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ALL-SIS Scholarly Communications & Author's Rights Toolkit


Legal scholarship by its nature is interdisciplinary. The law affects and is affected by many other areas, from public health, to philosophy, to international relations. Many legal scholars publish either often or occasionally in scholarly journals that are not law reviews or law journals, and
many non-law academics cite back to scholarship published by law professors in both law and non-law journals.

Challenges and Potential Solutions

For faculty members engaged in interdisciplinary scholarship, several scholarly communications
challenges arise:

Challenge: Determining where and how to publish in non-law scholarly publications. Legal academics who venture outside of the traditional law review/law journal submission process will encounter a very different scholarly landscape, which may include peer review and open access fees. Deciding which journals are reputable and what their agreements should look like can feel daunting.

o Solution: Fortunately, many resources exist to help faculty navigate the non-law scholarly landscape. Check out the “Evaluating Journals” tab for more information on determining whether a non-law journal is reputable, as well as the “Open Access Publishing” tab.  Read the information on the “Protecting Your Work” tab for more information on publishing agreements. If the journal requires a fee to publish your article open access, check with your library to see if your institution provides support to cover open access fees or if your institution has an agreement with that publisher that waives the typical open access fee.

Challenge: Publicizing your scholarship to a non-law academic audience. To reach scholars outside of the legal community, legal scholars may want to think beyond SSRN and HeinOnline Author Profiles.

o Solution: Both Google Scholar Profiles and ORCID Profiles are options covered in this guide that can help you reach an interdisciplinary audience. Also consider whether the non-law discipline your scholarship reaches uses a particular platform to share scholarship. For example, if your scholarship is on law and neuroscience, consider posting your articles to bioRxiv. If your research is on law
and philosophy, create a profile and post your papers on PhilPeople.

Challenge: Measuring impact. Studies of law faculty impact generally focus on tools that primarily contain law reviews and law journals. For example, the Sisk-Leiter method searches only within Westlaw’s journal collection. While HeinOnline provides a broader collection of journals than Westlaw, the universe of publications included still excludes many law-adjacent scholarly publications.

o Solution: In addition to tools focused on legal scholarship, use tools like Scopus or Web of Science to capture the impact of scholarship published in non-law journals. While the citation data you can find in Google Scholar often includes false hits and lacks quality control, it can serve as an additional source of citation information. Many of the impact measures covered in this Research Guide can be used to provide a more holistic picture of scholarly impact than just looking atcitations located in HeinOnline, Lexis, or Westlaw.