By Kevin O'Keefe

Legal Bloggers May Be Assigned Unique Identification Number

Each legal blogger may need to receive an individual ID number for the tracking of their legal blogging.

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ID numbers would be assigned to bloggers who are legal practitioners, legal academics, law librarians, law students, other legal professionals and those working in companies ancillary to legal services.

Why numbers? For the aggregation, archival and syndication of credible legal blog content.

Without numbers it can be tough to track a blogger to their blog posts and to the blog publications where they have blogged.

Many law firms look at blog content as something to be removed when a lawyer leaves the firm.

Many law firms move blog content from one url to another regardless of whether citations and related links are broken.

Some law firms and other legal organizations take blogs down altogther.

Thus the need for an archive of all legal blog content. It’s in the works at the Open Legal Blog Archive, backed by LexBlog.

To have an open and citable blog archive, it is important that the data associated with the posts be dependable and unique as well. 

To that end, the availability of an assignable unique open identification number for authors would allow:

– Authorship to be represented and cited across publications. 
– Authors to connect other metadata with this ID, which will reduce confusion on shared author names.
– Access via an API to connect any publication and its authors into the system.

Anyone doing a search for content on legal blogs needs to know that they have found the right authors.

Anyone researching the insight and commentary of a particular blogger needs to know they have found all of their work.

Anyone researching a particular subject needs to know they have access to all leading insight and commentary on legal blogs.

Sources of syndicated legal blog posts, whether it be a research and AI platform or a niche publication, such as all legal blog posts relating to the pandemic need to include all relevant posts with authors.

The Archive, with a profile of all legal blog authors, which profile includes a list of all of an author’s blog posts needs to be able to track authors.

A unique author identifier is used in the sciences. An article by Martin Fenner summarizes whyunique author identifiers are necessary:

“We have long assigned unique numbers to genes, species or stars, and have used unique identifiers for scholarly works for more than 10 years, but unique identifiers for authors are still fairly new and not yet in widespread use(1). Unique author identifiers are useful for the following reasons (2-8):

  1. Researchers want to find potential collaborators, and want an easier way to get credit for their scholarly activities,
  2. Institutions want to collect, showcase and often evaluate the scholarly activities of their faculty,
  3. Publishers want to simplify the publishing workflow, including peer review,
  4. Funding organizations want to simplify the grant submission workflow and want to track what happened to the research they funded, and
  5. Scholarly societies want an easier way to track the achievements of their members.”

Not all applicable to legal blogging, but the point is paying made.

An identification number may not be hard to implement in the Archive’s aggregation and syndication platforms.

So who knows, maybe something in the works.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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