Author: Bill Draper
On December 1, 2021, merely eight and a half years after launch, The Penn Carey Law School’s Legal Scholarship Repository surpassed ten million (10,000,000) downloads.
These downloads from the 15,600+ documents in our institutional repository (IR) are from countries all over the World, not just from the United States. This milestone occurred relatively quickly. Only five years ago, we celebrated our two-millionth download. The high-point during the pandemic was over 241,000 downloads in October 2020. Lately, however, the IR has been getting between 150 and 165 thousand downloads monthly.
Downloads are important as they quantify the impact of Penn Law scholarship throughout the world, influencing other legal researchers and writers. Law School faculty benefit from an increase in citations to their work as their scholarship is disseminated. The IR is Google-optimized to maximize opportunities for researchers across the globe to discover Penn Law scholarship.
The Repository, maintained by the Biddle Law Library, is growing in both content and in readership. We add hundreds of scholarly papers and journal articles annually. The IR contains digital copies of each of the Law School’s student journals for their entire run. For Law Review, the run goes back to the first issue, published in 1852! The IR also holds the publications of current Law School faculty, copies of the Penn Law Journal (the Law School’s alumni publication), and materials from symposia, lectures, and conferences.
In addition, the Repository hosts prize winning student papers, various Penn Law newsletters, faculty audio and video podcasts, and the Legal Oral History Project with interviews of many well-known alumni (e.g., Judges Arlin Adams and Dolores Sloviter) and faculty members (e.g., Regina Austin and Douglas Frenkel).
Top downloaded items in the IR vary. The top downloaded journal article of all-time in the IR is Congressional Originalism, co-authored by Amy Coney Barrett, in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law with over 55,000 downloads. The most downloaded journal is University of Pennsylvania Law Review with nearly 5.4 million downloads.
The top downloaded Faculty paper of all-time is The Social and Moral Cost of Mass Incarceration in African American Communities, by Dorothy Roberts, with almost 33,000 downloads. And otherwise, the top downloaded paper (over 66,000 downloads) is One-Tier vs. Two-Tier Board Structure: A Comparison Between the United States and Germany, by David Block and Anne-Marie Gerstner from Professor Jill Fisch’s 2016 Seminar on Comparative Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.
The oldest item in the IR is volume 1, issue 1 of Law Review from 1852. The newest was likely a faculty working paper posted just days or even hours ago. Please feel free to click on a link, browse around, and maybe even download something.