James Donovan, Ph.D.

    Calculated based on the number of publications stored in Pure and citations from PlumX
    1987 …2024

    Research activity per year

    Personal profile

    Research Interests

    The research interests that have organized my writing goals reflect the three disciplinary focuses in which I work:

    (1) Libraries and librarianship;

    (2) Law and sexuality; and

    (3) Legal Anthropology.

    Although these projects are mutually enriching, they explore questions that benefit from the unique methodologies associated with the different academic disciplines. A connecting thread throughout, however, is a preference to support positions defended, to the extent possible, with the use of empirical data on-point to the question.


    Curriculum Vitae

    Professional Experience

    2010-present     University of Kentucky College of Law, Library Director

    2003-2010         University of Georgia School of Law Library, Faculty and Access Services Librarian

    1991-1997          Tulane University School of Law Library, Librarian for Access Services

    Representative Publications

    Books/Book Chapters

    University of Kentucky law library. (Forthcoming 2022). In Academic Law Library Structures: Past, Present, and Future (Beth Adelman & Jessica de Perio Wittman, eds., Hein).

    The interim director in the academic law library. (Forthcoming 2022). In Interim Leadership in Libraries (Jennifer Knievel & Leslie Reynolds, eds., ACRL). Co-author: Billie Joe Kaufman.

    Benefits, drawbacks, and risks of AI. (2020). In Law Librarianship in the Age of AI 131-144 (Elyssa Valenti, ed., ALA Editions).

    Introduction: Why bibliography? (2018). In Sexual Orientation, Gender Identities, and the Law: A Research Bibliography xiii-xix (Dana Neacşu & David B. Holt, eds., Hein).

    Reciprocity as a species of fairness: Completing Malinowski’s theory of law. (2016). In Bronislaw Malinowski's Concept of Law 83-106 (Mateusz Stępień, ed., Springer).

    Introduction. (2015). In John M. Allegro, The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish History From the Time of the Exile Until the Revolt of Bar Kocheba (2nd ed., Piketon, OH: Rousseau, Etc.). [Kindle format only]

    Introduction. (2013). In Bronislaw Malinowski, Crime and Custom in Savage Society 1-25 (Transaction Publishers).

    Legal Anthropology: An Introduction (2008). (AltaMira Press).

    Corporate domestic partner benefits. (2007). In Defending Same-Sex Marriage, Vol. 1: “Separate but Equal” No More 81-105 (Mark Strasser ed., Praeger).

    Sexual Orientation and the Law: A Research Bibliography (Editor-in-chief). (2006). (AALL Publication Series No. 74, Buffalo, NY: Hein).

    Anthropology and Law. (2003). (NY: Berghahn Press, 2003).  Co-author: H. Edwin Anderson.

    Defining religion. (2003). In Selected Readings in the Anthropology of Religion: Theoretical and Methodological Essays 61-98 (Stephen D. Glazier & Charles A. Flowerday, eds., Praeger).

    Multiple personality, hypnosis, and possession trance. (1996). In Yearbook of Cross-Cultural Medicine and Psychotherapy 1994, 99-112.

    Homosexual, gay, and lesbian: Defining the words and sampling the populations. (1992). In Gay and Lesbian Studies 27-47 (Henry L. Minton ed., Haworth Press). 

    Articles: Law Scholarship

    Cross-cultural analogues for the UDHR: Ethnographic foundation for the identification of genuinely “human” rights. (In progress).

    Limits of the rule of law: Negotiating Afghan “traditional” law in the international civil trials in the Czech Republic. (2021). 54 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1123-1161. Co-author: Tomáš Ledvinka.

    Academic law libraries and scholarship: Communication, publishing, and ranking. (2020). Journal of Law & Education 49(4): 433-485. Co-author: Dana Neacsu.

    Too much, too soon? Obergefell as applied equality practice. (2019). Mississippi Law Journal 88(3):281-322. Co-author: Alyssa Oakley Milby.

    Human rights: From legal transplants to fair translation. (2017). Wisconsin International Law Journal 34(3):475-534.

    Half-baked: The demand by for-profit businesses for religious exemptions from selling to same-sex couples. (2016). Loyola Los Angeles Law Review 49(1): 39-118.

    Law, legitimacy, and the maligned adverb. (2015). Mississippi College Law Review 33(3): 275-290.

    The open access advantage for American law reviews. (2015). Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society 97(1): 4-25. Co-authors: Carol A. Watson; Caroline Osborne. Originally released in the JPTOS online journal, EDISON.

    Tenure and the law library director. (2012). Journal of Legal Education 61(3): 406-434. Co-author: Kevin Shelton.

    Citation advantage of open access legal scholarship. (2011). Law Library Journal 103: 553-573. Co-author: Carol A. Watson.

    Why law? (Fall 2011). UK Law Notes 34.

    Delimiting the culture defense. (2007). Quinnipiac Law Review [QLR] 26(1): 109-Co-author: John Stuart Garth.

    “Anticipatory self-defense” and other stories. (2005). Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy 14(2): 487-523. Co-author: Jeanne M. Woods

    Civilian immunity and the rebuttable presumption of innocence. (2004). Journal of Law in Society 5: 409-456.

