New Article: “Are Elite Journals Declining?”

This interesting piece by Canadian and Estonian scholars is here.

The abstract reads:

Previous work indicates that over the past 20 years, the highest quality work have been published in an increasingly diverse and larger group of journals. In this paper we examine whether this diversification has also affected the handful of elite journals that are traditionally considered to be the best. We examine citation patterns over the past 40 years of 7 long-standing traditionally elite journals and 6 journals that have been increasing in importance over the past 20 years. To be among the top 5% or 1% cited papers, papers now need about twice as many citations as they did 40 years ago. Since the late 1980s and early 1990s elite journals have been publishing a decreasing proportion of these top cited papers. This also applies to the two journals that are typically considered as the top venues and often used as bibliometric indicators of “excellence”, Science and Nature. On the other hand, several new and established journals are publishing an increasing proportion of most cited papers. These changes bring new challenges and opportunities for all parties. Journals can enact policies to increase or maintain their relative position in the journal hierarchy. Researchers now have the option to publish in more diverse venues knowing that their work can still reach the same audiences. Finally, evaluators and administrators need to know that although there will always be a certain prestige associated with publishing in “elite” journals, journal hierarchies are in constant flux so inclusion of journals into this group is not permanent.

Hat tip to DocuTicker.com.

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

“Judges and Their Papers” by Kathryn A. Watts, Univ. of Washington School of Law — Who should own a federal judge’s papers?

University of Washington (UW) School of Law Associate Professor Kathryn A. Watt’s subject, thought-provoking paper is here.

Hat tip to Law Librarian Blog.

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

A Helpful Resource (that’s been around a while): AALL’s Legislative Action Center

A helpful resource on current U.S. federal and state legislative activity — which has been around a while (since October 2011, actually, per this posting) — is the American Association of Law Libraries’ (AALL’s):

Legislative Action Center (LAC)

Content at the LAC frequently includes convenient “Advocacy One-Pagers” — see, for example:

  • here ["Urge your Representative to Support the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 1380)], &
  • here [PDF of Advocacy One-Pager "Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act"]

The LAC is helpfully searchable too, per the following layout:

Search within Government Relations

[Advanced Search]

Cross-posted on Legal Research Plus.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

Legislative Research & Intent LLC (LRI) Launches “Online Store” Research

Legislative Research & Intent LLC (LRI) has launched an

“Online Store”

and California legislative history and legislative intent research is reportedly available to academic patrons (law school faculty and students) at no charge.

Content is described as follows:

  • 1943-2006
    Every regular session California bill that became law from 1943 through 2006 is covered in this part of our unique, groundbreaking database. No other service offers this comprehensive coverage. While the number of available files varies per bill, we provide one or more sources of legislative history for every bill that passed.
  • 2007-Current
    Selected, regular session California bills that became law from 2007 to current are covered in this part of our database. Because it consists of files from our precompiled legislative histories, multiple files are provided for each bill. If your bill is not found, consider our Custom or Core reports, or contact us.

Carolina Rose

Carolina C. Rose, J.D., President
Legislative Research & Intent LLC
1107 9th Street, Suite 220
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 442-7660 Phone
(800) 530-7613 Toll Free
(916) 442-1529 Fax
Carolina.Rose@lrihistory.com
www.lrihistory.com

has very kindly provided the following updated information about LRI’s offer here.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

Bloomberg Law is moving up

according to the Heard on the Street column in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Data Don’t Add Up for Thomson Reuters.”  From the story:

 a survey of legal-information customers by Claudio Aspesi of Sanford C. Bernstein in January found that 61% of respondents had a subscription to Bloomberg Law, up from 36% the year before. And some respondents said Bloomberg Law was getting closer to offering a breadth of data needed to completely replace a subscription to Westlaw or rival Reed Elsevier’s Lexis-Nexis.

New Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Case to Protect Free Speech Rights of Online Archive Public.Resource.org

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a complaint on behalf of Public.Resource.Org — under signature of Lead Attorney for EFF Corynne McSherry, a Stanford Law School graduate — in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California:

Public.Resource.Org v. Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, Inc. [SMACNA] (N.D. Cal. Dkt. No. 13-00815)

EFF has:

asked a federal judge today to protect the free speech rights of an online archive of laws and legal standards after a wrongheaded copyright claim forced the removal of a document detailing important technical standards required by the federal government and several states.

Please see: “Free Speech Battle Over Publication of Federal Law” (February 22, 2013)

And please find the complaint here.

For more information about Public.Resource.Org, please see here.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

New Goettingen (Göttingen) Journal of International Law (GOJIL) Issue

The Goettingen (Göttingen) Journal of International Law (GOJIL) has just published its most recent issue GoJIL Vol. 4 No. 3 (2012).

There are 8 different articles, including the 1st one by Jochen von Bernstoff, which analyzes Georg Jellinek’s ideas on State sovereignty as well as his concept of ‘auto-limitations’ in the 20th century.

There are also 2 articles on the principles of international criminal law, and 3 articles on the impact of human rights on international and national developments.

Among these latter 3 is the article written by the winner of the annual Student Essay Competition, Roee Ariav, and an article that deals with the issue of so called ‘land grabbing’ in Sub-Saharan Africa, written by Semahagn Gashu Abebe.

