Monday, 28 January 2008

Opensource legal database

An announcement came today from a law library listserv that there is a new opensource legal database called PreCYdent that employs a unique search strategy incorporating network science. The basis for the strategy is described in the SSRN paper The Web of Law by Thomas A. Smith of the UC San Diego law school, who was involved in developing the database. In the article Smith says that "preliminary analysis suggests the citation network of U.S. Supreme Court cases is nearly identical to the network of high-energy physics papers, and is well described by a two-power-law model. The Web of Law is organized with hub cases that have many citations and the vast majority of cases, which have very few."

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