Event DescriptionYou know that there are credible, free legal resources, but how do you get to them? Save timeand frustration by knowing how to get the most out of searching Google for legal research.Discover how to locate and use advanced search features, as well as choose the best keywordsfor your search.What are the key elements that should be advertised? Save time and frustration by knowing how to get the most out of searching Google for legal researchImprove your searching by choosing the best keywordsSave money by finding legal materials for free on Google ScholarWhat do you think attendees will find most valuable out of all the info you are presenting? How to locate and when to use advanced search featuresHow to refine their search terms to get the best resultsHow to use Google Scholar to locate legal materials
David Segal’s article is about search engine optimization and tricks that can be used by website creators to bring their websites to the top of search results lists. Being aware that this happens and using the search strategies I’ll be showing you today will improve your search results – however, Google searching can still be Intriguing (more of an art than a science.)
There are a couple of important things to remember about keyword searching. You may have heard these before, but they’re good to keep in mind as you search.Looks everywhere for your search terms – full text of the whole website.Is “dumb”, or not so much dumb as extremely literal -- (unless we help it)
Choosing the best keywords can be difficult. The easiest method of determining effective keywords is by simply reflecting upon your topic and focusing on its main points. Think of terms describing those main points and you have keywords.One way to do this is to define your subject in one sentence and then split this sentence into concepts – discarding words which merely describe the relationships between one concept and another. If you are stuck try doing some background research or reading on your topic to see what keywords are used most frequently.
THENThink about SynonymsThink about Broader and Narrower TermsBut make keywords as specific as possible – if the information you are looking for is on a narrow topic then don’t use broader terms.EXAMPLE: The search “Antique lead soldiers" gets more relevant results than "old metal toys".EXAMPLE: if you are looking for information on Dogs then don’t search for the term animals without any other terms. Try the obvious first EXAMPLE:If you're looking for information on Picasso, enter "Picasso" rather than "painters".Use words likely to appear on the site with the information you want. EXAMPLE:"Luxury hotel New York" gets better results than "really nice places to spend the night in New York".)
Hint: If you can’t think of any synonyms or are looking for more. Try this basic Google search:synonym: substance abuse (the colon is important)
Hint: If you can’t think of any synonyms or are looking for more. Try this basic Google search:synonym: substance abuse (the colon is important)First hit in the results list is for Thesaurus.com and includes the entries for both substance abuse and alcohol abuse with synonyms listed.Note also the list of nearby words on the left which could be useful.
That said Google is possibly the most forgiving search engine ever created. You can often just type about anything into it and get good results.Sometimes you can even get away with sloppy spelling as Google often catches it and suggest the correct spelling. In Internet searching more keywords deliver fewer results. Google defaults to using the AND Boolean operator which I will discuss later – this means that it is looking for ALL of the keywords you include in your search. The more keywords you use the narrower your search is. Google starts by searching for your first two or three keywords as a phrase and then it searches them as separate words all located in the same result. Because of this the order in which the terms are typed will affect the search results – or at least the order in which they are displayedBe careful when using Synonyms: You may want to use the Boolean search operator OR to force Google to look for results that include ANY of you keywords that are synonyms Ideally, you want to concisely convey to Google what you need. Two or three is the golden number of keywords to use in Google searches. Beware of homographs (words that have more than one meaning but are spelled the same), especially if you search for one keyword at a time. Add another keyword to specify which meaning of the word you are looking for. Not a particularly legal example, but the word bat means the animal and also the sports equipment. In this case you could add the word animal or the word sports to help define your search.[Check this out for examples of homographs : http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-homographs.html]
After you have the keywords you can combine them and refine your search for greater relevance in recall (in layman’s language – not more results, but fewer, better results) using the Google specific strategies for putting your search terms in context and building specific search strings which I will discuss in the next section. Would love to find a good example to give for this!!
Before you do anything else – ie: search, enter keywords etc.Check you Settings********Help for how to do this at: http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35892Can also go directly to: http://www.google.com/preferences
Here’s the Main Google Search page that we all know and “love”.Problem is you can’t do anything from here except get to you account settings and/or do a simple search – you can’t get to your search settings or to advanced search
Unfortunately you have to do a search before you can get to the Search Settings to change them.Main Google page only has an arrow next to your name which goes to options for Account InformationJust do any old searchThis will give you the GEAR icon which brings up a link to Search Settings when you click on it.
