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“I am pleased, but not that surprised, that we got there so quickly,”
remarked Dr. Natasha Affolder, associate professor and associate dean of
research and international, who was responsible for launching the Research
“Our faculty members are incredibly active in generating thoughtful,
socially aware and innovative legal research. This scholarship influences
the way that law is taught, debated, reformed and even the ways in which
things are understood as ‘law’ that might previously have been neglected by
scholars and policymakers,” she continued.
A lot of the work in setting up the Research Commons was sourcing and
uploading the significant amount of research by current and past Allard
School of Law faculty members. While there is still more already published
research to be uploaded, one of the priorities in launching the Research
Commons was to pull together a diverse and representative cross-section of
scholarship. The project is a collaboration between the law school and the
law library, with Aleksandar Petrovic and Elim Wong ambitiously undertaking
the project of gathering and uploading scholarship.
“There are terrific new articles being uploaded every week,” Affolder
“Through watching the readership statistics on who is using the Research
Commons, we are becoming aware that there is truly an international
demand for the scholarship that is being generated at the Allard School of
Law,” Affolder explained.
This fact that is evidenced through one of the most visible features of the
Research Commons site: a map that displays, in real time, all the locations
in the world from which users are accessing papers published by Allard faculty.
As this article was being written, there were users accessing the
Research Commons from locations as far away as Tel Aviv and Tokyo.
“Just like the joys of allowing yourself to linger in a bookstore and to
leave with a rich collection of books that you didn’t enter the store intending
to buy, the Research Commons allows for such intellectual wandering
across diverse literatures. The only difference is that this is a bookstore with
no price tags,” Affolder said.
But be careful—according to Affolder, “Spending time on the Research
Commons can be addictive!”
You can visit the Research Commons online at <www.commons.
1. Elizabeth Waters Peterson & Todd Peterson, “Stemming
the Tide of Law Student Depression: What Law
Schools Need to Learn from the Science of Positive
Psychology” (2009) 9:2 Yale J Health Pol’y L & Ethics