The Law School’s professors are constantly publishing scholarly work, at an astounding pace, on a wide range of topics related to the law. Now, thanks to a new website called Chicago Unbound, that work is more accessible than ever.
Chicago Unbound is an online repository built on the BEPress Digital Commons platform, which is already used by several of the country’s top law schools. The website contains faculty scholarship, such as books, book chapters, and journal articles, as well as Law School publications. It is a joint project of the D’Angelo Law Library and the Law School’s Office of Communications.
The site, chicagounbound.uchicago.edu, is a comprehensive collection of the scholarly writings of the current faculty, as well as two professors from the Law School’s history, Ronald Coase and Edward Levi. (Eventually, all past faculty will be included.) When possible, the site includes the full text of the work. If the Law School does not have the rights to the work, the searcher finds a citation and links to obtain the work elsewhere.
Additionally, visitors to Chicago Unbound may read the “Working Papers” collection, which features three series of papers: the Kreisman Working Papers Series in Housing Law and Policy, the Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers, and the Coase-Sandor Working Paper Series in Law and Economics. The site also includes text and/or video of past lectures, such as the Fulton Lecture in Legal History, when available. The Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics has its own page within the site, where archives of The Journal of Law and Economics and The Journal of Legal Studies will be posted soon.
The site, already populated with more than 2,700 full-text PDFs and more than 5,000 citations, is unique in the robustness of its content, said Sheri Lewis, Director of the D’Angelo Law Library. The purpose is “to make our faculty scholarship far more discoverable to a broader audience,” she said. Chicago Unbound is configured to maximize the so-called “findability” of their work on Google and other search engines.
Lewis has overseen the project since her predecessor, Judith Wright, retired; Wright started the project. More than half of the library staff has been involved, Lewis said, with much of the work done by Head of Access Services Benjamin Murphy and Evening Circulation Desk Assistant Thomas Drueke. Margaret Schilt, Associate Law Librarian for User Services, oversaw the work. In the communications office, Senior Manager of Electronic Communications Aaron Rester assisted with site design.