It’s important to know about your Safe Search Filter setting because it can affect search results. I have Safe Search filters turned off because I may want to search a topic that might be filtered, for example for sexualcontent. Thisfilter mainly relies on algorithms that look at many factors, including keywords, links, and images. You can turn it on and also lock it on.Google Instant predictions can also be turned off if you have a slow connection, or you just don’t like it. For those not familiar with this feature – what it does is try to predict what you want to search based on what you are typing in the search box. I leave it on because sometimes I can save myself some typing by selecting one of the predictions. I can mark the setting to only show these predicitions when I have a fast enough computer so my searching won’t slow down.Results per Page: You can change the number of results that display per page – I usually keep mine at the default of 10. To do this you have select Never show Instant Results under Google Instant predictions and then you can move the slider to the number of results you’d like to get per page. Also Note that clicking on Help takes you to more information on all of these settings and what they do.
IF YOU DON’T CHANGE ANY OTHER SETTING CHANGE THIS ONE:Where results open: It defaults to being UNCHECKED. Check the box to have results open in a new browser tab when you click on them. That way you can easily go back and forth between your results list and whatever site you are looking at without having to hit the back button multiple times.Blocking Unwanted Results: You can also Block results from a particular sites by entering the URL here.Web History: The default here is for Google to remember what you’ve searched and then use this information to return results in the first pages that are more relevant to you based on this information. You can turn this feature off and erase your History. You can also PAUSE this feature for your account so it does not collect the history at all.
Google Search automatically returns results in the language you choose for Google product text.You can also request results in other languages. If you don’t select any other language you will not receive results if the page is NOT in English.
What you enter or what the computer thinks your location is makes a difference in which search results come up first.
For example if I enter my location as Providence, RI and do a search for Bakery then I get results for bakeries in the Providence area first.This is mostly a useful feature, but it can also stop you from getting the results you want. When I changed my location to Baltimore my results showed Baltimore area bakeries first. NOTE: You can also change your location right from the top menu line but first you have to open it by clicking on SEARCH TOOLS to show this second top menu – then click on the down arrow next to your present location – in this example – ProvidenceWe will look at other ways to refine our search using the top menu in just a minuteYour search settings should STICK or stay, once you’ve set them if you are signed in, but they may not if you are not at your “home” computer.
You could just type in a string of keywords and hope for the best.To be honest that’s what I do quite a bit of the time.However, it is good to know about Boolean Searching so that you can craft a more precise search when throwing keywords at the problem doesn’t get you the results you are looking for.
A system developed by mathematician George Boole during the 19th century that uses a series of connectors to define relationships between objects
Google’s default connector is AND – Google automatically adds an AND between the keywords you type into the search box.
You can override this default by substituting one of the other Boolean connectors.OR connector returns results that contain one keyword OR the other as well as both keywords. Most often used to search for synonyms, or for combining two concepts.For example if I also wanted trust law as well as probate law I would use the OR connector.Remember to capitalize!
NOT excludes a keyword from your results. On Google you don’t use the word NOT, instead you type a – (hyphen/minus sign) before the word. Use to eliminate keywords from your search results.
Refers to a search-engine feature that allows for the automatic extension of a particular keyword to search other forms of the word.For example extending the word Constitution to include Constitutions and ConstitutionalOn some more sophisticated search platforms such as Lexis or Westlaw you have to specify that you want other versions of a keyword. Google automatically looks for other versions or stems of your keyword. On Westlaw it is the exclamation point and it’s called the Root ExpanderAs you can see from this example Google also un-stems words.This isn’t so much a Google technique as it is something to be aware of when you are searching – it means you don’t have to think about all possible forms of your keyword and search for all of them.
