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UMKC University Libraries

Scholarly Impact & Repositories

This guide teaches faculty how to increase their scholarly impact, including downloads and citations. It also advises faculty on how to work librarians to get their scholarship into the law school's institutional repository and SSRN.

The New Playing Field for Scholarly Access, Impact, and Law School Branding

Picture of different platforms for access and citation and download metrics



Introduction to the Pathfinder

It's been a new world for access to legal scholarship, scholarly metrics, and institutional repositories for some time. To adapt, in summer of 2021, the Law Library began development of an Institutional Repository on the Digital Commons platform offered by Elsevier/Bepress. Through this service, the library hopes to improve our law school’s brand, increase faculty downloads, attract authors and new faculty, generate more citations (as documented in literature),[1] and provide open access to the legal community and the general public. Through the Institutional Repository, the law school also has its own flexible vehicle for long-term preservation. 

For a good example of a successful repository see the University of Missouri Law School's Scholarship Repository, established almost a decade ago, or the more recent digital commons at the University of Utah. For a law school using its digital commons to provide access to far more than traditional scholarship, see University of Georgia Law Schools Digital Commons.

Increasing the visibility of faculty scholarship will require an effort beyond establishing an institutional repository. We will continue to prioritize our efforts to support faculty uploads to SSRN (and from everything we know, SSRN and the Digital Commons platforms serve different audiences--in other words, we can expect no dilution of SSRN downloads), but there are other issues that impact the visibility of scholarship and what can be posted to the Institutional Repository and SSRN that this guide will address.

[1] See James M. Donovan, Carol Watson, & Caroline Osborne, The Open Access Advantage for American Law Reviews, J. Patent & Trademark Office Society Edison Law + Tech. (Mar. 2, 2015),; Bonnie Shucha, Representing Law Faculty Scholarly Impact: Strategies for Improving Citation Metrics Accuracy and Promoting Scholarly Visibility, University of Wisconsin Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series Paper No. 1692 (forthcoming in Legal References Services Quarterly and a Hein book),



Faculty Colloquium Vidio (Nov. 11, 2021)



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