digital Commons goes to the article “Will Women Judges Really Make a Difference?” by the late Supreme Court Justice Bertha Wilson (Osgoode Hall Law Journal 28.3 (1990) : 507-522). This article is illustrative not only of the breadth of scholarship connected to Osgoode, but of Osgoode’s commitment to social justice and the engagement with the legal profession. It’s also indicative of the power of an open-access publishing platform on the web: this article, which has had over 3,000 downloads in the past year, is almost thirty years old, but enjoys continued relevancy and currency because of Digital Commons.

This map illustrates the distribution of downloads from Osgoode Digital Commons around the world and the consequent international impact of Osgoode research:

International Distribution of Osgoode Scholarship

International Distribution of Osgoode Scholarship (Click to enlarge)

 

Osgoode Digital Commons was launched in February, 2014, as the institutional repository of Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. The first publication to be posted to the Commons was the complete archive of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, the School’s flagship journal, which continues to be our most popular resource, generating half the full-text downloads. Osgoode Digital Commons has proved a successful platform for the open access publishing of journals and is now home to five of the law reviews connected to Osgoode, including the Journal of Law and Social Policy and the Supreme Court Law Reivew: Annual Constitutional Cases Conference.

But law journals are only one part of the story. Osgoode Digital Commons is the digital archive of the scholarly activities and publications of the research community of Osgoode Hall Law School. Though the Commons was created and is maintained by the Osgoode Library, it is very much a collaborative undertaking, enjoying the active support and collaboration of both the School’s research office (Associate Dean, Research & Institutional Relations) and advancement office (External Relations & Communications). With the commendable support and co-operation of faculty, the archive is comprehensive, including records of every publication, media appearance or mention, conference presentation and event for each active faculty member. Whenever possible, the record includes the full text of the publication or related documentation, including videos and image galleries. Because of this comprehensiveness and inclusiveness, our Digital Commons in not only Osgoode’s institutional repository but also, since this past September, officially the site for the personal research pages of all Osgoode faculty. If our Digital Commons has been a success, it is a reflection of the unreserved support of our faculty and the quality of their scholarship.

Osgoode Digital Commons has been a cornerstone of Osgoode’s institutional digital initiatives and research intensification activities, as well as the Library’s commitment to scholarly communication, the preservation of the School’s research archive and the provision of open access to research. It has been instrumental in making Osgoode research available not only to the wider international scholarly community but to a world of people hungry for quality information about the law, all of it free and open access. Osgoode Digital Commons has been played a significant role in enhancing the impact of Osgoode research both in Canada and internationally; in fact, two-thirds of the downloads from Osgoode Digital Commons are from people and institutions outside of Canada.

Finally, we would like to thank the technical and client support folks at bepress Digital Commons, especially Dave Seitz and Camille Peters, without whose knowledge, insights and unfailing assistance there would be no Osgoode Digital Commons.

Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples Final Report (1966) and Documents Now Online

RCAP_Logo_rev2016In recognition of the twentieth anniversary of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), and just in time for the Sharing the Land, Sharing a Future National Forum currently underway in Winnipeg , Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has digitized and made available not just the full text of the Royal Commission’s 5-volume Final Report, but also many supporting documents, including research reports and transcripts of testimonies from the Commission, available online in a searchable database. This new database supersedes the earlier CDRom version of the report (Seven Generations ) which has been inaccessible due to its outdated software platform.

The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) was established by Order in Council on August 26, 1991, and it submitted its Final Report in October 1996. The RCAP was mandated to investigate and propose solutions to the challenges affecting the relationship between Aboriginal peoples (First Nations, Inuit, Métis), the Canadian government and Canadian society as a whole.

This database provides access to documents, such as intervenor project submissions, publications, research reports and hearing transcripts that supported the writing of the report of the RCAP.

The database is keyword searchable and filterable by:

  • Document Type
  • Public Hearing Date
  • Place

For more information about LAC’s initiative, click here.

Canadian Provincial Statutes Now Available on HeinOnline

Hein-Provincial-feature1A comprehensive collection of Canadian provincial statutes in digital format is now available in the new Provincial Statutes of Canada library on HeinOnline. The collection includes statutes, both public and private, for all ten Canadian provinces (though not – yet? – the three territories) in PDF copies of the official statute volumes as published by the provincial Queen’s Printers. The collection currently includes nearly 1,500 volumes and more than 850,000 pages.