This is one of the things that Google automatically to help you out. It also automatically searches for some synonyms and as we mentioned earlier it searches first for your words together as a phrase before searching for them separately. It’s important to know what Google is doing because you may want to be more precise and search only for the exact words you entered. To do this you can ask Google to search for your words Verbatim – if you turn this on then Google will search for exactly the words you entered – no synonyms, no word-stems, no alternate spellings etc…. Here’s how to “turn this on”
Google does not offer true proximity searching that you might be familiar with from Lexis or Westlaw – where you can specify that your keyword appear a within a certain number of words from each other, or within the same sentence. However, you can include an asterisk in place of one (or more than one) word as a wildcard. This can be another good way to search for people who may or may not be using their middle name or initial. However, Google often substitutes two words for the asterisk so results for names may include false hits.
This wildcard feature can be very useful for fill in the blank type phrase searching such as: Search: * clerked for Justice Souter orSearch: velcro was invented by *
Rather than searching for individual keywords, you can search for exact phrasesYou can also use it to avoid this Google word-stemming “feature” – or assuming you have spelled it wrong and suggested an alternate word -- without having to limit your results to VerbatimTo do this put your phrase or word in quotation marks.You can also combine with other search operators.I like to use the * for proximity searching for names.Phrase searching can also be useful if you are looking for a term of art or a specific product name. This search gives you results that contain the words you’ve searching in that exact order.I used phrase searching quotation marks to force google to search only for the word or name BRAKS. Without the quotes Google was automatically correcting my spelling to BREAKS. I didn’t put ED in quotation marks because I wanted Google to look for alternatives such as EDWARD.
As of May 15th, 2012 – as I was preparing this presentation – Google announced that they are including some punctuation and symbols in Basic Search:Previously punctuation and special characters were ignored in Google search.Here are some of popular symbols that are now supported. NOTE: Even though these symbols are supported by Google, including them in your searches does not always improve the results. In some cases using these punctuation symbols may return poor results – in these cases Google may show you an alternate suggested search or results for the search without the punctuation.
Knowing how to navigate your search results effectively increases your productivity as well
I am looking for information on The Institute for International Sport. I entered the simple search: Institute for International Sport. Here are my first results. Notice the Menu Bar across the top under the search boxYou can narrow your search results – thus bringing more relevant results up to the first several pages – by using the tools in this menuWhat if I really just want News articles? The search results default to EVERYTHING on the Web as you can see in red at the top. To do this I click on the word NEWS in the top meny which limits my results to only News articles. [REMEMBER to click on the MORE or on the MORE SEARCH TOOLS to see even more options.]
Here are my results after limiting to NEWSClick on SEARCH TOOLS to open up another top menu bar to further refine your results.
If I click on Search Tools an additional top menu level with open and I can further limit my search with options tailored to News results. I can no further refine my search by searching just blogs. I canlimited by TIME and change the SORT to by date if I like The current “settings” have a checkm ark next to them, but I can change them by clicking on the other options These tools used to be easier to find and were located on the side and all were open at one time. Now you have to click on each drop down arrow separately to bring up the various options.
The options in this second top menu are different depending on what format or area you have limited your search too. For example if I limit my search by IMAGES I get options relevant to ImagesI can narrow by result size, color, type, time and more as well by clicking on More tools.
Here I have limited my search COLOR blue to get only blue chairs.And I’ve limited my Image TYPE to Clip Art.
A few other things of note: ADS: sometimes these are relevant, but it’s good to recognize why they are appearing in your search results. Google has them VERY lightly highlighted in yellowRelated searches are here tooLINKS at the very bottom of the page to ADVANCED SEARCH and SEARCH HELP
I confess that Iusually start with a basic search. I just type in some keywords and see what I get. If I am not seeing the results I want then I go back and either, brainstorm better keywords, narrow my results, or I go back and try a more precise search using Boolean search operators.
The other time I use Basic search is for simple fact look-ups. For example: Population Ecuador, or President Poland.Or Capitol of Massachusetts
Here’s are my search results for the Capital of Massachusetts. On the first screen you can find the answer, as well as links to more information and to sources for that answer – as well as a map and basic facts on the left
You can also use a Basic search as a Calculatorsqrt 787 * 2 +4
Oras a dictionary to define a word or phraseEnter the search Define: res ipsaloquiturOr to check spelling of a word. Just type in the word the way you think it’s spelled an very often Google will auto correct it and show you the actual spelling in the drop down list of recommended searches. I never seem to know how to spell suggestion!
