Friday, 12 April 2013

Article: WestlawNext v. Westlaw Classic

A new article in the Legal Reference Services Quarterly by Emily Marcum of the law firm Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC, in Birmingham, Alabama compares the cost of using Westlaw Next with that of using Westlaw Classic (for her law firm). Her methodology included running a variety of searches, both "real-world" and artificially generated, across categories in the databases. Her conclusion is that for her firm, WestlawNext transactional is twice as expensive as Westlaw Classic transactional under the old pricing scheme regardless of whether a real-world experiment is employed or artificial questions are generated. Expert materials are an exception to the rule, however. WestlawNext under simplified pricing is cheaper than Classic for primary law materials, like cases, statutes, and newspapers, as well as expert materials, but more expensive than Classic for verdicts and treatises. She adds that "If a phase-out of Classic Westlaw is indeed planned for some unspecified future date, then it is possible that charging more for a platform that will eventually be the customer's only option is simply another way to raise prices."
The citation: Emily Marcum (2013): The Quest for Client Savings in Legal Research: WestlawNext v. Westlaw Classic, Legal Reference Services Quarterly, 32:1-2, 142-159.
Hat tip: Joe Hodnicki, Law Librarian Blog

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