One Million Downloads and Counting!

Digital Commons NumbersLast week, the Law School’s Digital Repository reached an extremely significant milestone as we crossed the one million mark for full-text downloads of materials archived on the site.  Over the last three years, we have been gradually building up the online collection of scholarly articles, historical archives, and federal court opinions available on http://digitalcommons.law.villanova.edu to house over 28,000 electronic documents.  Our mission was to create a repository to preserve and disseminate scholarly and historical information about our law school, and these download counts show that we have accomplished that mission with great success!

As a quick refresher if you’re not familiar with our repository, the main collections of our Digital Commons site are:
Digital Commons Pie

  • A collection of scholarship written by Villanova Law Faculty, both pre- and post-publication.
  • Full archives of every issue from every journal published by the law school going back to 1956
  • Historical Archives of the Law School, including yearbooks, photos, event materials, and the full run of “The Docket”, our school’s newspaper until 2001.
  • A backup archive of every opinion issued by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals since May of 1994.

As you’ll notice from the graph, our journals are responsible for the lion’s share of our downloads, with over 620,000 articles having been viewed by people from all over the world.

You may be wondering: “one million is a pretty big number, but who is downloading all these documents anyway?”  BePress, the company that maintains our repository, has put in place a number of safeguards to ensure that our statistics do not include “robot traffic,” so we can be fairly certain that these downloads are actually coming from real people.  Further, they give us the tools to see where in the world our download traffic is coming from.  Although it is not surprising that a great majority of our downloads are from the United States, the map below shows that people from all over the world are interested in the information we have to offer, and have reached out to download it for free.

Geographical Distribution of Villanova Law School Repository Downloads: 2013-2016

Geographical Distribution of Villanova Law School Repository Downloads: 2013-2016

It has been a very exciting three years for the digital presence of Villanova Law, especially with respect to our ability to distribute our scholarship and history to reach so many people.  We are always looking for opportunities to add new collections to our repository and offer an interesting and diverse range of documents to this digital archive.  Here’s to the next million downloads!

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