Now that I’ve talked about Basic Search Tips and Techniques let’s move on to Google’s Advanced Search: How to use it and when you should use it.This search page offers a collection of form based search options that allow you to easily create a more focused and sophisticated search without remember the Boolean operators or Google specific commands I covered in the Basic search section.
This search page offers a collection of form based search options that allow you to easily create a more focused and sophisticated search without remember the Boolean operators or Google specific commands I covered in the Basic search sectionUnfortunately Google has Advanced Search hidden, but here’s how to get to it.Two options:FIRST DO A BASIC SEARCH for anything.1.) At top right hand side of page. Click on the GEAR icon to bring up the drop down box than select ADVANCED SEARCHOR2.) Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click on the link to ADVANCED SEARCH
Boolean Searching Using the Advanced PageDon’t have to remember the specific terms and Boolean connectors and you don’t have to yse them eitherWe can do our earlier search for my classmate Ann Tyler who is not an author using this search page. We don’t want Google to stem the word Ann and also look for Anne so we put it in the exact word or phrase box We also know she is not an author or novel writer so we exclude those words using the NONE OF THESE WORDS box. Google creates the search you see in the top box from what we’ve entered in the Advanced Search boxes – you could also have typed it that way in the search box in Google’s Basic Search. This is a simple example, but more complex searches are easier to do using the Advanced Search boxes since you don’t have to remember the commands or connectors.
If you scroll down the page (which you have to do to click on the Advanced Search button to run your search) you will come to this section where you can Narrow your search results by various critera.I’d like to highlight a few of these that I find the most useful.
LIMITING RESULTS TO SPECIFIC FILE FORMATS
Using the site search filter is great for searching a single domain or domain typeMany websites have their own search built in, but if they don’t then you can use this narrowing option.You can also use it to limit your results to a particular domain type such as .edu or .gov.
I often limit to a specific domain type. In this example I am looking for research guides on the law or other legal topics that are on academic library websites, so I used the words: library, research guide, law or legal and combined it with the domain type: .eduIn fact I use this advanced search page feature so much I have memorized the command to do this from the basic search box. It is site:That said – Google’s algorithm gets smarter all the time and when I did this search without limiting it to .edu sites the first results were all from .edu sites and right on target.
The advanced search is translated into the regular search box as:Library law OR legal “research guide” site: eduMy results are below and contain links to many research guides from academic law libraries like University of Washington, Cornell, Universtiy of Maryland, Yale, and Georgetown.All the results are from .edu domains
By learning who is linking to whom, we can sometimes determine business or personal relationships between individuals or companiesWe can also use this to evaluate the credibility of a web site we are using. If a lot of web sites we know are reliable link to this new web site then it is probably credible. For Example if I was using Cornell’s Legal Information Institute Web site for the first time I could search to see who links to them. The results would show that a lot of credible websites link to this site.
The Find Pages That are similar to, or link to this URL used to be a search box at the bottom of the Advanced Search page, but now this is just a link to the instructions on how to do this.Notice also the link below the Find Pages link which is called Use Operators in the Search Box this brings you to a guide for the specific commands to use in the basic search box – most of which I covered in the first section of this talk.
These are just two of the other things you can limit by on the Advanced Search page. Another way to bring up more relevant results is to specify that your search terms appear in a particular part of a website. You can limit to: In the title of the pageIn the text of the pageIn the URL of the pageIn links to the pageLimiting by date a page was updated can weed out older and less relevant pages from your search results
Advanced Search is indispensable in refining searchesUse if you want to find:Results from a specific date rangeResults in a different languageResults from a particular website or domain typeResults in a specific file formatDon’t have to remember specific file commandsStart with a basic search and then refine with advanced search if you are not getting what you want.
[For more info see: http://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/about.html]
Google Scholar is a specialized search that retrieves results from a separate database than the regular Google Web searchIt includes articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions from academic publishers, professional sociaties, online repositories, universities and other web sites.Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.Google Scholar aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature.Most important distinction is that much of the content listed in the search results is NOT AVAILABLE FREE – however this is mainly for journal articles and not for case law.
