January 18, 2005
Citation Analysis of the Effects of Posting to a Preprint Server
David Bigword on Catalogablog calls attention to a very interesting citation analysis. For astrophysical literature, Schwarz and Kennicutt demonstrates that making a paper available on a preprint server doubles the number of citations. The authors wonder if a trend is developing, namely a growing tendency to ignore research not on a preprint server, somewhat like the current tendency to ignore astrophysical research not indexed in online databases?
LIS Research Topic. Of course, there are substantial differences between astrophysical literature and scholarly legal literature but, I bet if one studies the matter, one would reach the conclusion that legal works posted on SSRN are cited more frequently than articles not made accessible on a preprint server. Long exposure would be the major factor, I think. but I doubt the citation rate would be twice that of articles not made available on a preprint server.
On the Rule of Law: History, Politics, Theory
On the Rule of Law: History, Politics, Theory, by Brian Z. Tamanaha (Cambridge University Press, November 2004)
Review: "Terrific. Brian Tamanaha has written a book that should educate not only every student and layperson who reads it, but also scholars who wrongly think there is nothing new to say about the rule of law... I hope it gets the wide readership it deserves." Sanford Levinson, Professor of Law, University of Texas Law school,
Book Discription: "The rule of law is the most important political ideal today, yet there is much confusion about what it means and how it works. This book explores the history, politics, and theory surrounding the rule of law ideal, beginning with classical Greek and Roman ideas, elaborating on medieval contributions to the rule of law, and articulating the role played by the rule of law in liberal theory and liberal political systems. The author outlines the concerns of Western conservatives about the decline of the rule of law and suggests reasons why the radical Left have promoted this decline. Two basic theoretical streams of the rule of law are then presented, with an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of each. The book examines the rule of law on a global level, and concludes by answering the question of whether the rule of law is a universal human good."
ISBN:0521604656 | ISBN13:9780521604659
Hardcover at $28.99; Paperback at $70.00
GPO Beta Tests Electronic CFR That's Up to Date
NARA, OFR, and GPO are teaming up to offer an electronically updated version of the Code of Federal Regulations that incorporate changes made in the Federal Register. The site is still in Beta test, but is available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/ecfr/.
Here are excerpts from the description provided by GPO:
The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a prototype of a currently updated version of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The e-CFR prototype is a demonstration project. It is not an official legal edition of the CFR.
The e-CFR consists of two linked databases: the "current Code" and "amendment files." The OFR updates the current Code database according to the effective dates of amendments published in the Federal Register.
As amendments become effective, the OFR integrates the changes into the current Code database to display the full text of the currently updated CFR.
For future-effective amendments, the OFR inserts hypertext links into the affected sections or parts of the current Code to take users to the pertinent amendment files. The amendment files contain amendatory instructions, the text of amendments (if any) and their effective dates.
If the effective date of a regulation falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the amendments will be integrated into the current Code on the next federal business day.
More information is available at the site.
Mark Giangrande (DePaul Law)
Coming Soon from OUP
OUP legal publications expected in January:
Icarus in the Boardroom
The Fundamental Flaws in Corporate America and Where They Came From
$25.00, 0195174712 , hardback, Jan 2005
Linking famous historical scandals with contemporary corporate scandals, this book shows how the possibility of large corporate failure is built into the nature of the corporation.
Crime and Society
$25.00, Not Yet Published 0195517792 , paper, Jan 2005
Completes a trilogy on vital issues of crime and its impact on society: Crime and Criminology: An Introduction (OUP, Third ed., 2005) and Crime and Social Control (OUP, 1997).
