Friday, 10 January 2020

Government Information Online service

The govdocs listserv had a posting today that was a reminder about the Government Information Online Service. This is a project of the Education Committee of GODORT, the government documents group of the Association of American Libraries, and it "is available to handle the toughest (government document) reference questions and requests for copies of documents." Their website says,
"Through Government Information Online (GIO) you can ask government information librarians questions on almost any subject from aardvarks to zygomycosis... GIO is a free online information service supported by libraries that participate in the U.S. Government Publishing Office’s Federal Depository Library Program... Government information librarians with a specialized knowledge of agency information dissemination practices — as well as expertise in how to use government information products, resources and or publications — answer all the questions submitted to GIO. These librarians are dedicated to helping users meet their government information needs."

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Tax Notes offers brief online trainings

In honor of Tax Season, Tax Notes (a Barco subscription) is offering 10-minute webinar overviews of their resources. In addition, they offer webinars on using Tax Notes for Low Income Tax Clinics and a webinar called "Life of a Tax Reg," which shows you "how to track a tax reg from its announcement in the priority guidance plan through release of a proposed reg, public comments, the public hearing, and release of the final reg."
Tax Notes is also promising an updated research platform that will move their primary tax law resources - the Internal Revenue Code and regulations - outside their paywall so they will be available to anyone. 

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

WK study aids updates coming soon...

For the New Year, Wolters Kluwer has announced some updates to the Study Aid Library that should be available by the end of this week:
• Ability to choose either ePub or PDF when reading online/offline
• Only titles available in your school’s subscription will be visible
• More than 200 short videos on fundamental concepts of law
• Ability to save favorite study aids for easy access
In early February, they promise to have:
• 200+ audio lectures and text-to-speech capabilities for all books
• Updated MARC records delivered through our new partnership with OCLC.
If you have any questions about accessing these study aids at Pitt Law please contact the eResearch & Technology Services Librarian.  

Friday, 3 January 2020

Free casebooks for law students (?!)

Inside Higher Ed has an article today discussing how an increasing number of law professors are publishing their own casebooks at little or no cost to students. The examples they give are from NYU Law: "Barton Beebe, a law professor at NYU, published the sixth edition of his trademark-law textbook last year. Fellow NYU professors Jeanne Fromer and Christopher Jon Sprigman also published the first edition of their copyright-law textbook in 2019. Both titles are available to download electronically at no charge."
Interestingly, the article points out that these free books are not necessarily considered to be Open Educational Resources (OER): "Definitions of OER vary, but many advocates agree that OER content must be openly licensed to make clear that users can revise and remix the content however they desire. Creative Commons licenses requesting that users provide attribution to the original author, or preventing them from selling the work commercially, are common for OER materials. But licenses stating “no derivatives” are not. These licenses prohibit users from sharing content they have modified without prior permission, even if their changes improve the original material."

The article does NOT discuss Harvard's Berkaman Center H2O Open Casebook Project, of which Pitt Law's Barco Law Library is a member. H2O is an OER platform for creating, editing, organizing, consuming, and sharing course materials; it helps law faculty create high quality, open-licensed digital textbooks for free. 

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Bloomberg Law discontinuing law reviews/journals

Bloomberg Law has announced that they will no longer have law reviews and law journals in the database collection. The announcement said:
"I am writing to inform you that Bloomberg Law will discontinue our limited collection of law review and journal articles. Law reviews and journals, currently available under Secondary Sources in the Browse Menu and from within Practice Centers, will be removed 12/31/2019.
We believe that removal of these materials will have a limited impact on our academic users. Law review articles are among the least used resources available on Bloomberg Law, and are readily available from other sources. Our editorial and product development teams are always primarily focused on producing highest quality practical guidance, analytics, and legal news, and this decision reflects a reallocation of resources to that end."