This is what the Google Scholar main page looks like. Note that it defaults to searching Articles and Patents. To search Legal documents you will have to either change your settings or check the circle in front of Legal Documents
I recommend checking your settings so you can customize the look of your search and results interfacesYou will probably want to change the default so that Google Scholar searches Legal Opinions and Journals, rather than articles.I also recommend clicking the box to open results in a new browser window.Unfortunately you cannot set a default jurisdiction.Then, don’t forget to click on Save Preferences to make these preferences “STICK” for all of your Google Scholar searching.
What’s there for legal researchGoogle launched it’s new database of federal and state case law and legal journal articles available via Google Scholar in November 2009. Apparently it was first announced via a Tweet on Twitter from RickKlau a lawyer-turned-Google-product-manager. It was later more officially announced on the Google BlogGoogle also links to alternate sources for some cases, such as Cornell’s LII, Justia and Public.Resource.org
Text from Google Scholar Help page:Currently, Google Scholar allows you to search and read published opinions of US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791. In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international) which are not yet online or publicly available.Legal opinions in Google Scholar are provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed lawyer. Google does not warrant that the information is complete or accurate.
I want to do a search for the case Roe v Wade how do I start my searchI type Roe v Wade into the search box and make sure that the Legal Document radio button is checked. You will also see Jurisdiction choices below. You can select one of these now or after you have run your search. If you don’t see the jurisdiction you are looking for then click on Select courts to see more choices. You can also leave this blank and you will search all jurisdictionsWith this search we will retrieve both the opinion Roe v. Wade as well as opinions that cite Roe v. Wade and articles about Roe v. Wade. Google Scholar does not have an Advanced Search page but you can still use some of these features by clicking on the down arrow next to the search box which brings up an Advanced Search Window. I’ll show some ways to refine your searches using advanced search in just a minute
Citation searching using the Advanced Search windowThere are no search boxes to search by citation, party name or judge but you can “force” these searches. To search by citation, enter it into the Find articles with the exact phrase box on the Advanced search page.NOTE: You must use the Bluebook citation form. For example: 100 Federal Supplement 1 entered into this box will bring back no results, but a search for 100 F Supp 1 will bring back the exact case and any other late case that has cited to it. (Google ignores punctuation so you don’t need a period after F.You can also search by official and unofficial citations
Searching by party nameFor narrower results you can search for the party name in the with the exact phrase box. Be sure to use just the letter v and not vs. or versus, or just leave that out.Then limit where your words occur to “in the title of the article” This search will retrieve the US Supreme Court decision and the Federal Distrcit Court decision, but not articles about the case Roe v Wade.For broader select anywhere for where my words occur – as in the first sample search page I just showed.
To force a search by judge’s name first enter the judge’s last name into the search box labeledReturn articles authored byIn the example here I want to search for Judge Vogel in any Rhode Island opinions. This search will retrieve cases in which this judge delivered the opinion, concurred with it, or dissented from it.
This is my results page for my search for “articles” “authored” by Vogel. You can see that Google has translated the Advanced search using the command author: You can skip the Advanced search window and just do you search this way as well once you know what the search command is.Unfortunately I have to do the search before I can limit it to just the jurisdiction Rhode Island. The results on this page are for all jurisdictions – we can tell this because Legal Documents is highlighted in red on the left. To limit to Rhode Island courts click on Rhode Island Courts in the left hand sidebar. Note that you can also further limit your search by Time as well as change the sort order of your results.
Here are the search results for our search for Roe v Wade anywhere in the document,searching all jurisdictions, and both legal opinions and legal articlesalso the date range anytime, sorted by relevance and including citations. Note this includes scholarly articles because we haven’t limited to a court jurisdictionThere is also a link to create and email alert for this search.
NOTE if we want to change any of these options just select the dropdown menu to go to the advanced search window to redo the search with these new optionsHere I have changedwhere my words occur to in the title of the article
Navigating a search results hit: How Cited and Related articlesIn most searches I’ve done the first result is typically to the official version of the case. Cited by 32700 refers to how many books, cases and articles cited to Roe v WadeClicking on All 5 versions brings you to links for these five version – including their source – in this case: Google Scholar, Bulkresources.org, and Cornell LII.I will discuss the links to How cited and Related articles in just a few minutesLastly I want to point out how much more precise our search results are than they would be in “regular” Google. We have only 217 results and most if not all are relevant to our search.
