The Allard School of Law Research Commons was launched in the summer of 2017, in collaboration with the Law Library of the University of British Columbia. One year later, the institutional repository had over 500 papers and over 34,000 total downloads. The goal of the Research Commons is to enable global free and open access to research publications and scholarship being produced at the Allard School of Law, under one central umbrella. A major initiative of the project was to source and upload research produced by past members of the Faculty, a task undertaken by Dr. Aleksander Petrovic and Elim Wong.
Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Research and International, Dr. Natasha Affolder, played an integral role in creating the Research Commons. Dr. Affolder describes the experience of navigating the platform as “just like the joys of allowing yourself to linger in a bookstore and to leave with a rich collection of books that you didn’t enter the store intending to buy, the Research Commons allows for such intellectual wandering across diverse literatures. The only difference is that this is a bookstore with no price tags.”
When the project surpassed 10,000 total downloads in 2018, Dr. Affolder remarked, “our faculty members are incredibly active in generating thoughtful, socially aware and innovative legal research. This scholarship influences the way that law is taught, debated, reformed and even the ways in which things are understood as ‘law’ that might previously have been neglected by scholars and policymakers.”
The website features an interactive world map, which allows users to track readership activity and see locations across the globe where individuals are downloading content from the Research Commons.
The Research Commons can be accessed at https://commons.allard.ubc.ca/.