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 sites for comparison purposes.]

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Evaluating Alternatives to Lexis & Westlaw - Slides

  1. 1. Evaluating Alternatives to Lexis & Westlaw By Todd Venie and Roger Skalbeck December 10, 2009 Presentation for: Law Librarians' Society of Washington, DC
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. Notable Differences <ul><li>Currency of codes and integration of session laws </li></ul><ul><li>District court coverage </li></ul><ul><li>State case law coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Linking across materials </li></ul><ul><li>Sorting & searching options </li></ul>
  6. 6. Bar Association Benefits <ul><li>Fastcase </li></ul><ul><ul><li>22 state and local bar associations including: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Virginia State Bar </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maryland State Bar Association </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Casemaker </li></ul><ul><ul><li>28 state and local bars </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loislaw </li></ul><ul><ul><li>None </li></ul></ul><ul><li>VersusLaw </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A few bar associations and malpractice insurers </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Output & Personalization <ul><li>Print / Download </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2-column: Fastcase, Casemaker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1-column: Loislaw, Versuslaw </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Personalization and saved documents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fastcase: “My Library” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Versuslaw: save searches </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Bells & Whistles <ul><li>Loislaw: automated updates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get new materials that cite your case or match your search criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can create intranet search form (widget) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Casemaker & Loislaw </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thesaurus for searching </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Bells & Whistles <ul><li>Fastcase </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authority Check: citation analysis, sorting & visualization </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Ease of use Issues <ul><li>Casemaker: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Statute linking limited </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link highlighting is subtle </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fastcase: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-case and cross-statute linking not 100% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to Lexis / Westlaw for Credit Card users </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Pre-Searching Only <ul><li>Use alternative source only for initial search: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify terms of art </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locate a few good cases </li></ul></ul>Initial research ONLY on Loislaw All research on premium service; may repeat research
  12. 12. Parallel Searching <ul><li>Simultaneous use of both service types </li></ul><ul><li>Feasible for multi-task researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Impractical for hourly search charges </li></ul>
  13. 13. Serial Searching <ul><li>Start search with alternative </li></ul><ul><li>Proceed to Lexis/Westlaw for updating and unique content </li></ul><ul><li>Return to alternative for more research </li></ul>
  14. 14. Integration Hurdles <ul><li>Changing search behavior is difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Training is tricky </li></ul><ul><li>Integration between online services is far from seamless </li></ul>
  15. 15. Open Discussion <ul><li>Which integration options work? </li></ul><ul><li>What are people already doing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Option #1: Promote bar/association benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Option #2: Provide incentives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Option #3: Prohibit specific uses </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Contact and Credits <ul><li>Direct questions or comments to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roger V. Skalbeck rvs5@law.georgetown.edu </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Todd Venie tmv22@law.georgetown.edu </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Copyright 2009 Todd Venie and Roger Skalbeck </li></ul><ul><li>Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States </li></ul>