Research and Networking at your Fingertips

ssrnAre you a graduate student, a scholar, a professor or just simply a research fanatic? If so, you will love the Social Science Research Network. SSRN is an online database available to assist you on beginning your early research. It’s always available, it’s worldwide and it’s free!

Yes, free.

There are many benefits of creating a free account on SSRN. On SSRN, you have access to hundreds of thousands of working papers. You also have an opportunity to submit your own research and paper. Submitting your own paper is as easy as hitting the upload link on your screen. You can also make your research data available with your article. All you have to do is upload your research data to the Mendeley Data repository, where it will be published and citable, and linked from your article.

SSRN is an online preprint community devoted to the worldwide dissemination of research.  They are known for providing valuable services to schools and government institutions. SSRN is composed of six research disciplines: Applied Sciences, Health Sciences, Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences and they have an abundance of networks and journals within each discipline. Furthermore, SSRN is branching out into other science disciplines providing opportunities for you to post your early research and discoveries.

What I love about SSRN the most is that it is a network. You not only have the opportunity to read other author’s research, you can contact them and inquire about their data methods. The Network has professional job announcements and job openings. These announcements are distributed weekly. They include conferences, professional meetings, calls for papers, and Professional Job Openings.

The SSRN offers conferences on every research discipline, giving you the chance to learn about your field of interest and meet experts in that particular field and the opportunity to present your research and journal within SSRN’s extensive community. If you ever thought about relocating, there are job openings from all over the world offered on SSRN. The thought of endless opportunities from all over the world even makes me excited.

SSRN is the ultimate place for professionals in academia to network and gain contacts.  So if you haven’t yet, log on to SSRN and begin your journey of researching and networking from the comfort of your own home.

Shalonda Wilburn

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What is HathiTrust?

HathhiHathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research institutes that make some of the nation’s greatest research libraries and digitized collections available for all! Originally created in 2008, HathiTrust was established by thirteen universities to archive and collectively share digitized collections. With more than 10 million volumes, HathiTrust has one of the largest library collections for research of all time. Content in HathiTrust is discoverable through a variety of public domain and copyright materials from sources such as Google, Microsoft, the Internet Archive, and many more!

On HathiTrust researchers can:

  • Find Bibliographic or full-text search of all volumes
  • Create personal collections
  • Read and download public domain and open access volumes

Additionally, HathiTrust has full-text and advanced search options. Full-text searches provide information about the location of search terms that occur throughout the work, helping users discover the relevance of works to their topic or find information quickly in a print copy close at hand.

How will Researchers Benefit?

HathiTrust offers scholars access to an extensive collection of digitized material, permits researchers to produce customized searches, and makes material too difficult to access or study readily discoverable. HathiTrust aims to give undisclosed resources value by ensuring long-term access to print and electronic resources, creating scholarly tools, and improving the quality of the digitized content over time.

Wow! What a great electronic resource, it probably costs a fortune… BUT IT DOESN’T!

HathiTrust partners pay for the basic infrastructure costs of the material, including the costs of storage, backup, data centers, and servers. HathiTrust also gives researchers the option to log in as a guest through Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, and LinkedIn.

FUN FACT: Hathi (hah-tee) is the Hindi word for elephant, an animal highly regarded for its memory, wisdom, and strength. Trust is a core value of research libraries and one of their greatest assets. In combination, the words convey the key benefits researchers can expect from a first-of-its-kind shared digital repository.

Haylee Mitchell

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Why You Should Be Using PLI PLUS


PLI PLUS is an online legal research database provided by the Practicing Law Institute. Practicing Law Institute (PLI) is a nonprofit organization known for its accredited CLE (continuing legal education) and professional education programs.

This database contains over 100 treatises, over 3000 legal forms, transcripts from over 400 CLE programs, course handbooks and Q&A style answer books.

PLI PLUS is very user friendly, with a clean and updated interface. With more than 90,000 legal research documents available in 25 different practice areas, PLI PLUS has a lot to offer.

