Evaluating Alternatives to Lexis & Westlaw - Slides
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Evaluating Alternatives to Lexis & Westlaw - Slides

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Presentation slides for LLSDC Education Committee program focused on evaluating low-cost alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw, including discussions for implementation strategies. [Posted to multiple ...

Presentation slides for LLSDC Education Committee program focused on evaluating low-cost alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw, including discussions for implementation strategies. [Posted to multiple sites for comparison purposes.]

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Evaluating Alternatives to Lexis & Westlaw - Slides Evaluating Alternatives to Lexis & Westlaw - Slides Presentation Transcript

  • Evaluating Alternatives to Lexis & Westlaw By Todd Venie and Roger Skalbeck December 10, 2009 Presentation for: Law Librarians' Society of Washington, DC
  • Federal Case Law Coverage Comparison Database U.S. Supreme Court Federal Circuit Courts Federal District Courts Other Federal Courts Fastcase 1790 - current (ALL) 1924 - current 1912 - current Tax Court 1924 – current Bankruptcy: 1979 – current BIA 1996 – current Casemaker 1790 - current (ALL) 1930 - current 1932 - current Tax Court 1999 – current Bankruptcy 1999 – current BIA 1996 – current Loislaw 1790 - current (ALL) Generally 1924 – Current 10th Circuit 1929 – Current 11th Circuit 1981 – Current Federal Circuit 1929 – Current 1921 - Current (SELECTED) Tax Court 1942 - Current Bankruptcy 1975 - Current (SELECTED) VersusLaw 1886 - current Generally 1930 – current DC Circuit 1950 – current 9th Circuit 1941 – current Varies widely - Some back to 1930, others to early 1970s Tax Court 1999 – current BIA 1996 - current
  • U.S. Code Coverage Comparison Database Full Text Search Browsable Find by Citation Currency Session Laws Fastcase Yes Yes Yes 2006 version None Casemaker Yes Yes Yes Titles 1-41 through 01/08/2008 Titles 42-50 through 01/03/2007 Current NOT integrated into Code Loislaw Yes Yes Yes 2006 Version Current Integrated into Code Versuslaw Yes Yes Yes 2006 Version Current Integrated into Code
  • Search & Finding Functions Database Terms & Connectors Natural Language Links Across Materials Federated Searching Sorting Options Fastcase Yes Yes No* Yes Date Relevance Most Cited Party Name Casemaker Yes No No Yes – with limited search functions Date Relevance Loislaw Yes No Yes Yes Date Versuslaw Yes No No Yes Date Jurisdiction Party Name
  • Notable Differences
    • Currency of codes and integration of session laws
    • District court coverage
    • State case law coverage
    • Linking across materials
    • Sorting & searching options
  • Bar Association Benefits
    • Fastcase
      • 22 state and local bar associations including:
        • Virginia State Bar
        • Maryland State Bar Association
    • Casemaker
      • 28 state and local bars
    • Loislaw
      • None
    • VersusLaw
      • A few bar associations and malpractice insurers
  • Output & Personalization
    • Print / Download
      • 2-column: Fastcase, Casemaker
      • 1-column: Loislaw, Versuslaw
    • Personalization and saved documents
      • Fastcase: “My Library”
      • Versuslaw: save searches
  • Bells & Whistles
    • Loislaw: automated updates
      • Get new materials that cite your case or match your search criteria
      • Can create intranet search form (widget)
    • Casemaker & Loislaw
      • Thesaurus for searching
  • Bells & Whistles
    • Fastcase
      • Authority Check: citation analysis, sorting & visualization
  • Ease of use Issues
    • Casemaker:
      • Statute linking limited
      • Link highlighting is subtle
    • Fastcase:
      • Cross-case and cross-statute linking not 100%
      • Links to Lexis / Westlaw for Credit Card users
  • Pre-Searching Only
    • Use alternative source only for initial search:
      • Identify terms of art
      • Locate a few good cases
    Initial research ONLY on Loislaw All research on premium service; may repeat research
  • Parallel Searching
    • Simultaneous use of both service types
    • Feasible for multi-task researchers
    • Impractical for hourly search charges
  • Serial Searching
    • Start search with alternative
    • Proceed to Lexis/Westlaw for updating and unique content
    • Return to alternative for more research
  • Integration Hurdles
    • Changing search behavior is difficult
    • Training is tricky
    • Integration between online services is far from seamless
  • Open Discussion
    • Which integration options work?
    • What are people already doing?
      • Option #1: Promote bar/association benefits
      • Option #2: Provide incentives
      • Option #3: Prohibit specific uses
  • Contact and Credits
    • Direct questions or comments to:
      • Roger V. Skalbeck rvs5@law.georgetown.edu
      • Todd Venie tmv22@law.georgetown.edu
    • Copyright 2009 Todd Venie and Roger Skalbeck
    • Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States