Microsoft Academic and the Law Library’s ScHOLAR

Microsoft Academic is a digital repository. It claims to compile “. . . the most personally relevant papers, research news, conferences, people, and ideas, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) bots that read, understand, and deliver the scientific information to further your work.” The information, which is mostly scientific in nature, is organized into 19 fields of study. Depending on the amount of data, each field of study is further classified into various subtopics. Law, for example, is found under Sociology.

One can search each field of study for news, papers, or a combination of both. For example, a search for “criminal procedure” (without the quotes), retrieves over 8,000 hits. Date, author, affiliation, the field of study, and journal title can then further refine the results. All papers are available for download. Also, the citation count of each article is available. Microsoft describes the citation count as an “estimation based on a statistical model which takes advantage of both the local statistics of individual publications and the global statistics of the entire academic graph to determine the estimates of citation counts.”

arturo blog 3.jpgNot unlike Microsoft Academic, the Law Library’s ScHOLAR, in part, collects, preserves, and makes available the scholarly papers of the Texas Tech University School of Law faculty. ScHOLAR encompasses more than just faculty scholarship, though. In addition to Law Faculty Scholarship, ScHOLAR contains four additional “communities” or collection types—Special Collections, Law School History, Law Library History, and Regional Legal History. For example, under the Law School History collection, one can find some interesting information about the School’s past. One can read about two of our most respected, senior members of the faculty—Professor Weninger’s Jail Term Findings (p. 6) and Professor Krahmer’s accomplishments (p. 5)—in the 1984 issue of Cornerstone­­­­ (a magazine for the alumni, friends, and supporters of the Texas Tech School of Law). A little exploring can turn up fascinating historical tidbits about the history of the law school.

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