By Latia Ward
Purpose of GOALI
Global Online Access to Legal Information (GOALI) is a project of the International Labour Organization (ILO) (a United Nations agency) and its partners which include publishers and academic institutions. One of these partners is Cornell University Law Library where I work as a Research Services Librarian and Diversity Fellow. As part of my work I have created how-to resources for conducting research with GOALI.
The purpose of GOALI is to facilitate access to legal information for researchers in the Global South. To that end, GOALI aligns with Goal 16 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: “Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.” Researchers have access to GOALI through their institutions and the Research4Life website lists nations eligible for GOALI. In their paper entitled Global Online Access to Legal Information (GOALI) – A New Legal Training Resource for Developing Countries, Richelle Van Snellenberg, Unit Head of the ILO Library and Edit Horvàth, User and Outreach Officer of the ILO Library note that GOALI is about more than providing information resources to researchers in the Global South, but also about closing the “knowledge gap in academic research” between nations of wealth and nations of more modest means. The facilitators of GOALI aim to close the “knowledge gap” through the provision of information resources from authoritative and current sources. In addition, Van Snellenberg and Horvàth contextualize the implementation of GOALI within the Free Access to Law Movement and its Declaration on Free Access to Law which states that “Public legal information from all countries and international institutions is part of the common heritage of humanity.” Included within this definition of public legal information are both primary and secondary sources of law.
GOALI is one of the five programs or platforms for information that the Research4Life partnership has produced. Research4Life is a partnership of WHO, FAO, UNEP, WIPO, ILO, Cornell University, Yale University, the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers, and other international publishers. The four other platforms for information are Hinari (health research), AGORA (agricultural research), and OARE (environmental research), ARDI (development and innovation research). GOALI, the newest platform, became available for use on March 6, 2018.
Through GOALI, researchers may access journals, books, databases, and reference sources. GOALI includes resources from the legal field as well as other fields within the social sciences. An example of resources provided by GOALI include open access resources which cover a variety of jurisdictions such as African Journals Online (AJOL) and the ILO’s NATLEX database of national labor, social security, and human rights legislation.
Guides for GOALI
During the spring of 2018, I created a video, tutorials (which consist of slides showing research paths), and exercises on how to use the GOALI database. My goal in creating the video (for which I included closed captions), the tutorials, and exercises was to provide a step-by-step manual on how to conduct research within GOALI.
When I created the tutorials and exercises for GOALI, I began by familiarizing myself with the platform by searching for resources and reviewing training materials that other information specialists had developed for Research4Life’s AGORA platform. I reviewed AGORA exercises and modules for the AGORA Portal and Summon Searching to use as templates (although I had to research and create exercises and tutorials specific to GOALI).
The first tutorial and set of exercises are called the GOALI Basic Course. In the GOALI Basic Course, I explain how to browse the entire GOALI collection, how to locate specific journals, publishers, and subjects, and how to find specific citations. In the second tutorial and set of exercises, I explain how to do a basic Summon search, refine the search, and conduct an advanced search within GOALI. In the third tutorial and set of exercises, I explain how to access publishers’ websites from the GOALI platform, identify general features on publishers’ websites, and how to use these features to find articles. In the GOALI video, I include demonstrations on how to find journals by title, language, and publisher and how to access full-text books.
News about GOALI
The GOALI Launch Event of March 6, 2018 is available on YouTube and includes additional information on why GOALI was created and commentary from Research4Life Partners. To keep up with current news regarding GOALI, follow #GOALI on Twitter (look for posts related to @R4LPartnership and #Research4Life as there are many posts related to soccer and people named Ali) and visit the ILO’s GOALI website often.