Saturday, 30 May 2020

Opening America Up Again

The CDC had created a 60 page + document on reopening, titled "CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again" for public distribution (62 page pdf). According to the document: "This document briefly summarizes CDC’s initiatives, activities, and tools in support of the Whole-of-Government." response to COVID-19.

Hat tip: the GovDocs listserv and Ben Amata, govdocs librarian at Cal State Sacramento

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Cambridge Legal Studies freely available

Cambridge University Press has announced that in honor of the 40th volume of their publication Legal Studies, they are offering free access to the most recent issue until June 15.
Highlights from this issue include:
 Contextual review: the instinctive impulse and unstructured normativism in judicial review by Dean R Knight *Winner of the SLS Annual Conference Best Paper Prize 2019
 Anti-money laundering regulation and the art market by Saskia Hufnagel and Colin King
 A vindicatory approach to tortious liability for mistakes in assisted human reproduction by Andrea Mulligan.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

GPO Webinar Offerings


Check out these free, upcoming educational webinars from the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO). There's something for everyone. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

2020 Law Graduates: access to Lexis, Westlaw and BloombergLaw

Law school graduates have extended use of Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg. Here's the specific info for each database:
  • Lexis Advance: Graduates have continuing access to their law school accounts until Dec. 31, 2020. Graduates who log on after July 5, 2020 will receive an offer for extended access to selected Lexis products (e.g., Law360, Lexis Practice Advisor). 
  •  Westlaw Edge: Graduating students may extend access through TR’s Grad Elite program. Registered students will get 60 hours per month full access for 6 months post-graduation through Nov. 30, 2020.
  • Bloomberg Law: 2020 graduating law students will have unrestricted access to Bloomberg Law® through June 1, 2021.

Monday, 4 May 2020

US Supreme Court to livestream oral arguments

Today, Monday May 4 at 10 a.m., the justices of the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. and for the first time will livestream the oral arguments. Click to tune in to the live audio stream from CSpan.

Friday, 1 May 2020

US Supreme Court rules in favor of

The United States Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Carl malamud's Public.Resource.Org in its case against the state of Georgia. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that the state of Georgia can't claim copyright over its annotated code. State publications are now unambiguously in the public domain. The opinion is available here.
The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh. There were two dissenting opinions: one authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Alito and Breyer, and the other authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and joined by Justice Breyer.
At issue in the case was the Official Code of Georgia, Annotated, published exclusively by LexisNexis. The sate contracts with LexisNexis to publish the Georgia state code as well as to write and publish the annotations under the supervision of Georgia’s Code Revision Commission. The state of Georgia argued that the annotations are copyrightable.
The majority of the court found that the involvement of the state commission in overseeing the annotation process means that annotations can be considered a product of the legislative process and, in a sense, to be authored by legislators. “Although Lexis expends considerable effort preparing the annotations, for purposes of copyright that labor redounds to the Commission as the statutory author,” Roberts wrote. He concluded that “whatever work [a] judge or legislator produces in the course of his judicial or legislative duties is not copyrightable.”
The decision is an important win for and for the open government movement. But, a Law360 article on the decision adds, "What is guaranteed is that publishers who work with governmental representatives will be looking closely at their contracts and relationships, with the court's new ruling in hand, to assess the structure and incentives that surround the creation of annotations, summaries and other analysis of the law."

Thursday, 16 April 2020

CRS Report on Remote Voting

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has just published a new report titled Constitutional Considerations of Remote Voting In Congress. From the report:
COVID-19 has had an impact on almost every facet of American life. Congress has not been spared. Largely because the risk of transmission of the disease is highest in concentrated groups, there have been calls to alter the internal operation of the two chambers to introduce “social distancing” into the legislative process.... The prospect of remote voting has given rise to many issues and concerns, ranging from its impact on the deliberative nature of Congress to the technological and security hurdles inherent in its implementation. But there are also constitutional questions.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) resources from WK

From Wolters Kluwer:
"Our primary goal during this time is to be proactive regarding the health and safety of our customers and our employees. We also remain committed to providing you with the same high level of service you have come to expect from us without interruption. We are making COVID-19 (Coronavirus) resources for legal, health and compliance professionalsavailable - at no charge – to support our customers and the legal community."
They then provide a link to their "Cheetah COVID-19 State & Federal Compare Smart Chart™." To use the smart chart, you first select a topic or topics and then select which jurisdictions you would like to compare, then click "see results." For example, you can compare the COVID-19 Recommendations that have been published as Executive Orders from the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to see how they compare and when they made these orders.

hat tip: Pat Roncevich

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

COVID-19 Projections: hospital resource use

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) website has a good visualization of hospital resource needs through August. Note that you can use the dropdown menu to see state by state information.

