Frequently Asked Questions

Frustrated by the inefficiencies and expenses of academic journals, Professors Bob Cooter and Aaron Edlin started bepress journals in 1996. A similar frustration with existing working paper outlets led us to launch the bepress Legal Repository in July 2004 and Selected Works in October 2006. As the new kid on the block we would like to share with you why our new service, Selected Works, offers a best value for law schools looking to promote the scholarly research of their faculty.

For information on joining, write

My institution is interested in promoting faculty scholarship. What options are available?

The best way to promote, distribute, and disseminate faculty research is to purchase Selected Works, a new, personalized, scholarship distribution network that works in tandem with the bepress Legal Repository. With Selected Works, your faculty can quickly and easily disseminate all of their works, from published and unpublished articles to presentations, popular press, and books and book chapters, through highly visible, personalized web pages. In addition, scholars can post the full text, link to full text on another website, or just cite their papers. All content posted to Selected Works benefits from being part of an extensive collection of quality academic research--over 130,000 papers strong--for which we facilitate crawling and full-text indexing by search engines like Google. To learn more about Selected Works, or to start your own Selected Works site, please visit the Selected Works home page.

Will our Selected Works sites be branded with our school colors?

Yes, we will work with you to customize the look and feel of your Selected Works page, so that it reflects your school colors and features your school logo.

Why is joining bepress a good idea?

Papers posted within the bepress system (through the bepress Legal Repository, or through Selected Works) reach a far greater audience than papers posted on a school website.

To date, there are over 130,000 papers in the bepress family and they boast over five million downloads in the last 365 days. In the legal repository alone, papers were downloaded over 700,000 times in 2006.

In addition, scholars can find your papers by topic, author, keyword, or by institution. We also have PDF search capability, which means that our system allows for a much more powerful and complete search than most. Customized email alerts and RSS feeds are also available to readers, allowing them to be automatically notified of new research. Please visit our Information for Readers page to learn more.

We also pursue several avenues to grow our audience of academics, legal professionals and researchers. For example, bepress has a relationship with Google that facilitates their ability to crawl and index our sites.

How does Selected Works fit in with the legal repository?

All law related papers posted to Selected Works are automatically included in the bepress Legal Repository, meaning that they can be found more easily by legal scholars who currently use bepress services. In addition, institutions that use Selected Works are featured prominently in the institutional section of the bepress Legal Repository. See our gallery of active Selected Works users.

How does Selected Works differ from the bepress Legal Repository?
  • With Selected Works, faculty can post all of their content, including journal articles, working papers, presentations and popular press. Within a working paper series, faculty usually post working papers, pre-prints or other non-published material.
  • A working paper series provides information about the department that uses it, but very little about individual authors. On a Selected Works page, detailed information about the site's owner is provided, including background info, titles and affiliations, honors and awards, and courses taught. In addition, authors can upload a photo and CV. For an example, please visit the Selected Works of Gillian K Hadfield.
  • Selected Works sites are controlled and populated by individuals, while working paper series are controlled from the department level. For example, with Selected Works, the faculty member (or a faculty member's representative) uploads content, but with a working paper series a designated school administrator usually does most or all of the article uploading for an entire department.
  • Each Selected Works author controls his or her own mailing list (with co-workers and colleagues signing up right from the author's Selected Works website); working paper mailers are sent out to a mailing list that has been compiled by bepress. Working paper mailers are also not specific to one author, but include all papers from your institution. Please note: institutions that purchase Selected Works can also maintain departmental mailing lists, to which they can send content from all of their authors at their discretion.
  • The working paper series page, such as the University of Michigan Legal Working Paper Series highlights all papers within a department. A Selected Works aggregation page, such as the Selected Works @ Chicago-Kent College of Law highlights newest papers and all authors within a department.
To learn more about Selected Works, or to start your own Selected Works site, please visit the Selected Works home page.

To read more about starting a working paper series in the bepress Legal Repository, please continue reading below.
Who can start a working paper series in the bepress Legal Repository?

Law Schools, law firms, or other legal institutions with legal research programs can start a series. Existing bepress Legal Repository members include Yale, Columbia, NYU, University of Michigan and UC Berkeley.

What else can bepress do to promote our scholarship?

In addition to your website, your institution can choose to purchase bepress mailers, a comprehensive email service that sends institutionally specific table of contents messages (a summary of your new content) to our database of over 60,000 researchers and scholars. Opting for mailers will typically triple the number of downloads that your institution's articles receive.

Can we brand our technical report series?

Your institution's logo and name will be prominently displayed within your bepress legal working paper series. We also link out to your department website, allowing visitors to access your department's webpage. This provides more visibility for the programs and/or services that you offer. Lastly, mailers are sent out under the name of an honorary editor of your choice (a distinguished member of your institution).

How can the bepress Legal Repository help us reach out to our own department?
Through the bepress system you can create your own internal mailers, emailing content updates to faculty, alumni, and students.
Does the bepress Legal Repository replace or supplement our own site's working section?

Some institutions who have had a portion of their website devoted to working papers find that the bepress Legal Repository is a welcome replacement. Others choose to maintain their own site in addition to their bepress working paper series. If you don't already have a working paper series, we encourage you to save yourself the headache and let us create one for you. If you already have one (or if you have one through another provider), bepress can take your existing research to a new level of exposure.

Who maintains our bepress Legal Repository site?

We build and maintain your working paper website. The only thing your department is responsible for is posting papers. This way, you maintain editorial control of content displayed under your moniker.

Who actually does the work of uploading and posting new reports to the site?

Each institution designates an administrator (a member of your department's support staff or a particular faculty member) to upload and post papers. The upload process takes about three minutes per paper. Individual authors can also choose to upload their own articles, which will then be sent to the administrator for approval. Our system automatically converts on the fly from Microsoft Word to PDF if needed. For a more detailed description on posting, please visit our Information for Authors page.

How do I know how often papers in our series are being read?

The administrator of your working paper series can download readership reports at any time. There are several types of reports that you or your administrator can run on the bepress system. The cover page download report will tell you how many people have accessed the abstract page of your article, while a full text report tells you how many people have actually downloaded the full text of the article. A full-text download is accomplished when a reader selects the download the paper option and allows the PDF to launch fully in their browser. You can also find out where people are being referred from, by URL and country.

Does bepress own the papers that it posts?

Since these papers are works in progress, we hold no ownership of the content. Many reports that are currently posted have been published in journals, but continue to be available in some earlier form on the bepress Legal Repository. Most professional journals and/or reviews don't request the removal of earlier versions; a few do. If they (or you) want the paper taken down at any time, just let us know and we will remove it from the site.