Osgoode 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 (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.