Monday, 30 March 2020

The legal minds behind stay-at-home orders

Law360 has an interesting article titled "The Attys And Legal Logic Behind Stay-At-Home Orders" (login required), discussing the attorneys who are helping local governments draft unfamiliar and unprecedented orders requiring citizens to stay at home to slow the coronavirus' spread.

"Drafting those orders is akin to tiptoeing through a legal minefield. Government attorneys must balance constitutional rights like freedom of assembly with public health concerns. The orders can’t be so loose that they’re useless, but they can’t overstep local authority and open themselves up to a legal challenge."

Tax issues related to the Coronavirus

Tax Notes, a Barco Law Library subscription from Tax Analysts, now has a designated page for tax issues related to the Coronavirus.
Please note that this page is outside the TaxNotes pay wall and available to everyone.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Zoom sends iOS user data to Facebook

In an article in the online ITPro magazine, the reporters says that "The video conferencing platform Zoom is sending iOS users’ analytics data to Facebook without explicit consent, even if users don’t have an account with the social networking giant... According to the analysis, Zoom notifies Facebook when an iOS user opens the app, and then provides details on the user’s device, including the model, as well as their time zone, and city they’re connecting from.Zoom also sends Facebook information about their mobile network operator, and the unique advertiser identifier created by the device, which is primarily how companies target users with adverts... Many of the scores of people joining the video conferencing platform may be unaware their privacy is being undermined in such a way."

Friday, 27 March 2020

Pittsburgh Legal Journal free during Coronavirus crisis

The Pittsburgh Legal Journal is freely available until April 14. From the Allegheny County Bar Association website:
"The Daily Pittsburgh Legal Journal is being published as an electronic PDF only – and on two days a week, Wednesdays and Fridays – until April 14, 2020, due to the Coronavirus crisis. Each issue will be in a PDF, and the most recent issue can be found on this page at “Quick Links” below; click on the last item, The Daily Pittsburgh Legal Journal. During this time, the Pittsburgh Legal Journal is available to the public and no subscription is required. The changes were made in accordance with a March 20, 2020, court order by President Judge Kimberly Berkeley Clark, Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania, that decreed the Pittsburgh Legal Journal shall be published as an electronic PDF through April 14 'in the interest of public health.'”
hat tip: Pat Roncevich

OCLC lists free online resources during COVID-19

Information from OCLC about online resources that are offered free during COVID-19:
"Many content providers have offered free access to e-content collections to help you maintain online services during the COVID-19 crisis. OCLC is actively partnering with global content providers to ensure access to these valuable resources through OCLC cataloging, discovery, and resource sharing services  Content providers are using a variety of models to open access to different types of content, including no-charge access to existing collections and special collections of information relevant to the current pandemic. In many cases, existing collections in the WorldCat knowledge base already contain the content newly available at no charge during this crisis. In other cases, we will work with a content partner to create needed knowledge base collections that can be configured for MARC record delivery or access through services such as WorldCat Discovery,, WorldShare Interlibrary Loan, Tipasa, and ILLiad. OCLC is maintaining a growing list of this freely available content at which includes recommended options to access through OCLC services. We will continue to update this list as new information becomes available."
As of this writing, there is a list of 63 publishers/providers offering free access to some or all of their content during the COVID-19 crisis, including the University of Michigan Press, Proquest, the New England Journal of Medicine, EBSCO, Edward Elgar, and Cambridge University Press. The list continues to be updated by OCLC.

Bloomberg Law Dockets disruption

The dockets in Bloomberg Law are a popular feature. But courts are shutting down and not all dockets are going to be available. Here's what Bloomberg has to say:
"Because of the coronavirus pandemic, courts are closing or restricting access. As a result, our researchers are unable to access some court facilities. We are temporarily unable to offer Breaking Complaints for the following courts:
For your convenience, we are tracking court closures and disruptions. We will keep you apprised of additional significant developments."

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

U.S. Documents Masterfile free access through June

Paratext is offering free access to the U.S. Documents Masterfile (USDM) to all Institutions through June 2020. From the blurb:
"USDM has millions (upon millions) of links to full text so they should assist you and your researchers in getting to needed text from wherever you may be. U.S. Documents Masterfile brings together foundational government document indexes and full-text collections to create an easy-to-use single index to governmental publications. USDM includes 15 million citations with 10 million links to full text, making quality primary research easier and enabling a single search for indexes and records for nearly 250 years of United States federal information."