Coercion to Compromise
Plea Bargaining, the Courts, and the Making of Political Authority
Mary E. Vogel
$49.95, Not Yet Published 019510174X , hardback, Jan 2005
The Regulation of Decision Making
$120.00, In Stock 019826772X , hardback, Jan 2005
Theoretically and historically informed analysis of an increasingly important legal mechanism
Practical Legal Skills, 2d Edition
$24.95, In Stock 0195515749 , paper, Jan 2005
A clear and concise guide to key practical legal skills
Please Take This Survey
West Publishing Company and Foundation Press, sponsors of this blog and our Law Professor Blogs Network, have asked that we help identify our readership through this on-line survey. They (and we) would like to figure out the mix of professors, judges, lawyers, librarians, students, and others who read this blog. The survey takes less than a minute to complete. Thanks in advance for your help.
January 17, 2005
Privacy Meets Technology, and Often Loses in Court
CNET News is reporting a story about a recent case in New York where police had used a GPS device to track an attorney who was suspected of drug offences through ties to the Hell's Angels motorcycle club. The device was planted without a court order, and a federal judge upheld the notion that police did not require a court order to plant the device.
The lengthy article goes on to review this and other cases where GPS devices were used to track individuals, including situations arising in civil cases. The article is called "Snooping By Satellite," and is written by Declan McCullagh, who often writes about technology and the law.
BPL Service Regs Take Effect on Feb. 7, 2005
Most provisions of the FCC's Final Rule on Broadband Power Line Systems take effect on February 7, 2005.
Summary of the Final rule. "This document adopts new requirements and measurement guidelines for a new type of carrier current system that provides access to broadband services using electric utility companies’ power lines. This new technology offers the potential for the establishment of a significant new
medium for extending broadband access to American homes and businesses. Given that power lines reach virtually every residence and business in every community and geographic area in this country, Access BPL service could be made available nearly everywhere. This new broadband delivery medium could also serve to introduce additional competition to existing cable, DSL, and other broadband services. We believe these actions will promote the development of BPL systems by removing regulatory uncertainties for BPL operators and equipment manufacturers while ensuring that licensed radio services are protected from harmful interference.
Source: 70 Fed. Reg. 1360 (Jan. 7, 2005).
Yes, it's magic!
Bedtime Reading Provided by the CBO
Unauthorized Appropriations and Expiring Authorizations (Appropriations Version). There's also House and Senate versions but one should suffice. Of course, nothing is definitive about this report:
Although this report is intended to aid the Congress by identifying those authorizations of appropriations that have expired or will expire, it should not be considered definitive regarding the application of House or Senate rules. What constitutes an "unauthorized appropriation" under such rules is determined by the precedents within the House or Senate, and the applicability of those rules is determined by the respective Office of the Parliamentarian.
What's the largest unauthorized appropriation for 2005? Veterans' medical care at $27.9 billion.
MLK and the Law of the Land
"I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law. " -- Martin Luther King
Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
Yegyararian's Legislative Review of Tech Issues
Check out Anush Yegyazarian (PC World) "Legislative Year in Review: All Talk, Little Action. In her article, she provides a detail review of internet taxes, VoIP, digital copyright, spyware, wireless 411, E-voting, and protection for kids online.
Her Forecast: "Only spyware (with a side of phishing), digital copyright, and VoIP will see any real action in 2005."
If It's Sentencing, It's Berman
OK, I'm going to brag again about a fellow Law Professor Blogs Network editor. Professor Douglas Berman (OSU) is "the man" when it comes to Blakley, Booker/Fanfan, and related sentencing law and policy issues. His blog is the web destination for insightful analysis of current developments on sentencing at the federal and state levels. I've been referring Cincinnati Law students to his blog for months now and they always come back smiling.
In addition to being an resource for news and legal analysis, the Sentencing Law and Policy Blog is a timely source for hard-to-find documents, some of which make their first (and others only) appearance on the Internet. See for instance, Big reports from Indiana and Minnesota wherein Professor Berman reviews and makes available Indiana and Minnesota sentencing reports. And now Professor Berman's blog is becoming an clearinghouse for information on Booker on the federal level plus all post-Booker state Blakely developments .
If it's sentencing, it's Berman. And that means add Sentencing Law and Policy to your favorites list.