Thanks to our library, students can take full advantage. Every student can access the entire database on-campus.

Other features

PLI PLUS gives users the convenience of making notes and highlighting desired text. You can also create your own bookshelf and add certain chapters and titles to sub shelves as well. Users can share links to their shelves and sub shelves with others. PLI PLUS also allows you to view all of your notes and marks on one page.

How do you access the database?

First, go to the CSOL library website and scroll down to “Databases.” Then, just click “On-Campus Access” and you will find the link to PLI PLUS under “Legal Research Resources.”

How do you use it?

 PLI PLUS is very easy to use with only four main tabs at the top of the page:

  • Search
  • Browse
  • My Bookshelf
  • My History

Under “Search,” there are simply four more sub-tabs:

  • Books
  • Forms
  • Transcripts
  • All Content

There are also advanced search options available to help narrow your search further.


I know what many of you may be thinking. Something as awesome as PLI PLUS can’t be free, right? Wrong.  As students of CSOL, on-campus access is at no charge.

Usually, CLE course handbooks can be very expensive when sold individually. Having access to over 400 programs a year on one database almost seems too good to be true.

For practicing attorneys, the subscription price varies depending on how many users are in the firm. An individual privileged membership with PLI charges an annual fee of $3,495.00!

With that in mind, make sure you take full advantage of this fabulous subscription! Try PLI PLUS for your researching needs.

Joseph Donohue
Class of 2020

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Researching with Sol Blatt Electronic Resources:

lawAs law students at the Charleston School of Law, we are often tasked with completing a variety of research assignments and an upper level writing paper.  As an attorney, staying up to date with current legal issues and occurrences is a very important aspect of practicing law.  To assist with this, can be a great “go to” library electronic source! In accessing from the CSOL library database, users are provided with a variety of programs and publications covering breaking news, legal data, and legal analysis. also offers peer guidance for professional development, future preparation, and adapting to changes in the legal world.

Before dissecting, I would like to share with readers the mechanics by which it was created. was formed and developed by ALM Media (ALM), an information and intelligence company. ALM mainly focuses on providing assistance with complex issues arising throughout various industries. As of now, ALM’s work covers more than 6 million business professions.

In forming, ALM’s goal was to establish an effective business tool that provides research, education, marketing trends, and technological advances throughout the world. To achieve this, ALM put together a massive web of workers.  A web that ranges from oversight committees of the entire website, to individual editors and reporters of different tabbed sections.  These sections include litigation, culture, technology, regulatory, legal week news, business law, and legal brands/themes.

Now to the meat of what provides. On its face, viewers will automatically assume is just another website offering news articles about domestic and foreign legal issues.  However, is actually a highly complex electronic resource with tabs comprised of many hidden components.  In the websites tab section (on the far left or at the top of users can find a variety of links to legal publications, law topics, insights and analysis, surveys and rankings, law firms, communities, verdict searches, legal newswire, and practice tools.

Additionally, there is an “all sections” tab with links to national legal leader journals, a legal dictionary, current legal events, a book purchasing center, expert witness searches (over 15,000), recruiter directory for legal assistance, and information on the best technology currently used in legal practices. Yes, this is a lot of information to navigate through . . . but have no fear . . . a search tab is near!  At the top of, users can access a general search tab rather than going through all of the different sections.  This tab can be searched via name, title, or keyword(s) – with the ability to filter all searches by date.

With the general tab descriptions given, lets briefly dissect their hidden components! Publications provides access to over 20 legal journals.  Law Topics is an extensive list of legal topics broken up by law and industry; such as admiralty law, criminal law, law firm management, and legal technology.  Clicking on a topic takes users to publications, journals, and expert analysis on that particular legal topic. Insight and Analysis gives users access to analyst reports, briefings, newsletters, and a compass; all of which dabble in legal industry trends, legal market intelligence, pressing issues facing the legal industry, and experts on current legal issues.

