Research4Life launches Global Online Access to Legal Information

Lora Johns

This week on March 6, 2018, the global information gap in legal research will shrink dramatically.

That is when Global Online Access to Legal Information launches. GOALI aims to change the world landscape of legal research and practice by providing low- and middle-income countries affordable access to scholarly and professional legal research materials.

GOALI is the newest program within Research4Life, a public-private partnership that aims to bring free or low cost online access to academic and professional peer-reviewed content to developing countries. So far, Research4Life has brought resources for health, agriculture, environmental studies, and development and innovation to more than 8,500 institutions in 115 countries.

“Research4Life is a partnership that functions entirely on the basis of good will. It gives me great pleasure to see that good will expanding through the launch of GOALI,” said Daniel Dollar, the current chair of the Research4Life Executive Council.

Teresa Miguel-Stearns of the Yale Law Library has been working on bringing GOALI to life for four years. In 2014, Liesbeth Kanis and Research4Life floated the idea of creating a program to provide licensed legal content to institutions in less-wealthy countries at low or no cost. “I was immediately sold on the idea,” said Professor Miguel-Stearns.

The GOALI team at Yale has worked with publishers to provide access to their online legal content to GOALI users. They have successfully secured over 10,000 titles from more than 60 publishers–and that’s just the beginning. Sometimes, we forget how lucky we are to have a world of legal legal knowledge at our fingertips. “We know how fortunate we are here at Yale to have access to a vast array of legal material,” said Professor Miguel-Stearns. Through the hard work of librarians on both sides of the Atlantic, and the goodwill of legal publishers across the globe, more judges, lawyers, librarians, and legal scholars than ever will have access to the high-quality legal information we so often take for granted. These resources will help lawyers to provide even more effective legal representation and judges to develop more learned jurisprudence; enable new scholars contribute to the global body of legal scholarship; and empower diverse populations to promote the rule of law and social justice in their communities.

You can view the law library’s launch video below:

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