Friday, 10 August 2007

Westlaw Web Plus beta

Westlaw Web Plus beta "Legally focused Web results" is the latest thing from Westlaw. Even though it's officially in "beta" mode it's prominently displayed on the front page of the research system.
It's a Googly interface, just a plain searchbox. You can search for a Legal Issue, Person, Company, Organization, News, or just search the Web. Type in your search terms as you would with Google, no need for boolean connectors or anything. Your results are displayed broken into categories: "All Results", "News", and "Blog Results"; you can filter these results by Subject, Domain (dot com, dot org, dot gov, dot edu, etc) or file format (pdf, doc, etc. ).
At the moment my searches always result in a fairly small number (less than 200) of links, but they're pretty on-point, and are law-related. I asked our Westlaw rep how they're making the search "legally focused" and guess what, they're doing it by hand - reference attorneys are making 2 lists of websites. One of the lists is "legally focused" websites, the other is NOT and is removed from the search universe.
Check it out, and let them know what you think. I hope it's a harbinger of things to come in online legal research.

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