Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
Ecology Law Quarterly
April 1, 2018

Empirical Environmental Scholarship
By Robert L. Fischman and Lydia Barbash-Riley

Environmental law can learn from the efforts of other specialties to make data available for researchers. Civil procedure scholars have long made use of the federal Public Access to Court Electronic Records website. It collects case filings and docket information but may be prohibitively expensive for researchers outside of the Federal Judicial Center.Some legal fields employ data curated by public agencies. For instance, criminal law empirical research mines FBI crime statistics, the U.S. Sentencing Commission datasets, and the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which collects information from federal law enforcement generally through Freedom of Information Act requests. A similar, searchable database containing content from all NEPA and ESA analyses would fertilize empirical analysis.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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