Survey and Ranking offers access to 6 different journals; ranking the world’s most powerful and sustainable corporations and law firms.  Law Firms compiles a list of top U.S. law firms; providing law firm names, rankings, locations, and backgrounds. Communities compiles articles on different U.S. law schools, applying and researching jobs after graduation, women in law achievements, current corporate general counsel happenings, general counsel networking tools, and ongoing studies of corporate legal department environments.

Verdict Search gives users access to noteworthy case verdicts and settlements throughout the U.S.  These verdicts can be narrowed to your relevant research area and provide details of awards given/received, injuries claimed, experts, attorney’s, judges, insurers, etc. Legal Newswire gives users access to a press release distribution network; which provides legal press releases and allows users to create their own press lease for distribution to over 1,600 legal communities and media.

Lastly, under Practice Tools, users have access to videos, checklists, training sessions, and in-depth information on insurance law.  These tools can help attorneys and or law students with strategy, work plans, and communication.  The insurance law section is compiled of articles and analysis on insurance experts, case law, policy coverage, legislation, regulatory, and insurance forms.

Overall, this website is a magnificent electronic resource! Offering not only news articles, but also tools for everyday legal practice, job searching, locating expert witnesses (over 15,000 listings), marketing your law firm, and so much more.  Due to its complexity, I would encourage interested users to visit and maneuver through each tab.  This will assist in your understanding of what has to offer and allow for smoother navigation.

To access the website, just simply go to the CSOL library database and click on the “On-Campus Access” link. Scroll down and you will find listed under “Legal Research Resources.”  Luckily, as a law student at the Charleston School of Law, users have unlimited on-campus access to!  However, there are some areas of the resource (such as publishing press releases, etc.) that may be restricted.

J. Vincent Cannarella
Class of 2019

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Everything from A to Z

Max12The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL) is a comprehensive online resource containing peer-reviewed articles on every aspect of public international law. Written and edited by a team of over 800 scholars and practitioners. The major benefit of the MPEPIL is that it’s a comprehensive resource containing more than 1,700 article pertaining to any topic touching the realm of international law.

Oxford strives to publish quality content from leading experts by partnering with leading societies and professional associations, research institutes, and governmental and international institutions. In an ever changing global community, researchers are continually having to rely on digital resources to find information pertaining to international law. Thus, users have prime access to one of the most reliable and commanding online international law databases.

Benefits of the MPEPIL

  • Cross-search between Oxford’s Public International Law services
  • New articles continously added
  • Find content quickly with sophisticated searching and filtering
  • Speed up the research process with personalisation options
  • Ability to save frequently used articles for fast access
  • Print-friendly PDFs are available
  • Extend research capabilities via the Oxford Law Citator
  • MPEPIL support librarians

The MPEPIL is grouped within the same subject or discipline in the product family. Thus, users are able to cross search multiple subsets within the Oxford Publishing family.

Product Family: Oxford Public International Law

  • Oxford Reports in International Law
  • Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law
  • Oxford Scholarly Authorities in International Law
  • Oxford International Organizations

There are two main ways in which you can carry out a search in Oxford Public International Law quick search and advanced search. Quick search can be used to find specific cases, full text articles, and specific terms. Using the advanced search option allows users to search the entire content of the database for specific reference materials yielding results including both bibliographical and metadata. Availability to the MPEPIL database can be found on the Charleston School of Law Library website under databases.

There is a quicklink called databases that will take you to a catalog of all the database links The Charleston School of Law has access to. The MPEPIL will fall unter the international research topic heading. Once you click on the MPEPIL it will take you rite to the database homepage where you can start a quick or advanced search on the topic of your choice.

The developing countries initiative is the publishers’ way to ensure fair and equal access to all members of the global community. “The Developing Countries Initiative program offers free or deeply reduced rate access to the MPEPIL as well as other scholarly content.”  It is designed to ensure that developing nations have access to the critical research necessary in this technology driven world.