Monday, 9 December 2019

HeinOnline updates

Two recent additions to HeinOnline that may be of interest:
• The U.S. Presidential Impeachment Library collection in the U.S. Presidential database includes Pres. Trump and access to the "whistleblower" documents.
• In the past month alone, more than 500 volumes and nearly 320,000 pages were added to the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. And the HeinOnline Blog includes a regular post called "Secrets of the Serial Set."  In the most recent post, readers can explore the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and its resulting investigations

Friday, 6 December 2019

North Carolina Supreme Court adopts universal citation format

The NCAPB (North Carolina Appellate Practice Blog) reports that the North Carolina Supreme Court has officially made plans to change the citation format for NC appellate court opinions to the universal citation format.  ("universal citation",sometimes called a "media-neutral" or "vendor-neutral" citation, is one that is media-neutral and does not depend on being located in a print edition of a book).
The change will become effective at the beginning of 2021. The announcement from the courts says that:
..."opinions filed on or after 1 January 2021 will have an immediate, permanent, and medium-neutral ("universal") citation the moment they are issued. Because a universal citation is medium-neutral, it does not point to an official publication of the opinion. Opinions of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the North Carolina Court of Appeals that are filed on or after 1 January 2021 should be cited using this format: [Case Name], [Traditional Citation to the Bound Volume and Page Number of the Court's Official Reporter], [Universal Citation to the Year, Court, and Opinion Number], [Pinpoint Paragraph Number].
e.g., State v. Smith, 375 N.C. 152, 2020-NCSC-45, ¶ 16.
State v. Smith, 255 N.C. App. 43, 2020-NCCOA-118, ¶ 23."

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Georgia v Public Resource in the Supreme Court

Public.Resource.org, the organization founded by Carl Malamud with the motto “Making Government Information More Accessible," has been involved in litigation with the state of Georgia and its Code Revision Commission for several years. At issue is whether states like Georgia can claim copyright ownership over certain legal texts, specifically the official annotated versions of the Georgia statutory code. Public.Resource.org made the law of Georgia freely available online. Georgia objected. Georgia’s official code contains more than just the letter of the law. That extra content – like summaries of relevant court decisions – creates the legal question: can the whole book be freely-published online?
In CODE REVISION COMMISSION and State of Georgia v. PUBLIC.RESOURCE.ORG, INC., 244 F.Supp.3d 1350 (2017), the United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division decided that the annotations in the Code were copyrightable, and the alleged infringer's use was not a non-infringing fair use.
Public.Resource.org appealed, and in Code Revision Commission for General Assembly of Georgia v. Public.Resource.org, 906 F.3d 1229 (2018), the 11th Circuit Court overturned the lower court's ruling and held that "held that annotations editorially created for the annotated compilation of Georgia statutes, while not having the force of law, were sufficiently law-like so as to be regarded as sovereign work constructively authored by the People, and thus were not copyrightable."
The Code Revision Commission of Georgia appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, and in June the Supreme Court granted certiorari in GEORGIA, et al., petitioners, v. PUBLIC.RESOURCE.ORG, INC. 139 S.Ct. 2746 (June 2019) (note that this link goes to Westlaw). The case was argued before the Supreme Court on Monday, December 2. If you are interested in following the case, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued, under the authority of the state and via Internet, a transcript of oral argument prepared by HERITAGE REPORTING CORPORATION Official Reporters.

Fastcase news

Fastcase and ROSS Intelligence have announced a new partnership in which they will share content, research and development in order to allow both Fastcase and ROSS to innovate more quickly. According to the announcement, "As a result of the Fastcase partnership ROSS has achieved data completeness within its platform, which now contains case law, statutes, and regulations across all 50 states. Fastcase and ROSS will be progressively developing additional product integrations and joint features, to be released in the coming months."
Bob Ambrogi, on his Lawsiteblog, calls it a "unique partnership." He interviewed Ed Walters of Fastcase, who said that they are "jointly committing to work together on some collaborative new research projects going forward." Jean O'Grady, in her Deweybstrategic blog, calls the partnership a "paradigm shift," saying that "Fastcase is clearly positioning the company to play the disruptor."

