Sarah Reis wins 2016 Borgeson award in law librarianship

MLIS law student Sarah Reis has earned the 2016 Earl Borgeson Research Award in Law Librarianship for her paper, “Deconstructing the Durham Statement: The Persistence of Print Prestige During the Age of Open Access.” Reis’s paper will be published in the journal Legal Reference Services Quarterly. The honor carries a $1,000 prize.

In her winning paper, Reis focuses on open access in legal academia. She proposes to reform the publication process of law reviews and law journals by moving toward electronic-only publication and not basing a journal’s credibility on whether it is available in print.

Reis, who will begin work in August as a reference librarian at Stanford Law School, said she became interested in the topic while she served as managing editor of the Northwestern University Law Review during the 2014-15 academic year.

“I quickly realized how many of the practices followed by student-edited law reviews and law journals today were outdated and greatly in need of reform to keep up with other professional fields,” she said.

The judges this year were Michael Chiorazzi, UW Law Librarianship (MLIS Law 1981), Director, Law Library and Professor of Law, University of Arizona College of Law Library; Richard Danner, Rufty Research Professor of Law and Senior Associate Dean for Information Services, Duke University's J. Michael Goodson Law Library; and Marguerite Most, UW Law Librarianship (MLIS Law 1977), Reference Librarian and Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke University's J. Michael Goodson Law Library.

The Borgeson Award was established in 2000 to encourage scholarly research in the field of law librarianship. Each year students in Professor Penny Hazelton's Current Issues in Law Librarianship class each write a major paper about an important contemporary topic affecting the profession; these papers are submitted to a panel of nationally renowned law librarians who select the best piece.

Earl Borgeson, MLIS Law '49, served as president of the American Association of Law Libraries (1968-69) and was professor of law and librarian at Harvard Law School. He died in 2010. With the help of alumni and friends of the Law Librarianship Program, the Borgeson Award has now been endowed, ensuring that it can be awarded every year in perpetuity.