Arjun Sheoran, a fifth year student at NLSIU who founded the free legal search engine Law Khoj has just launched a promising new site called Legalsutra which allows students and others to share academic writing. As he describes:
“Legalsutra, a non profit – non commercial venture, is a free legal knowledge and document repository. The repository not only includes variety of academic papers/projects but also archives moot memorials and class notes.
In order to encourage academic writing and interaction amongst law students pan India, Legalsutra gives students the option to comment, share, rate and upload their papers. Keeping with the spirit of free access to knowledge, Legalsutra also provides for several research tools such as search engines created solely for legal research and links which not only cover Indian legal resources but also covers foreign legal resources. Legalsutra was created with the belief that a common platform to share knowledge and research would lead to better access to legal education and improvement in the standards of academic writing. Legalsutra is modelled on the principle that access to education and legal research resources should not be restricted to certain law schools/colleges but must be easily available to each law student with a quest for knowledge. Legalsutra understands the growing menace of plagiarism and the impact it has on the legal writing. As clearly stated on the site, Legalsutra strongly condemns and discourages plagiarism. The site is, uniquely, designed to prevent plagiarism and a simple plagiarism check or an internet search would indicate if any work has been plagiarised from Legalsutra.Help us by doing your bit to make this a success!”I think there is a lot of potential in such a site and congratulate his efforts. As someone currently teaching in India though I would reemphasize Arjun’s last point to students out there about plagiarism. Sites such as this should be seen as a valuable potential starting point to gather information and inspiration about a legal topic, not a place to copy from. All sources used in a paper should always be cited.