Friday, 22 November 2019

Friday: Is this good news?

In the "things that make you say hmmm" department: The Library of Congress has announced that they "are excited to share out a dataset of 1,000 random (PowerPoint) slide decks from U.S. government websites." If this appeals to you, you can download the entire 3.7 GB dataset of all the actual files (as a zip file).

Elsevier and CMU publishing agreement

Carnegie Mellon University , our neighbor up the street, has announced an agreement with publishing giant Elsevier that "marks an open access milestone." According to a story in Inside Higher Ed, the agreement will "radically change how the institution pays to read and publish research." The agreement prioritizes free and public access to research done at the university. "Instead of paying separately to access Elsevier’s catalog of paywalled content and publish open-access articles in Elsevier journals, Carnegie Mellon will pay one flat fee for both. The deal means that starting on Jan. 1, 2020, all principal investigators publishing in Elsevier journals will have the option of making their research immediately available to the public, at no additional cost. The “read-and-publish” deal is a first with a university in the U.S. for Elsevier and is the result of nearly yearlong negotiations."
To help Carnegie Mellon scholars navigate this agreement and its impact on their work, the University Libraries have created a website with helpful information for the community and answers to frequently asked questions.

Friday, 15 November 2019

A UX review of the PACER website

Medium.com has an interesting post reviewing the usability of the Federal Court system's PACER website. The review tries to be fair and not overly critical of the site, but they also give constructive ideas on how the site could be more user-friendly. They focus on the main sections of the site:
  • The public landing page, originally designed in the early 2000's. The review says that there is too much clutter on the landing page, with key space taken up by secondary information - this could be cleaned up. Also, the page doesn't comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in that the text does not have enough contrast and could easily be adjusted. 
  • The User Login and Dashboard is just a headache, with a lengthy registration process and unclear explanations for what is required. Once a user manages to get a login un and pw there are three different options for logging in and after logging in there are too many clicks to get to the case search screen.
The article goes on to critique the Search Results and the Case Record Detail. There is even a video of a particularly confusing web interface. The best part is that the article offers easy fixes for all of PACER's problems with graphic representation of what it could look like.

webinar on Legal Information Archive project

The Legal Information Preservation Alliance (LIPA) has announced that they are hosting an informational webinar on the Legal Information Archive Project hosted in conjunction with Preservica, the digital archive provider for LIPA, on Tuesday, November 19th at 11 a.m. (Eastern)/8 a.m. (Pacific). During the presentation, we will provide an overview of the project and answer any questions for members who may be interested in joining and preserving through the Legal Information Archive.
 In addition, Preservica will also cover how they:
 • Manage and safeguard institutional content and other legal resources.
• Enable you to easily upload and ingest new content into Preservica.
• Ensure permanent access to vital legal information through online publication.
You can register here for the webinar. 

Saturday, 9 November 2019

HSDL Critical Releases in Homeland Security: The Crisis of Social Media

The most recent posting by the Homeland Security Digital Library includes a link to an interesting article titled Freedom On The Net 2019: The Crisis of Social Media (32 page pdf). It is subtitled "What was once a liberating technology has become a conduit for surveillance and electoral manipulation." (The report was prepared by Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.) Freedom on the Net is a comprehensive study of internet freedom in 65 countries around the globe, covering 87 percent of the world’s internet users. It tracks improvements and declines in internet freedom conditions each year. The countries included in the study have been selected to represent diverse geographical regions and regime types. From the document:
"Internet freedom is increasingly imperiled by the tools and tactics of digital authoritarianism, which have spread rapidly around the globe. Repressive regimes, elected incumbents with authoritarian ambitions, and unscrupulous partisan operatives have exploited the unregulated spaces of social media platforms, converting them into instruments for political distortion and societal control. While social media have at times served as a level playing field for civic discussion, they are now tilting dangerously toward illiberalism, exposing citizens to an unprecedented crackdown on their fundamental freedoms. Moreover, a startling variety of governments are deploying advanced tools to identify and monitor users on an immense scale. As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2019."

