Maximizing the scholarly access, impact, and visibility of our faculty is a core part of our mission at the UW Law Library.  Over the last few years, but especially since US News announced their new scholarly impact ranking in 2019, we developed a successful program to make faculty scholarship accessible online, improve scholarly impact, and promote the visibility of new scholarly works. 

We recently developed a short video highlighting our program for the AALL Innovation Showcase.  Since only AALL members can view it through the showcase, we’ve made it publicly available on our YouTube channel in keeping with the University of Wisconsin’s commitment to the broad sharing of knowledge and exchange of ideas – aka the Wisconsin Idea.

Here are some highlights of our program as discussed in the video:

  • Four years ago, we launched the UW Law School Digital Repository, an open access repository built on an open-source platform.  Faculty scholarship is the centerpiece of our repository.  We’ve also developed many other unique collections that highlight and supplement UW Law School’s rich scholarly legacy. To date, our repository contains over 134,000 items, making it one of the largest law school digital repositories in the world.
  • Since our librarians began curating author profiles two years ago, UW Law faculty article citations in HeinOnline have increased by 196%.  This is particularly important since US News will draw upon this data for its upcoming Scholarly Impact Ranking.
  • When compared to the top 25 US News ranked law schools, our analysis showed that UW Law faculty ranked highest for interdisciplinary citations – over four times higher than any other university.
  • To provide a more complete representation of their total scholarly impact, we work with our faculty to bring their interdisciplinary scholarship and books into HeinOnline through their integration with ORCID.
  • Promoting new works via social media is also an important part of our scholarly visibility program. Librarians frequently share faculty scholarship on WisBlawg and in 2019, we launched Wisconsin Law in Action, a new library podcast focused on UW Law School faculty scholarship.

For more information about our program, see Representing Law Faculty Scholarly Impact: Strategies for Improving Citation Metrics Accuracy and Promoting Scholarly Visibility on SSRN.  The appendix includes two handy checklists – one for improving citation metrics accuracy and the other for promoting scholarly visibility.  You may find them useful as you develop your own workflows to improve scholarly impact.

This paper was presented at the Yale Citation and the Law Symposium last spring.  It has been accepted for publication in Legal Reference Services Quarterly and will also be included in a collection of symposium papers to be published by Hein later this year.