Operating on the premise that research on contracting is stymied by a lack of available contracts, the Contracting and Organizations Research Institute at the University of Missouri, Columbia, is working to create a digital collection of contracts and make them available over the Internet. The collection so far contains more than 10,000 contracts, drawn primarily from filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database, where company filings frequently include contracts of interest to investors. CORI downloads, extracts and categorizes these contracts and makes them available via a full text search and retrieval system. Users can search the library by full text or according to contract type. Available contracts cover mergers and acquisitions, employment, finance, joint ventures, leases, licenses, purchases, joint ventures, agriculture and underwriting. In addition to the digital contracts, CORI has a collection of hard-copy contracts, including HMO-physician agreements, sports stadium leases, container shipping contracts, and more. These contracts are described at the site and can be ordered by e-mail.

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Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.