Thursday 27 March 2014

NEW database: the Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises 1800-1926

The Barco Law Library now has access to "The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises 1800-1926", a dataqbase that provides digital images on every page of 22,000 legal treatises on US and British law published from 1800 through 1926. Full-text searching on more than 10 million pages provides researchers access to critical legal history in ways not previously possible.

New HeinOnline library: Women and the Law

HeinOnline has announced a new library in its collection: Women and the Law (Peggy), a collection that brings together books, biographies and periodicals dedicated to women’s roles in society and the law. This unique collection of materials provides a platform to research the progression of women’s roles and rights in society over the past 200 years. Also included are more than 70 titles from Emory University Law School’s Feminism and Legal Theory Project which provide a platform to view the effect of law and culture on the female gender.

Business Intelligence Resources

The Law Library Resource Exchange ( has published a portal to business resources this week. Titled Business Intelligence Online Resources, it has annotated links to free content and subscription content. The free content includes facts collected by government agencies, news in various forms and categories, consumer opinions, technology guidance, professional standards, biographical information, and much more. The subscription content tends to be specialized directories and people finders.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

ProQuest Congressional Webinars: Cross Search

Cross Search is a new feature on ProQuest Congressional. It’s all about context: Cross Search ties existing newspaper and historic newspaper subscriptions with Congressional content. So it puts the government documents in context of what the newspapers were saying about the event at the time. With cross search, users can see newspaper articles about government scandals (such as Teapot Dome, Watergate, and Iran-Contra), wars (the Civil War, the Philippine Insurrection, and Vietnam) and disasters (including the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco, or the Titanic sinking).
ProQuest is hosting 4 webinars to show how this feature can be used. Each webinar has a slightly different focus (and you can attend more than one). The first is Monday March 31, 2014, at 1 pm eastern when product manager Andrew Laas will talk about something near and dear to his heart, meat regulations. Description: Introducing Congressional Cross-Search - where we highlight the new ability to search from Congressional to the historic newspaper collections. This session, the Meat Inspection Act of 1906: from The Jungle to Inspection Regulations, will look at the materials in ProQuest Congressional and the Executive Branch Documents and review the materials there, and also look at how the cross-search with the newspaper articles of the day adds context for users.
ProQuest has some Legislative Insight and Executive Branch Documents webinars coming, as well. Beginning in May, we also have the popular series, Legislative Histories for summer interns especially for those law students with summer internships. There is a complete listing on the proquest calendar. 

Tuesday 25 March 2014

2014 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction accepting entries

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird, and to honor former Alabama law student and author Harper Lee, The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal partnered together to create the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction in 2010. The prize, authorized by Ms. Lee, is given annually to a book-length work of fiction, published in the preceding year, that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change. Past winners include The Confession by John Grisham, The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly, and Havana Requiem by Paul Goldstein. The 2014 prize will be awarded in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 28, in conjunction with the Library of Congress National Book Festival. The winner will receive a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird signed by Harper Lee. The 2014 Harper Lee Prize Selection Committee will choose three finalists, who will be announced in May 2014. The public will be invited to vote on the finalists on the ABA Journal website.  The deadline for entries is April 7, 2014 - the entry form and details are online

Friday 21 March 2014

Interesting librarian job...

Harvard’s rare books library is hiring a Wikipedian-in-Residence. They are looking for someone who can serve as a kind of liaison between Wikipedia and the academic, cultural, and intellectual institutions whose source material its entries rely on. In this case, Harvard. The Wikipedian in Residence will, according to the job announcement, help to "expand coverage on Wikipedia of topics relevant to Houghton collections." He or she will add sources for existing Wikipedia pages and create new pages "on notable topics." The person will also "provide appropriate formatting and metadata (and OCR cleanup in the case of texts) to upload public domain content to Wikimedia and Wikisource, and facilitate the use of such materials by other Wikipedia users."

hat tip: Sallie Smith

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Women don't cite themselves as frequently as men

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting report showing that "even as citation rates become a key measure of productivity, 
women don’t refer to their own research nearly as often as men do." An analysis of 60 years of JSTOR articles shows that men are 56% more likely to cite their own scholarly work - and over the past decade, the figure is considerably higher, with men citing themselves 64$ more.

Saturday 15 March 2014

"Type Ahead" on Westlaw

Recently, WestlawNext improved a current tool, type ahead, to assist with finding cases and dockets. type ahead begins to display suggestions after the third character you type in the global search box. Begin typing a party name or citation to find a case. Or, type a party name or docket number to find a docket. Type ahead displays the top five results for content type, case and docket. Type ahead’s suggestions become more refined as additional characters are added. Type ahead also highlights the characters you have entered in the global search box to help you quickly identify your case or docket. 

Thursday 13 March 2014

Is there a "Hysterias R Us" legal lemming movement?

The ABAJournal reports on an article by RenĂ© Reich-Graefe of Western New England Law School titled "Keep Calm and Carry On" (the link is to SSRN). In the article Prof. Graefe criticizes the panicked reporting about a lack of jobs for law school graduates, which he attributes to “misleading math” and “reckless logic”. Rather, he says, "Over the next two decades, the legal profession market is moving statistically into the direction of almost guaranteed legal employment for all law school graduates".

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Blended Learning & Flipped Classroom article

Colleague  Rich McCue of the University of Victoria law library has published a thoughtful and interesting article titled Does a Blended Learning, Flipped Classroom Pedagogy Help Information Literacy Students in the Long Term Adoption of Research Skills?   He takes a comprehensive look at  flipped classroom pedagogy, how it may be used and the need for more studies on how it works in different disciplines. 

New: Qualitative Data Repository

There's an interesting article in the Chronicle about a new data repository called QDR, which stands for Qualitative Data Repository. Headquartered at Syracuse University, QDR) is a dedicated archive for storing and sharing digital data (and accompanying documentation) generated or collected through qualitative and multi-method research in the social sciences. QDR provides search tools to facilitate the discovery of data, and also serves as a portal to material beyond its own holdings, with links to U.S. and international archives. QDR offers a range of guidance and resources to facilitate and encourage the storing and sharing of data, and to help scholars who engage in qualitative and multi-method research to effectively use archived qualitative data. The site is currently in Beta mode, and registration is currently free for individuals from educational institutions.

Tuesday 11 March 2014

2013 report on the Federal Courts

The Administrative Office of the United States Courts has just released the 2013 Judicial Business of the U.S. Courts, an in-depth look at the federal court caseload for 2013. 2013 saw an increase in the district court caseload and in the number of persons under supervised release.Filings in the courts of appeals and bankruptcy courts fell in FY 2013. The report describes some factors at play in the increase and decrease in caseloads nationwide, and includes statistical tables by type of case, offense, and type of court. Sections address the probation and pretrial services system and other components of the federal Judiciary.  

Wednesday 5 March 2014

New book on the Serial Set

Have you ever wondered about what, exactly, is in the US Congressional Serial Set? The United States Congressional Serial Set began in 1817 as the official collection of reports and documents of the United States Congress. Now Andrea Sevetson has edited a new book titled "The Serial Set: Its Make-up and Content", which should answer all your questions. It is published by ProQuest, and all proceeds will be donated to GODORT, the Gov Docs group of the American Library Association. You can view a pdf of the Table of Contents online.

Openlaws EU project

This project comes recommended as "one to watch" from the Legal Information Institute: aims at opening access to existing legal information systems and proactively involving and integrating our target groups, i.e. communities of individuals and businesses, legal professionals and public bodies. Open innovation, mass customization, big data analysis, social features and social networks are already highly successful in other markets and we want to introduce them in the legal domain on a European scale. Based on open data, open source software and open innovation principles we are adding a “social layer” to the existing “institutional layer” of legal information systems.

Constitute: the World's Constitutions

Constitute: The World’s Constitutions to Read, Search and Compare is a website offering access to the world’s constitutions that users can systematically compare them across a broad set of topics — using a modern, clean interface. The website, built by the Comparative Constitutions Project, has tagged passages of each constitution with a topic — e.g., “right to privacy” or “duty to pay taxes” — so you can quickly find relevant excerpts on a particular subject, no matter how they are worded. You can browse the 300+ topics in the expandable list on the left of the page, or see suggested topics while typing in the search bar (which also lets you perform free-text queries). You can also limit your results by country or by date.
The Comparative Constitutions Project  is directed by Zachary Elkins (University of Texas, Department of Government), Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago, Law School), and James Melton (University College London), in cooperation with the Cline Center for Democracy at the University of Illinois. The project is supported by the National Science Foundation

Monday 3 March 2014

Historical Statutes on Westlaw

Legal research often requires us to find prior versions  laws. Westlaw's Legal Solutions Blog recently posted a helpful tip on finding historical statutes in Westlaw. The tip explains several methods for browsing  historical versions of federal or state statutes.  Each  method for browsing will bring you to a Statutes Annotated – Historical page where you will see links to the individual years that are available.