    Same-sex union announcements: Whether newspapers must publish them, and why we should care. (2003). Brooklyn Law Review 68(3): 721-807.

    Same-sex union announcements: Precis on a not so picayune matter. (2003). Loyola Law Review 49: 171-213.

    Rock-salting the slippery slope: Why same-sex marriage is not a commitment to polygamous marriage. (2002). Northern Kentucky Law Review 29(3): 521-590.

    Casenote: Burdine v. Johnson – To sleep, perchance to get a new trial: Presumed prejudice arising from sleeping counsel. (2001). Loyola Law Review 47: 1585-1603.

    Baby steps or one fell swoop?:  The incremental extension of rights is not a defensible strategy. (2001). California Western Law Review 38(1): 1-62.

    An ethical argument to restrict domestic partnerships to same-sex couples. (1998). Law & Sexuality 8: 649-670.

    DOMA: An unconstitutional establishment of fundamentalist Christianity. (1997). Michigan Journal of Gender & Law 4: 335-373

    Restoring Free Exercise protections by limiting them: Preventing a repeat of Smith. (1996). Northern Illinois University Law Review 17: 1-49.

    Do librarians deserve tenure? Casting an anthropological eye upon role definition within the law school. (1996). Law Library Journal 88(3): 382-401.

    God is as God does: Law, anthropology, and the definition of “religion.” (1995). Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal 6(1): 23-99.

    A philosophical ground for gays’ rights: We must learn what is true in order to do what is right. (1993). George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal 4(1&2): 1-40.

    Articles: Non-Law Scholarship

    Grounding suicide terrorism in death anxiety and consumer capitalism. 44 Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review 1-42 (2021).

    Leave the books on the shelves: Library space as intrinsic facilitator of the reading experience. (2020). Journal of Academic Librarianship 46(2): 102104 (7 pp.).

     Diversity: How is AALL doing? (2017). Law Library Journal 109(1): 7-50.

    Order matters: Typology of dual-degreed law librarians. (2014). Legal Reference Services Quarterly 33(1): 1-37.

    Becoming director: An internal candidate’s view. (2013). Library Management 34(3): 188-199. Co-author: Pat Newcombe

    A library is not the books: An ethical obstacle to the digital library. (2012). Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 10(2): 93-106.

    Will an institutional repository hurt my SSRN ranking?: Calming the faculty fear. (2012). AALL Spectrum 16(6): 12-13+. Co-author: Carol A. Watson.

    Libraries as doppelgängers: A meditation on collection development. (2009). Southeastern Law Librarian 34(3/4): 4-7.

    Back away from the survey monkey! (2009). AALL Spectrum 14(2): 20-23.

    A library romantic’s reply to Richard Danner. (2008). Legal Reference Services Quarterly 27(4): 255-262.  

    Skating on thin intermediation: Can libraries survive? (2008). Legal Reference Services Quarterly 27(2/3): 95-116.

    Implicit religion and the curvilinear relationship between religion and death anxiety: A review study. (2002). Implicit Religion 5: 17-28.

    A Brazilian challenge to Lewis’s explanation of cult mediumship. (2000). Journal of Contemporary Religion 15: 361-377.

    Reinterpreting telepathy as unusual experiences of empathy and charisma. (1998). Perceptual and Motor Skills 87: 131-146.

    Toward a model relating empathy, charisma, and telepathy. (1997). Journal of Scientific Exploration 11: 455-471.

    Psychic unity constraints upon successful intercultural communication. (1997). Language & Communication 17: 219-235. Co-author: Brian Rundle.

    Espying the limits of human knowledge. (March 1997). Anthropology Newsletter 38(3): 16. 

    Relating psychological measures to anthropological observations: Procrastination as a field proxy for death anxiety? (1995). Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 10: 465-472.

    Validation of a Portuguese form of Templer’s Death Anxiety Scale. (1993). Psychological Reports 73: 195-200.

    Charisma, empathy, and the experience of telepathy. (1992). Journal of Indian Psychology 10(1&2): 11-26.

    The effects of sex and sexual orientation on attractiveness judgments: An evolutionary interpretation. (1992). Ethology and Sociobiology 13: 73-85. Co-authors: William Jankowiak; Elizabeth Hill.

    Patron expectations about collocation: Measuring the difference between the psychologically real and the really real. (1991). Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 13(2): 23-43.

    On the nature of belief. (1991). American Anthropologist 93: 690-691.

    Blaming it on God: Considerations when presented with supernatural explanatory entities. (1990). Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 2: 230-249.

    Gender, sexual orientation, and truth-of-consensus in studies of physical attractiveness. (1989). Journal of Sex Research 26(2): 264-271. Co-authors: Elizabeth Hill; William Jankowiak.

    Sociobiological and psychosocial models of physical attractiveness phenomena: A confrontation of theories. (1989). Human Mosaic 23(1&2): 79-90.


    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

    Education/Academic qualification

    Juris Doctor, Loyola University


    Master of Arts, Louisiana State University


    Doctor of Philosophy, Tulane University Of Louisiana


    Master of Library Science, Louisiana State University


    Bachelor of Arts, University Of Tennessee- Chattanooga



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