Friday, 8 November 2019

Internet Archive & Better World Books are preserving books online

Against the Grain has a story about a partnership between Better World Books and the Internet Archive. It seems that BetterWorld Books is now owned by a non-profit affiliated with Internet Archive, called Better World Libraries. The Internet Archive will acquire, digitize, lend, store and digitally preserve millions of deaccessioned library books that go to BWB. At the same time, they will be sharing a major dissemination program for their digitized books through clickable citations in Wikipedia articles in 8 different languages. And any book that does not yet exist in digital form will go into a pipeline for future digitization, preservation and access.

Hat tip: Pat Roncevich

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

1,300 Congressional Hearings dating back to 1958 now available on govinfo

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has announced that it has digitized more than 1,300 historical Congressional Hearings dating back to 1958 and made them available on govinfo. This project is part of a multi-year effort to digitize a collection of nearly 15,000 Congressional Hearings from Kansas State University Libraries; and is one of a series of recent projects in which GPO has worked to expand free public access to Congressional information in digital formats.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Society for Empirical Legal Studies questions ULS News plans

Inside Higher Ed reports that the Board of Directors of the Society for Empirical Legal Studies has written a 5 page letter to U.S. News & World Report to "express concern" about its plans to create a law school "scholarly impact" ranking based on HeinOnline data. The letter says that
"HeinOnline’s present citation-measurement system has three principal problems: (1) it is biased against interdisciplinary legal scholarship; (2) it omits all book manuscripts and chapters; and (3) it systematically undervalues the academic contributions of junior scholars, which would inhibit law schools from recruiting diverse faculties."
They add that "For instance, Google Scholar’s database of citations includes nearly all academic publications, including books. It can also be tailored in different ways, such as giving more weight to recent publications. While Google Scholar currently contains some attribution errors, so does HeinOnline, and data scientists are already developing ways to clean and harvest more accurate citation data from Google Scholar."

Friday, 18 October 2019

State government publications and copyright

Works of the federal government are in the public domain and free for anyone to use according to 17 U.S.C. § 105. What about States, territories and the District of Columbia? Harvard Library has a State Copyright Guide online that makes it easy to look up the copyright status of state documents. The site says: "It turns out that figuring out whether state documents are copyrighted is a tricky question, and we've created this website to help identify the relevant laws in each state."

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

NASIG webinar of interest to librarians

NASIG is offering a Webinar titled "Designing for Accessibility" on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 1 pm EST. The webinar is not free but is $35 for NASIG and NISO members, #50 for non-members. Description:
From online course materials to documents and presentations, we all share some responsibility when it comes to creating accessible content. This session provides a brief introduction to designing for accessibility: the importance of accessible design and high-impact practices digital content creators can apply to create documents, images, audio, video, and web content accessible to users of all abilities.
Webinar participants will:
Discover the importance of accessible design
Explore common accessibility challenges and solutions
Identify resources for creating accessible content.
You can find out more and register at the NASIG website.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Search term emphasis on Westlaw

A recent announcement from Thomson Reuters points out a new enhancement to Westlaw searching called "Search Term Emphasis." You can see this when you are searching Westlaw Edge and click on the "Search Tips" button under the jurisdiction selector next to the search box:
Add emphasis to your most important search terms if your initial search did not return desired results. Search Term Emphasis can promote documents containing the emphasized terms. Apply Search Term Emphasis by adding a caret '^' after an important term. The caret symbol '^' is above the 6 on the keyboard 
Examples:
dog canine /p detect! /s drug /p trunk tire^ car automobile
qualified immunity excessive force taser^
Note that the "Search Tips" guide is also newly expanded and offers more help in conduction searches on Westlaw.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

