It’s Open Access Week

The Open Access movement celebrates its efforts each year with International Open Access Week. “Open Access” to information is, quoting from the Open Access Week’s About page, “the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need.” There is strong representation in the Open Access movement within the legal information community. CALI is offering a webinar all about open access in the legal information community on Tuesday, October 22, at 12:00 noon Eastern Time, and again on Friday, October 25, at 3:00 P.M. Eastern Time.

The Marx Law Library is a strong proponent of Open Access to legal information. Our director has signed the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship, which calls on all law schools to move their journals to electronic publication with a commitment to keep the electronic versions available in stable, open, digital formats. The Marx Law Library operates the college’s digital repository, which includes the online site for the University of Cincinnati Law Review and our faculty scholarly works.

The Open Access movement is all about making scholarship more widely available. You can make your own work more friendly to re-use by protecting it with one of the licenses available at Creative Commons. There you will find licenses that you can fine tune to provide the level of protection you wish while making easier for others to build on your work.

“You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s Gone!”

The refrain from Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi may echo in your head when you realize that this is “Banned Books Week.” Sponsored by several organizations including the American Library Association and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the week serves to draw attention to intellectual freedom and efforts that challenge freedom of expression. The library display screen has some interesting statistics on the numbers of book bannings and challenges to those bannings in the U.S. over the past decade. While the mass burning of books as in Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is not a reality in this country, in many communities strong efforts are made to restrict what children and even older individuals may find on bookshelves. Banned Books Week is a reminder that we must remain vigilant in our support of unfettered access to information.

Constitution Day

September 17 is designated Constitution Day, as well as Citizenship Day, by acts of Congress. Congress expressly states the purpose of the recognition is to “commemorate the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution and recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.” Congress also designated a full week to commemorate the Constitution, beginning on Constitution Day. Many law schools, such as the UC College of Law, commemorate the day with a lecture or other special event. In fact, in 2005 Congress made it a condition of federal funding to educational institutions that they “shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution. Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, Pub. L. No. 108-447, § 111, 118 Stat. 2809, 3344-45.

The Library of Congress today is launching its new website and a companion app for the Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation. The site includes legal analysis and interpretation based primarily on Supreme Court case law.

CALI Exercises: They’re Not Just for First-Year Students

Welcome back, returning law students. Those CALI exercises you learned to use in your first year offer many more topics than just those for 1L students. There is a wide variety of advanced topics among the more than 1,000 exercise sets. You can see the topic list at If you’ve not yet created your CALI user account, you’ll need the College of Law’s student authorization code. This year the codes are included in sets of cards for the new game, “Time Trial.” Per Sarah Glassmeyer at the CALI Spotlight blog, “Time Trial is a card game that tests a player’s knowledge of legally relevant dates – court cases, U.S. Supreme Court justice tenures, U.S. Constitutional amendments and federal public laws.  The rules are simple: players take turns reading the cards to each other and putting them into chronological order.  We even made an online version for solo play.  The content of the cards was written by law librarian Tom Gaylord of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.” Our staff will soon be distributing sets with 10 game cards to your mailboxes. If you need a set right away, stop by the reference desk in the library. If you’d like to play the game with the full set of 200 cards, we have a set available for checkout from the reserve collection at the circulation desk.