Information Management

Alternatives to Digital Commons

Presently, 80 of the top 100 ABA-accredited law schools are using some type of institutional repository. Of those that are, nearly 74% of them are using Bepress' Digital Commons which serves as both an institutional repository and a journal hosting platform. Many in the academic law library community are concerned about Elsevier's recent acquisition of BePress. Along with Elsevier's acquisition of SSRN, an entire "ecosystem" used by law schools is now controlled by a single commercial vendor. This has some troubling implications about control over our data and how a commercial publisher could potentially make changes to its access policy, search algorithm, or preservation practices.


This session will discuss open-source alternatives to Digital Commons, such as DSpace and Samvera, and how they may be used to mimic the existing functionality in Digital Commons. It will also include a cost/benefit analysis of the labor required to move content from one repository into another. Additionally, this session will discuss open-source journal hosting platforms, such as OJS, and how projects such as LawArXiv (and others) are working on journal hosting features that can potentially replace all the functionally of Digital Commons.



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Idea No. 198