January 16, 2005
The Impact of Search Engines on Private Citizen Litigation
Andrew Zangrilli calls attention to the impact web communication of court filings has on private parties in an editorial published in Findlaw's Modern Practice (January 2005). The author advises that due to electronic access to court records and the prominent placement of such listings in search results from Google, Yahoo, etc. that "...attorneys must make clear to their clients that submission to the judicial process will bring a certain amount of exposure." Zangrilli concludes:
The prominent placement of judicial information in an individual's online search results is a steadily increasing phenomenon that causes subtle yet actual harms. Unfortunately, when trying to remedy the damaging placement of information, affected individuals encounter virtually insurmountable First Amendment and commercial hurdles. As a result, some may view this phenomenon as one of life's irremediable annoyances that must be silently endured. Because there are no concrete remedies available to combat this phenomenon, the filing of certain types of lawsuits may be chilled by fear that the published litigation will become the fountainhead of one's online existence.
Finally, until this particular problem is adequately addressed by a company or a court, private citizens should take it upon themselves to control their online identities by becoming publishers of their own information.
Sounds like that is exactly what Ken Lay is doing.
Source: Andrew Zangrilli,"The Impact of Search Engines on Private Citizen Litigation.
How About Free Law Review Articles?
On Legal Theory, Professor Lawrence Solum (San Diego) calls attention to Professor Dan Hunter's Walled Garden, a forthcoming law review article which argues that law reviews should allow authors to make their articles available for free online via sites like SSRN. In Hunter's opinion, commercial database vendors, not print law reviews or journals, are keeping access closed.
Does someone need to remind Professor Hunter that academic journals choose to accept payment from these vendors.
See Professor Solum's post for more information, including a SSRN link to Professor Hunter's article.
See also, Mican's response to Hunter's argument at Crooked Timber.
A Quick Look at LibraryLaw.com and LibraryLaw Blog
In my opinion, Mary Minow's LibraryLaw.com is the best online source for legal issues of interest to librarians. Coverage includes but not limited to the following:
- Copyright and Licensing
- Disability Law
- Employment Issues
- Governance/Library Laws/Trustees
- GPO Depository Program
- First Amendment Issues
- Web Pages, Digitization Projects by Libraries and Legal Issues
Mary Minow is an attorney, a former librarian and library trustee, and a library law consultant with librarylaw.com. She has taught library law at the San Jose State School of Library Science. Mary is the coauthor with Tomas Lipinski of the highly regarded The Library's Legal Answer Book (ALA: 2003) and the author of several articles published by LLRX. Her articles on the Children's Internet Protection Act and the USA Patriot Act are must reads.
The LibraryLaw.com website is updated and expanded by Mary's LibraryLaw Blog, my first source for all new matters library law related.
The LibraryLaw Blog does a great job covering Congress. See for instance, The 108th Congress Draws to an End: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Mary Alice Baish's remarks at a CALL meeting in November, 2004) and No Action Yet On Legislation to Exempt Libraries from USA Patriot Act Section 215 Orders: It's Time to Contact Your Congress Persons.
The same is true for the blog's coverage of litigation. See for instance, May a public library summarily take away Internet access from a patron who is looking at pictures of nude women? Even with Lexis, Westlaw and Findlaw readily available to me, I really appreciate it when the blog's litigation coverage includes the text of court opinions.
The LibraryLaw Blog has been online for "ages" (in blogosphere time) and has a very active community of readers. If you have never visited Librarylaw.com or LibraryLaw Blog, please do. Your time won't be wasted.
PS: Thanks for the kind remarks.
LJ Librarian of the Year for 2005 is Susan Nutter
Librarian for one year, only one year. How about for a decade! Among her many, many accomplishments since being appointed director of libraries in 1987 and Vice Provost in 1995, Nutter persuaded NCSU faculty to support the development of the university's library by forgoing salary increases during "trying financial times in North Carolina."
We've been having "trying financial times" in Ohio for more than a decade now but I doubt our profs would be so generous. Would yours?