Justyn Graves
Class of

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Bepress Digital Commons Network

395The Digital Commons Database by Bepress is a free resource and an innovative solution for institutions who wish to openly publish, manage, and showcase a wide variety of their work. The Charleston School of Law has their own page that’s updated with works published by their professors that can be accessed through the Charleston Law Website under Library Databases, and then under the “Periodicals” section, see:

This network brings together full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of different universities and colleges worldwide. The individual pages are run by the university/institution’s librarians and their supporting institutions and includes a growing collection of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, and other original scholarly work that’s able to be published.

The background of Digital Commons was designed specifically for maximum discovery and also includes the benefits of a cloud-based institutional software that has a professional and clean publishing platform for journals, conference proceedings, or other things you can use in everyday life or in a legal atmosphere.


  • Architecture
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Life Sciences
  • Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Physical Sciences and Mathematics
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences


  • The database offers an “Unlimited model” that is intended to help serve the needs of the entire campus without tapping any IT resources.
  • Unlimited consultation and support
  • Unlimited publications, including journals, books, and special collections
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited custom branding and redesigns
  • Unlimited file size and type

What exactly should we use this Database for from a legal perspective?

Increasing and demonstrating the impact of scholarship is important in the legal field overall and even in law school specifically to help promote awareness of information. Digital Commons works closely with Google and Google Scholar to make sure works are fully indexed and turn up near the top of academic and general search results.

Journal Publishing:

  • Helps faculty and students publish scholarly journals through the institutional based platform that was built around giving us a professional-grade software.
  • Flexible workflows, including double-blind peer review
  • Detailed, exportable readership analytics for authors and editors
  • Support for all content, including data sets and streaming media
  • Access control options for subscription and open access publishing

Additionally, Digital Commons has created analytics tools that let you measure and report on the impact your school’s work is having:

How Digital Common’s filtering process works—

Digital Commons offers detailed, exportable analytics that show how reading trends changes over time, whether for a department, an author, or the entire institution. The tools included on the Database help to track the specific organizations and regions that are engaging with your work (and how they’re finding it), so you can better identify research trends, potential funders, and collaborations.

When you have accurate, beautifully realized visualizations of data showing that your group’s scholarship matters to people around the world, you bolster your case for continuing that vital work. The organization is largely dedicated to ensuring accurate usage data. They’ve developed their own algorithm, which they’re constantly updating to keep up with evolving obstacles to clean data.

Madison Johnston
Class of 2020

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18th Century Collections Online

18Have you ever wanted to know more about the 18th Century?  Have you ever wondered about the beginnings of Common Law in Colonial America? Do you have an interest in reading original works from legendary scholars of 18th Century?

Then take a look at, “18th Century Collections Online.”

It’s available on the Charleston School of Law Library website under the historical resource tab if you are on campus, or you can access it from home using your Charleston School of Law Library username and password.

The database was created by Gale publisher, the library reference division of Cengage Learning, a global educational content and technology company.  Gale specializes in e-research and publishing for libraries, schools, and businesses around the world.

It’s a helpful resource for researching content, collecting data, and investigating the history of modern law and its impact on the world.  It provides full-texts for readers to download, save, and print, and allows readers to search by topic, author, date, category, or language just to name a few.  This site helps researchers and students navigate the origins of common law, and helps them find scholarly works from world famous authors on the “age of reason and enlightenment”.

The database covers everything from law, history, geography, science, fine arts, to medicine, mathematics, and economics.  It includes research tools to narrow your search such as timelines, key documents, and contextual essays.  The site also allows readers to view frequently asked questions and most popular searches.

Summary of Contents:

  • 136,000 Titles
  • Articles
  • Essays
  • Treatises
  • Cases
  • Opinions

And much, much more!

This database is an excellent resource to anyone interested in works from the 18th Century.  It offers insight into the past, by providing readers access to scholarly works from some the greatest minds of the era.  I would recommend this database to anyone with an interest in the life and times of the 18th century.

David Collins
Class of 2020

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