The Online Reading Room: Professor Insight

By John Evans

Have you ever sat down to write a take home exam and wondered what your professor actually thought about the subject? Or had a professor make a side comment about an issue they clearly care about but goes well beyond the scope or depth of the class? Well for you, the more curious law students (if you have some time on your hands), I have an answer.

The Reading Room.

The Reading Room is an institutional repository which seeks to be a comprehensive collection of the works written by GSU Law faculty. In the Reading Room, each professor has their own page listing their published works. The works are separated into categories based on type of publication.

reading-room

If you just want a quick glance at the professor’s opinion, look for the popular press section. This section contains newspaper articles and blog posts, which should give you an introduction to the topic.

If you are interested in a little more treatment of the topic, head to the “article” section. For most professors, the bulk of their publications are in the “article” section – publications in law reviews and law associate journals. Items in this section are meant for a more learned audience, so it will require a bit more time.

If your appetite can’t be satisfied by a few dozen pages or want more diversity in opinion, check out the “contribution to books” section. Here you will find works where the GSU professor wrote only a portion of a book.  If you want to really get into your professor’s head, look for the full books section – you can access these items in the library.

So you have found a piece of writing that fits your needs, so what’s next? Each work in the Reading Room, has its own bibliographic page with a treasure trove of information. If you are really short of time, simple reading these titles in aggregate can paint a picture in your head of the professor’s opinions. You will also find the citation for the work in order to help you find it.

As we all know, openfinding sources, even with the citation, can be difficult. The Reading Room again comes to our rescue. For most writings, especially those in the article and popular press sections, the reading room provides a link to the text of the writing. For an increasing number of  works, there is also a full text PDF. Currently the library is working on obtaining permission to post full text of as many of the works as possible.

So next time you are starting a research project and want to know what your professor has to say, come and check out the Reading Room.

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