PLI announces tool for tracking CLEs

The Practising Law Institute (PLI) has announced the launch of My Credit Tracker, a tool that you can use to track, organize, and manage your CLE credit compliance progress, in any jurisdiction for any credit type. My Credit Tracker enables you to keep all your credit information in one convenient location and is available to anyone who sets up a free account. Credits earned from PLI are automatically shown, and you can also enter credits earned elsewhere. All credits are displayed on an elegant user interface accessible from a computer or mobile device. When you complete your "compliance profile" using the Compliance Date Wizard, My Credit Tracker will alert and remind you of CLE deadlines.
And the Barco Law library's subscription to PLI Plus also gives you online access to the full collection of PLI Press publications containing over 87,000 documents including Treatises, Course Handbooks, Journals, Answer Books, Legal Forms, and Program Transcripts. The extensive PLI collection is updated regularly to reflect the latest in legal developments and includes practical materials for professional lawyers.

Impeachment information

With impeachment in the news, you can become more informed about the subject by using the libguide "Government Sources by Subject: Impeachment of a U.S. President" created by librarians at the University of Washington.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Citation Counts: Interdisciplinary Scholarship

Tax Prof Blog has an interesting post that discusses a new article on SSRN written by scholars at Vanderbilt University titled "Total Scholarly Impact: Law Professor Citations in Non-Law Journals."
From the SSRN Abstract:
"This Article provides the first ranking of legal scholars and law faculties based on citations in non-law journals. Applying the methods, as much as possible, of the widely used Leiter-Sisk “Scholarly Impact Score,” which includes only citations in law publications, we calculate a “Interdisciplinary Scholarly Impact Score” from the non-law citations over a five-year period (2012-2018) to the work of tenured law faculty published in that period in non-law journals. We also provide the weighted scores for law faculty at the top 25 law schools as ranked by the US News rankings, a school-by-school ranking, and lists of the top five faculty by non-law citations at each school and of the top fifty scholars overall."

Constitution Day

In honor of Constitution Day, the Law Library of Congress has announced that "The Constitution Annotated Is Now Easier to Search and Browse" with a link that takes us to the Congressional Research Service's new version of the Constitution Annotated.  According to the announcement,
"The Constitution Annotated allows you to “read about the Constitution in plain English…providing a comprehensive overview of Supreme Court decisions interpreting the United States Constitution.” The Constitution Annotated is a Senate document created by the Congressional Research Service that makes the Constitution accessible to all Americans, regardless of their background in law. In the past, the web version of this document, which is linked from Congress.gov, consisted of PDFs that could be challenging to search. With this release, the document is available in a more accessible and user-friendly HTML format that is convenient to search and browse."

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Two nice sites created by Government Information librarians

Two library sites created by government info librarians that may be of interest to law librarians and legal scholars:
1. Weekly Roundup of U.S. Government Information is a great libguide that provides a current awareness resource about happenings in the federal government. Created by Kelly Smith, a GovInfo librarian at UC San Diego, she collects content from agency press releases, reports from the Office of Inspector General, Congressional Budget Office, the Congressional Research Service, the Government Accountability Office, and other items in the news. The page is updated weekly to provide links to important, news-worthy, or interesting federal government material published during the previous week. You can subscribe to the Weekly Roundup by going to this page and entering your email address in the "Subscribe" box.
Oh, and her entire U.S. Government Information libguide is really well done.

2.The Cold War & Internal Security Collection website from the J.Y. Joyner Library at East Carolina University includes over 1,500 volumes of congressional hearings, committee prints and committee reports published between 1918-1977, primarily covering congressional investigations of organizations deemed "subversive" or "un-American". David Durant, the Federal Documents & Social Sciences librarian at the library also keeps a blog related to the collection; his most recent post looks at the history of Russian efforts to influence public opinion in the US and its allies, from the late 1970s to the 2016 US elections. These efforts, collectively labeled as "active measures", are the subject of an exhibit currently at the Joyner library. 

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Lexis interface change...