After we click on the first Roe v Wade result we go to this screen in the Read this case mode (as indicated by the highlighted Tab at the top left)This is where the full text of the case is displayed. This is the official version so only the official citation is displayed.Each of our keywords are highlighted. You can remove this highlighting before printing if you like by clicking on Remove in the upper right hand corner.Notice that there a links to the other cases mentioned in the text. If you click on these you will go to the full text of that case.Also notice the How Cited tab directly next to the Read this case tab. If we click on this we go to the following page. (on next slide)
The How Cited page is divided into three sections:How this document has been citedCited byRelated DocumentsGoogle does not explain the difference between How this document has been cited and Cited by There seem to be more documents in the Cited By section and the How this document has been cited takes you to the pinpoint pages while Cited By just takes you to the top of the case or journal article that has Cited Roe v Wade.As of March 8, 2012 Google has changed the way they present the citations in the Cited By section.They are now sorting the citing documents by the extent of discussion of the cited case rather than by their prominence.In other words opinions that discuss the cited case in detail are presented before ones that mention the case briefly. The extent of discussion is indicated visually as well – using bars – the more bars the more relevant.The idea is to help legal researchers quickly find the significant citations they are looking for.It’s important to note that this is not the same as shephardizing or using key cite – because it isn’t a way to quickly determine if the case is still good law.Related documents lists related cases and journal artiles that might have similar fact patterns (or could be a counter suit, for instance) To view a list of all citations you need to click the all 30,693 citing documents link in the Cited by section. (brown arrow)
Pros of Google Scholar for Legal ResearchCase citations are hyperlinked to the caseSearch results are fast and accurateRelevancy of search results to search queries are as good, and sometimes better, than those provided by commercial legal research services“How Cited” tab delivers every case in every state and federal appellate court that has cited the case being reviewed, as well as any citations to the case in scholarly articles (providing they are indexed by Google)This is a FAST way to find other cases directly on point with the issue being researched as well as a way to see how other jurisdictions are addressing the issue that makes the case important. You can set up Alerts for your search which will e-mail new results for your search query to you.You can send direct links to the case to someone elseBecause Google Scholar is FREE the links are accessible to all – not just those with a subscription to the legal research service you are using.Oh yes – and it’s FREE
Cons of Google Scholar for Legal ResearchSearch results are based on Google’s system for ranking search results, rather than the actual importance of the case. As legal opinions are not typically written for search engine optimization (may want to define this here – or make sure I did with the first quotation) this does not always return the best results first. The SEO value of a case does not necessarily equate to it’s value as legal precedentThere is no way to fully shepardize cases. The How Cited tab will return a list of every case that has cited the case being viewed as well as citations in scholarly articles, but it does not indicate whether or not the case is still good law. A researcher can only make that determination by reading the cases that cite to itGoogle Scholar lacks an index tool for spotting important legal issues. For example Westlaw provides Key Number results which provide an index of the issues involved in the case in a short summary. This allows researcher to quickly determine whether the case is relevant and a link to other cases involving this issue. HOWEVER, some of this can be done by looking at the links in the HOW CITED tab.Statutes and rules of procedure are not hyperlinked and are not included in the search databaseCoverage – database lacks older cases for federal and state courts.