This is a significant event for a number of reasons. Unlike other jurisdictions, Canada has done almost nothing to digitize our legal print heritage, a topic I have written about frequently (most recently here). Where our law societies, attorneys general and law libraries have failed us, Hein has stepped in and digitized the entire body of Canadian provincial legislation, making it available for the first time in digital format and simplifying the work of Canadian lawyers, researchers and librarians.

The collections can either be searched full-text or browsed. You have the option to select a province from an alphabetical listing or by clicking on the map provided on the library’s homepage. Both current and historical coverage are provided for the following provinces:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario

Historical Statutes only are provided for these provinces:

  • Manitoba
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

Please note that levels of historical coverage may vary. For all provinces, historical coverage begins at least at the date they entered Confederation. For a few provinces, some colonial statutes are included.

For more information about the Provincial Statutes of Canada library on HeinOnline, click here.

Library Pop-Up Workshops

Please join us at the Law Library for these Library Pop-UP Workshops:

Finding Statutes and/or Amendment to Statutes on HeinOnline
Date: 9-Nov-2016
Time: 12:30 PM – 12:50 PM
Location: Law Library Upper Floor

Let’s talk about legal citation
Date: 16-Nov-2016
Time: 12:30 PM – 12:50 PM
Location: Law Library Upper Floor

See you there!

New HeinOnline Library: Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture and Law

heinonline_logoWe are pleased to announce that we now have access to this new library on HeinOnline.  Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law, edited by Paul Finkelman with the assistance of Hein’s editorial staff, brings together for the first time all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. An introduction to the collection by the editor is available here.

The collection also includes more than 1,000 books and pamphlets about slavery – defending it, attacking it or simply analyzing it, including an expansive slavery collection of mostly pre-Civil War 0materials from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. The editors have also gathered every English-language legal commentary on slavery published before 1920, including many essays and articles in obscure, hard-to-find journals in the United States and elsewhere. The collection will continue to grow, not only from new scholarship but also from historical material that is added as it is located.

A note about Hein and their commendable model of access:

HeinOnline is to be commended on the model of access they have developed for this new library. We at Osgoode and York will have access through our subscription to HeinOnline. However, as a sign of their dedication to the dissemination of information and knowledge on this important subject, Hein is making this database available to anyone in the world who would like access, at no cost! While there is no charge for access to Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law, Hein encourages everyone who registers for access to the valuable material in this database to make a donation, if they are able, to the NAACP, the United Negro College Fund, or another charity of the user’s choice which supports civil rights, equality, or the advancement of people of color. Making a donation is voluntary, and is not required to access the database.

For information on using and searching Slavery in America library, click here.

WestlawNext Canada training

The library is pleased to offer WestlawNext Canada training next Monday, October 17 from 12:30 PM. to 2:00 PM. in Room 2011.

WestlawNext Canada offers access to unique content, similar but different to Lexis Advance Quicklaw. Knowing which sources are available on the different services will help you do your legal research effectively.

Reserve your spot by emailing library@osgoode.yorku.ca with WestlawNext Canada training in the subject

Hope to see you there!

Lexis Advance Quicklaw training

Not sure how to use the new Lexis Advance Quicklaw effectively?

The Library is offering Lexis Advance Quicklaw training next Monday, Sept. 26 from 12:30 PM. to 2:00 PM. in Room 2011.

Here are some of the new features and functionality that will be highlighted:

– Learn to search Canadian primary and secondary sources using a new design that features a streamlined single intuitive search box.

– Learn how selecting favorite sources or pre-search filters can help narrow your starting point.

– Discover how to search by name, by source or topic, citation or keyword; navigate and refine search results; deliver documents; note up cases and statutes using the quickie Case Citator and the QuickCITE Legislation Citator.

– Discover how the ‘History Content Pod’ can help you streamline your workflow by viewing your search history, search terms, most recently opened documents, allowing you to jump right back into any part of your research.

– See how highlighting and annotating can help you keep track of important and relevant material by saving them to customizable and sharable folders.

– Find out how to access the legal products previously available on CCH Online.

Reserve your spot by emailing library@osgoode.yorku.ca, with Lexis Advance Quicklaw training in the subject line.

Hope to see you there!