GOJIL is an e-journal of legal scholarship focusing on International Law. It is the first German international law journal published exclusively in English and is run by students from the University of Goettingen.

National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) Report on U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO)

The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) has recently published a 166-page report on the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), prepared for the GPO, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the U.S. Congress — please see:

Rebooting the Government Printing Office: Keeping America Informed in the Digital Age (January 2013)

Among other things, the report contains 15 recommendations:

  • Recommendation 1. To enable the federal government to carry out its role of providing information to its citizens, Congress should establish a collaborative interagency process, and designate a lead agency or interagency organization, to develop and implement a government-wide strategy for managing the lifecycle of digital government information.
  • Recommendation 2. To ensure GPO can carry out its mandate of providing permanent public access to government information, GPO should enhance its position and capabilities by offering an expanded set of services on a cost-recovery basis that contribute to the lifecycle management of government information. These services could include content management, metadata creation, authentication, preservation, and cataloging. GPO should develop strategies to encourage executive branch agencies to provide publications to GPO to enable permanent public access.
  • Recommendation 3. To safeguard the historical documents of our democracy for future generations, GPO should work with depository libraries and other library groups to develop a comprehensive plan for preserving the print collection of government documents. This plan should include cataloging, digitizing, and preserving tangible copies of government publications, a timeline for completion, and options for supporting the effort financially, as well as a process for ingesting digitized copies into the Federal Digital System. Congress should appropriate funds for the purpose of cataloging, digitizing, and preserving the government collection.
  • Recommendation 4. To ensure the long-term preservation and access of digital government publications, GPO and Congress should explore alternative funding models for the Federal Digital System in order to ensure a stable and sufficient funding source.
  • Recommendation 5. To preserve the relevance and viability of the Federal Depository Library Program, GPO should continue to collaborate with depository libraries and the broader library community to develop a national strategic plan for the program that gives libraries the flexibility and tools they need to provide permanent public access to government information in the digital age.
  • Recommendation 6. To ensure the Publication and Information Sales Program continues to play a role in information dissemination and is able to recover costs, GPO should continue to aggressively research and expand into new markets.
  • Recommendation 7. To enable further cost reductions, Congress should consider changes in its demand for print. GPO should develop estimates of cost savings that could be realized through potential changes in the requirements for printing the Congressional Record. GPO should quantify the savings that could be realized through such options as printing fewer copies of the Congressional Record or ending the daily start-of-business print requirement while continuing to provide electronic access.
  • Recommendation 8. To continue to realize government-wide benefits, GPO should continue to perform executive branch printing, while further reducing costs and improving customer service.
  • Recommendation 9. To generate additional revenue, GPO should continue to pursue smart card business. To assist GPO in growing this business and to leverage GPO’s smart card expertise for public benefit, Congress should consider whether to
  • Recommendation 10. To effectively integrate and align the agency’s human resource policies, programs, and practices with its strategies for achieving mission success and desired programmatic results, GPO should develop and institutionalize a human capital planning capacity. GPO should make strategic human capital planning a high priority and use multiple strategies to ensure the recruitment, retention, development, and rewarding of a highly motivated and diverse workforce.
  • Recommendation 11. To ensure it is able to continue to plan for and respond to future changes, GPO should continue its transformation by enhancing its strategic planning capabilities, broadening its change management efforts, and continually reviewing customer product and service needs.
  • Recommendation 12. To achieve future organizational and operational cost savings in the Customer Services program, GPO should further consolidate regional office locations, space, and staff and continue to identify and implement best management practices (such as cross training, telework, work sharing arrangements, and increasing managerial spans of control) and available technologies to the greatest extent possible.
  • Recommendation 13. To realize significant potential savings and enhance revenues (as well as improve customer service), GPO should accelerate the development and deployment of a new automated print procurement system.
  • Recommendation 14. To reduce GPO’s facilities footprint while increasing the leasing of unused building space, GPO should continue pursuing incremental lease arrangements.
  • Recommendation 15. To address workforce skills imbalances, GPO should continue to pursue targeted, gradual staffing reductions in specific areas, as well as functional consolidations, when feasible and appropriate.

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

U.S. Library of Congress Adds the Congressional Record to Congress.gov

The U.S. Library of Congress has added — among other things — the Congressional Record to Congress.gov.

Please see here.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

FDsys [Federal Digital System] Adds Enhancements to U.S. Statutes at Large

From the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO):

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) recently enhanced the U.S. Statutes at Large collection on FDsys by adding descriptive metadata for public laws, private laws, concurrent resolutions, and presidential proclamations. For approximately 32,000 individual documents, the enhancements allow researchers improved searchability and retrieval by searching such metadata fields as title, SuDocs classification number, date, category, etc. The U.S. Statutes at Large collection includes volumes 65-115, covering the 82nd -107th Congresses, from 1951-2002.

The additional descriptive data was added by both manual and automatic processes. A team of GPO staff members from Library Services and Content Management (LSCM), including catalogers and automation librarians, added descriptive metadata for titles, public law numbers, and dates.

In 2011, GPO announced the release of digitized volumes of the U.S. Statutes at Large, in partnership with the Library of Congress. The U.S. Statutes at Large is the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress.

To browse U.S. Government publications at FDsys, please see here.

 

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.