Monday, 23 March 2020

Off-campus access for all Pitt Law databases

With the excellent assistance of Pitt Law IT and Pitt's IT department the Barco Law Library now provides access to all our databases for the Pitt Law community whether working in the building or from home or other off-campus location. The links to all our databases are on the Barco Law Library A-Z databases list page. If you are a Pitt Law student or faculty and have any problems with your off-campus access please contact the eResearch & Technology Services librarian for help.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Pandemic Information from the Government Publishing Office

Through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 Pandemic, GPO staff members are working to provide Federal depository librarians with information they need to assist patrons and administer their depository services, both in person or virtually. We are continuously updating the homepage with links and resources, and we are adding resources each day as more become available.

·         GPO’s Government Book Talk posted a new blog today, Coronavirus Pandemic: Reliable Government Information Resources: In the blog, a wide variety of trustworthy Government resources on COVID-19 are presented, including information ranging from COVID-19 symptoms to look for to proper handwashing techniques.

·         GPO’s govinfo now includes a new web page that offers legislative, Presidential, and regulatory documents on COVID-19:

·         FDLP LibGuides is featuring the Hot Topics: Coronavirus, which includes several Guides on the topic created by the FDLP community:

·         COVID-19 Guidance for Federal Depository Libraries:

o   March 9, 2020: Guidance for FDLs:

o   March 13, 2020: Additional Guidance for FDLs:

o   March 17, 2020: FDLP Shipments Temporarily Suspended:

o   March 17, 2020: Temporary Closures and Changing Library Operations:

o   March 17, 2020: FDLP eXchange Review Periods Increased:

o   March 19, 2020: FDLP Academy Continuing Education During COVID-19 Pandemic:

·         Other Popular Resources for Patrons:

o   CDC website for COVID-19:

o   CDC Protects and Prepares Communities:

o   What to Do If You Are Sick with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):

§  Spanish:

§  Chinese:

o   What You Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):

§  Spanish:

§  Chinese:
You are also invited to register to attend the live training webinar, "Coronavirus Frauds and Scams: What You Need to Know,” taking place Wednesday, April 8. Carol Kando-Pineda, Attorney at the Federal Trade Commission, will discuss the frauds and scams that play on fears surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). She will explain the scammers’ lures, warning signs of scams in general, and how to avoid them. She’ll also touch on other prevalent scams, frauds related to charitable giving in times of crisis, and how to donate wisely. Register:
Thank you for all you are doing to help keep your library staff and patrons safe and informed.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Understanding social distancing and coronavirus

Yes, we're all getting inundated with information about the coronavirus. That said, this article in the Washington Post has an excellent series of visualizations of how viruses spread and how different methods can slow the spread.
Please practice social distancing and stay safe!

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Webinar: NLM Resources for Librarians

The FDLP is hosting a free webinar on Weds. March 25, 2020, at 2 pm, called "Pandemic! NLM Resources for Librarians to Assist Researchers and the Public in Understanding the Coronavirus and Influenza."
Speakers: Andrew Plumer, MLA, and Eneida Hatcher, PhD, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Learning Outcomes: Following this webinar, participants will be able to: Locate and navigate the consumer health resources in MedlinePlus on Coronavirus and influenza. Locate and navigate NLM’s disaster health resources on the Coronavirus Disease 2019. Describe the types of data freely-available through the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) resources for the influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 so that they can guide researchers to the most relevant information.
Register here.

Chronicle of Higher Education offers virtual forum on "colleges & the coronavirus"

The Chronicle of Higher Education has announced that it is hosting a virtual interactive forum this Friday, March 13, at 2 pm, called Colleges and the Coronavirus.
From the announcement:
"The spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 is a quickly evolving situation, and campus leaders across the country are scrambling to devise policies, communicate updates, and plan for different scenarios moving forward... The forum will be the first installment of a time-limited series that runs every week until the need for advice, networking, and news abates. Sessions will be hosted by Bryan Alexander, a prominent higher ed thinker who hosts the Future Trends Forum, along with Karin Fischer, a Chronicle reporter who has been covering the emergency. The video chat forum will use Shindig, a participatory video chat platform. Similar to an in-person event, participants have the opportunity to ask a panelist questions as well as share and discuss the proceedings in a private chat with one another. There's no download or account registration required, and mobile users can attend using the Shindig App and participate fully. Forums will be recorded and archived, but space in the live event is limited to the first 1000 attendees – complete your registration now to secure a spot. Here’s what to expect during Friday's session:
 • An update about the latest news colleges need to know about the emergency and its effect on higher education.
• A discussion on how to transition academic programs online during the outbreak.
• An open forum with participants to ask questions of the panelists or moderators."