MUCH is made of the fact that google is a verb—this is often given as a sign that the search-engine giant has well and truly made it. Page 7 of "The Google Story" by David Vise and Mark Malseed tells us thatTo google means "to search". That the company's name has become a verb in English, German and other languages is testament to its pervasive influence on global culture.Well, sort of, but what Mr Vise means is that "that the company's name has become a widely known and used verb is testament to the company's pervasive influence." Because "Google" was a verb long before its pervasive influence. The evidence? "The Google Story", p. 43Thanks to all the people who have sent us logos and suggestions. Keep them coming. Have fun and keep googling. That was Larry Page and Sergey Brin in a note on the new google.com, in 1998.(The logos is from June 21, 2011 celebrating the first day of Summer by Takashi Murakami)
I will post these slides and handouts on my website. http://www.elizabethgeeseyholmes.com/
Ipe pp slides google talk 2013
The Institute for Paralegal EducationWelcomes You toThe Paralegal’s Guide to UsingGoogle for Legal Research
The Paralegal’s Guide to Using Google forLegal Research• How to formulate an effective search: choosing keywords• How to use Google’s search features both basic and advanced• Finding cases and legal journal articles using Google ScholarMonday, June 10, 12:00pm Eastern TimePresented by Elizabeth Geesey Holmes
About Elizabeth Geesey HolmesInformation ProfessionalInternet Search SpecialistI help attorneys, paralegals, andlegal secretaries findauthoritative informationefficiently and cost effectivelyLibrarian
“The digital age’s mostmundane act, the Googlesearch, often represents layerupon layer of intrigue.”David Segal. “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search”.New York Times. February 12, 2011
HOW TO FORMULATE AN EFFECTIVESEARCH: CHOOSING KEYWORDSPart 1:
How Keyword Searching Works• Looks everywhere for your search terms• Is “dumb” (unless we help it)
Choosing Search TermsFIRST• Reflect on your topic and focus on its mainpoints• Think of terms that describe those mainpoints• If you get stuck do some background reading
Choosing Search TermsTHEN• Think about Synonyms• Think about Broader and Narrower Terms• But make keywords as specific as possible• Try the obvious first• Use words likely to appear on the site with theinformation you want
Keyword Example• Topic: The impact of substance abuse on crimein the United States• Concepts: Impact, Substanceabuse, Crime, United States• Synonyms and Broader/Narrower Terms:Effect, Dependence on Illegal substance, Drugabuse, Alcohol abuse, Druguse, Drugs, U.S., US, America, Criminal, Crimerates, criminality, Misdemeanor, Felony, Offense
Search (colon is important)First hit for Thesaurus.com
Keywords and Google• Google is a very forgiving search engine• More keywords deliver fewer results• Be careful with Synonyms• Golden number of keywords to use in a Googlesearch = two or three• The order that keywords are entered in Googlewill affect the search results• Beware of homographs, especially in a onekeyword search
Search Results Based on Word OrderSearch: Rules of Court Search: Court Rules
Choosing Search TermsFINALLY• Try “throwing” all your keywords into aGoogle search and see what comes up.• These search results may give you clues toother keywords to include or eliminate fromyour next search• Then use Google specific search strategies andtips
HOW TO USE GOOGLE’S SEARCHFEATURES BOTH BASIC AND ADVANCEDPart 2:
Google Searchautomatically returnsresults in the languageyou choose for Googleproduct text. You canalso request results inother languages. If youdon’t select any otherlanguage you will onlyget results if the page isin EnglishSearch Settings: Languages
My location is set to Providence, RIso my results are in that areaCheck & change location quickly by clickinghere BUT first click on Search tools to open upthis menu
Use Boolean Searching(and/or other search strategies)
Boolean LogicA system developed by mathematician GeorgeBoole during the 19th century that uses aseries of connectors to define relationshipsbetween objects
Boolean Connectors: AND• Google Default• All of the keywords are present– Search: probate law– Results: Both the term probate and the term law
Boolean Connectors: OR• One keyword or the other, or both keywordsare present– Search: probate OR trust law– Results: will all have the term law combined witheither the word trust or probateNOTE: You must capitalize OR otherwise Googlewill treat it as a stop word and ignore it
Boolean Connectors: NOT (-)• No results with this keyword are returned– Search: Ann Tyler –author -novel– Returns results with the keywords Anne, Ann andTyler, but without the keyword author, andwithout the word novel– Use this strategy to find results for your formerclassmate Ann Tyler, but not for the novelist AnneTyler
Word Stemming(and un-stemming)Searching forconstitutionalwill also find thewords:constitution andconstitutions
Limiting your search results to Verbatim1. Click onSearch Tools2. Click onAll Results3. Click onVerbatim
Proximity Searching:Asterisk (*)/ Wildcard• Search: Elizabeth * Holmes• Results: Include:– Elizabeth Geesey Holmes– Elizabeth G Holmes, BUT also– Elizabeth Spencer, Amy Holmes
Phrase Searching: “ “• Use for searching exact phrases or words• Use to stop Google from stemming• Enter your phrase or word in quotation marks– Search: Ed Braks– Results: Ed, Edward, Braks and Breaks– Search: Ed “Braks”– Results: Ed, Edward and Braks – NO Breaks
Some Punctuation and Symbols in SearchSymbol Example Search TermPlus sign + To search for blood type AB+ orprogramming language C++“At” sign @ To find social tags @googleAmpersand & For strongly connected ideas/phrases likeA&E or Brothers & SistersDollar sign $ To indicate prices so nikon $400 andnikon 400 give different resultsHashtag # To search for trending topics indicated byhashtags #lifewithoutgoogleDash - To distinguish between cross referenceand cross-referenceUnderscore _ Is not ignored when it connects twowords quick_sort
How to get to Advanced Search 2. Click onGEAR Icon3. ChooseAdvancedSearch2. Scroll to bottomof the page andclick on AdvancedSearchOR1. Do a Basic Search
Boolean search using the Basicsearch boxBoolean search using theAdvanced search pageAnnTyler “Ann” –author -novel
Click on these downarrows to bring upoptions and select one
Limiting Results to Specific File Formats• Enter your search words in the Boolean searchboxes at the top of the page• Scroll down to narrow your results by File Type• Choose the file type from the drop down box– Example: Limit search results to .ppt to findpresentations posted to the web by opposingexperts.