This just in from LexisNexis: "Find a Source" and "Find a Topic", formerly on the "Browse" dropdown menu, have moved to "Explore Content" on Lexis Advance "for a more intuitive and streamlined user experience."

What's your PPQ?

The Teaching Newsletter from the Chronicle of Higher Education recently had an article titled "How Calling on Random Students Could Hurt Women," in which a psychologist who studies gender differences in public performance urges instructors to encourage classroom participation in ways that avoid putting students on the spot. There is a link to a longer article "Teaching Tips: Asking Questions" that goes into detail about how students feel about being called on and ways to engage students and increase student participation without causing undue embarassment. One idea is to monitor your PPQ ratio - how much participation per question do you get in class?
"When many students offer answers to a question, the ratio is high. A consistent pattern of stony silence lowers the PPQ ratio but more importantly leaves teachers feeling frustrated... The absence of student response may well be the most common stimulus for initiating “calling on” behavior."

The article then offers a number of suggestions on how to "increase your PPQ" and promote interchange in class, as well as ways to encourage students to ask questions.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Women who reshaped the federal Judiciary

The United States Courts website is running an inspiring series of articles about 23 women judges who in 1979 reshaped the federal Judiciary. In coming weeks, profiles of individual judges will be published each Wednesday. View the stories in the series and read the introductory article.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

The Essential FDLP

The Government Publishing Office (GPO) has begun a new intiative called "The Essential FDLP." They are gathering stories, testimonials, and short videos about the importance, value, and vital nature of the FDLP (Federal Depository Library Program) and Government information. These will be featured on FDLP.gov, GPO.gov, and via GPO social media. To learn more and contribute your thoughts, please complete this form. Note that form fields are optional. Please contribute to any or all questions. Photos, video clips, and audio clips are all welcome and encouraged.
Examples might include:
 · Your favorite Government publication
 · Reference success stories
 · Descriptions of how Government information was used in your teaching or your work
 · Illustrations of a time when Government information helped a member of your community
 · Testimonials received from patrons
 · Any words you have to say about the importance of the FDLP.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Lexis Advance CourtLink now on Lexis lawschool accounts

From the blurb:
The most comprehensive docket research tool available is now easier to use than ever with the new CourtLink® on Lexis Advance®! All faculty and students now have access to the exceptional court coverage of the CourtLink service, redesigned with familiar Lexis Advance features as well as enhanced capabilities and faster navigation. Lexis Advance CourtLink provides: • A single, simplified search form • One-click set up for alerts and tracks • The same unmatched court coverage • Access with one ID (Lexis Advance ID)
To access, sign in to lexisadvance.com and select the "product switcher menu", top left (looks like the side of a Rubik's Cube).
Lexis also provides a "Quick Reference Guide" to CourtLink as well as a set of CourtlLink training videos

Friday, 19 July 2019

GPO & DPLA Partnering to Make Government eBooks More Accessible

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) has announced that the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) are partnering to make Government eBooks more accessible. DPLA has created Open Bookshelf, a platform for eBooks where open-licensed eBooks are available to the public. GPO is going to use this platform to make its books available.
"Through Open Bookshelf, GPO can provide a service model to meet the needs of modern-day users. There are over 500 eBooks available on the Catalog of Government Publications (CGP); partnering with the DPLA eBook program will help GPO to continue to achieve its goals."
Learn more about the project on the FDLP/DPLA eBook Pilot Project page.


hat tip: Pat Roncevich

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Dean Wildermuth discusses Justice Stevens

Pitt Law Dean Amy Wildermuth clerked for U.S Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens who passed away recently.  She was interviewed about her time as Justice Stevens' law clerk on Pittsburgh's public radio station WESA. Interviewer Kevin Gavin spoke with Dean Wildermuth on his program called "The Confluence." You can read about the interview on the WESA website where you can also listen to a recording of the program; the interview with Dean Wildermuth begins at minute 12:23.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

GPO has digitized the Public Papers of the Presidents

The Government Publishing Office has announced that the GPO and the National Archives' Office of the Federal Register have digitized The Public Papers of the Presidents for Presidents Herbert Hoover (1929) through George H.W. Bush (1990), with the exception of the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidency. (The papers of President Franklin Roosevelt were published privately before the commencement of the official Public Papers series.) Each volume of The Public Papers of the Presidents is comprised of a forward by the President, public writings, addresses, remarks, and photographs.
This digitization effort joined the already digital version of Public Papers for Presidents George H. W. Bush (1991−1992), William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack H. Obama.
The compiled and published Public Papers of the Presidents began in 1957 in response to a recommendation of the National Historical Publications Commission. Noting the lack of uniform compilations of messages and papers of the Presidents before this time, the Commission recommended the establishment of an official series in which Presidential writings, addresses, and remarks of a public nature could be made available. This recommendation was issued under section 6 of the Federal Register Act (44 U.S.C. 1506).

Westlaw and ICE?

Two listserv posts came in yesterday alerting us to this interesting topic. The first offered a link to this article in SSRN titled "When Westlaw Fuels ICE Surveillance: Ethics in the Era of Big Data Policing." The abstract opens with this:
Legal research companies are selling surveillance data and services to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and other law enforcement agencies. This Article discusses ethical issues that arise when lawyers buy and use legal research services sold by the same vendors responsible for building ICE’s surveillance systems.
The second post followed with a link to a blogpost by law librarian Tom Boone titled "Why I'm Boycotting Thomson Reuters at AALL19." Tom adds that:
"I’ve written this post to share information with other AALL attendees so they’re aware of TR’s business relationship with ICE and its non-response to Privacy International’s inquiries. Each person can then decide for themselves—on an informed basis—whether to take any action."

Friday, 28 June 2019

GPO digitization projects need content

From the Federal Depository Library Program:
"GPO is actively digitizing content, with an immediate focus on adding historical, retrospective content to existing govinfo collections. GPO may accept materials from depository libraries for digitization.
If your depository is weeding any of the titles listed here, and volumes are not claimed within your region, please contact us at FDLPoutreach@gpo.gov. If any of the materials meet our digitization needs, GPO will cover the cost of shipping the material to GPO. GPO's needs are also listed in FDLP eXchange, and will automatically match to any depositories that are offering nationally."
On the same page you can download Excel spreadsheets listing the content they need for the Federal Register Index (2005-12), the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, and the Congressional Directory (1809-1905) so if your library is deaccessioning any of your print versions of these documents they would be grateful.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Supreme Court agrees to hear Georgia v Public Resource case on copyright of state government law

Law360 reports that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case filed by the state of Georgia against Public.Resource.org (the nonprofit organization founded by Carl Malamud dedicated to "Making Government Information More Accessible"). Public Resource published the annotated Georgia code without permission. The 11th Circuit had tossed the case out last November, "saying citizens should have 'unfettered access to the legal edicts that govern their lives.'”
The case is Georgia et al. v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., case number 18-1150, in the U.S. Supreme Court. Docket is here.


Fastcase transitioning

Fastcase has announced that they are getting ready to move from Fastcase 6 (classic) to Fastcase 7 (the latest in cutting edge legal research). Currently, if you use Fastcase you can use the button in the top right of the screen to toggle to Fastcase 7. Fastcase 7, with expanded tools, features and content, will become the default access over the summer.
They have training videos available about Fastcase 7. They are also offering training webinars on several Monday afternoons; register here if you're interested.

ALA removes Melvil Dewey from the award with his name

Inside Higher Ed reports that: "The Council of the American Library Association voted Sunday to remove the name of Melvil Dewey, one of the founders of the association and inventor of the book classification system named for him, from the association's medal. A resolution passed by the Council said that 'whereas Melvil Dewey did not permit Jewish people, African Americans, or other minorities admittance to the resort owned by Dewey and his wife' and 'whereas Dewey made numerous inappropriate physical advances toward women he worked with and wielded professional power over,' his name should not remain on the medal."