Limiting Results to a Specific Web Site• Search one site (like wikipedia.org) or limityour results to a domain like .edu, .org or .gov• The command to do this in basic search is site:
Enter your search termsLimit to a domain ordomain type
Who is Linking to Whom?• Use to determine possible business orpersonal relationships• Use to evaluate a Web site for the first time• To search for web pages that link to a URL, usethe "link:" operator– Search: link: www.law.cornell.edu– Results: pages that link to Cornell’s LegalInformation Institute Web site
A few more Hidden Features• Limiting results to where your search termsappear in the website– In the title of the page– In the text of the page– In the URL of the page– In links to the page• Limiting results by date updated
Advanced Search PageLimit by where terms appearis only on Advanced SearchPage
Two ways to limit by date updatedAdvanced Search Page
Search tools menu at top of search results pageClick onSearch Toolsto bring upthe menubelow
Why Use Advanced Search• Indispensable in refining your searches tobring the relevant results to the first pages• Fill in the box format means you don’t have toremember specific search commands
FINDING CASES AND LEGAL JOURNALARTICLES USING GOOGLE SCHOLARPart 3:
What is Google Scholar?• Specialized search that retrieves results from aseparate database• Includes: Articles, Theses, Books, Abstracts,Patents, and Court Opinions• From academic publishers, professionalsocieties, online repositories, universities andother scholarly web sites
How to get to Google Scholar• Go to: (http://scholar.google.com/)OR• In Basic Google type in the search: scholar– Your first result will be for Google Scholar
Important SettingsChange from default Searcharticles to Search legal documentsMake sure Open results in a newwindow is checkedDon’t forget to Save
What legal research material can I find here?And where do they come from? Federal and State case law Legal journal articles Google’s own database Google also links to alternate sources for somecases, such as Cornell’s LII, Justia andPublic.Resource.org
Google Scholar Case CoverageU.S. State appellate andsupreme Court case opinions1950-presentU.S. Federal district, appellate,tax and bankruptcy court caseopinions1923-presentU.S. Supreme Court caseopinions1791-present
Roe v WadeClick on downarrow to openAdvance searchwindow
100 F Supp 1Advanced Search WindowSearch byCitation
Pros of Google Scholar for Legal Research• Hyperlinked case citations• Fast and accurate search results• Relevancy as good or better than commerciallegal research services• “How Cited” tab provides links to cases andscholarly documents that have cited your case• Set up Alerts• Send direct links to cases• It’s FREE
Cons of Google Scholar for Legal Research• Search results based on Google’s system forranking search results rather than actualimportance of case• Cannot easily tell if case is still good law.• No index tool• Statutes and Rules are not hyperlinked• Lacks some older cases
“Have fun and keep googling.”~Larry Page and Sergey Brin in a note on the new google.com (1998)
Resources• Official Google Blog(http://googleblog.blogspot.com/)• Google Search Help Center(http://support.google.com/websearch/?hl=en)• Google Scholar Help(http://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/help.html• Nancy Backman’s Google Guide(http://www.googleguide.com/)• Google for Lawyer’s by Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch