Recent enhancements to Lexis Advance have addressed some of the original features that researchers found to be less than user friendly. Among these are the elimination of the "color wheel" carousel introductory page and the confusing pre-search filters. The interface is much simpler and easier to navigate. Lexis Advance also has added some substantive features that law school faculty and students should find useful.
One major improvement to Lexis Advance is the browsing features, both for specific resources or by topic.
Previously a researcher had to use an alphabetical list of sources, but it’s now easy to browse for a particular source for which you know the title, by selecting Browse and then typing in part of the name of the source as shown below.
Once you retrieve the source, you can either search within it or browse for information using the Table of Contents.
Lexis Advance now also contains a detailed topical browsing tree. As shown in the example below, you can browse from the general topic Administrative Law to the subtopic Agency Rulemaking, then to the sub- sub- topic Notice and Comment Requirements. You can then retrieve a list of documents for that specific topic, or add the specific topic as a search filter.
For default searching, Lexis Advance now features a simplified set of pre-search filters, allowing you to limit your search by jurisdiction, type of authority, practice area/topic, and more.
Naturally you can still run a default search and limit the results by applying various filters, including those mentioned above as well as date limiters and searches for additional terms within the results.
You can also choose to expand or limit the number of results displayed by using the “Expanded” or “Fewer” results options.
When using Shepard’s Citations to see how court opinions have interpreted and applied statutory code sections, you can now limit the Shepard’s display to a particular subsection of the code section you are interested in.
In the example below, California Evidence Code § 669 contains, in part, subsections (a)(1) – a(4).
The image below shows that when you choose, “Subsection reports” you can limit the Shepard’s display of citing references to those that discuss one particular subsection.
Last but not least, the Lexis Practice Advisor covers several topic areas and "includes practical guidance, forms with drafting notes and alternative clauses, checklists, relevant authority and commentary on transactional matters written by leading practitioners."
Future posts will describe additional Lexis Advance enhancements.
The papers of Richard F. Fenno Jr., who currently serves as Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Rochester, are now accessible through a new web portal created in part by the River Campus Libraries: www.richardfenno.com. This site provides access to books, articles, lectures, interviews with members of Congress, and memorabilia.
WestlawNext contains a number of resources in the area of international law. Users can access information on cases, legislation, law review articles and foreign news sources. Before starting research on international law in WestlawNext, an important point to remember is that with the exception of Secondary Sources and Expert Materials, international content is not included in Global Search results. This means that when you access the Browse screen and immediately type your search into the search box, you will retrieve only federal and state information. The most effective way to start your research in international law is to use the International Materials link on the lower right side of the Browse screen. Once you access the International Materials page, you can search by Global Search, Jurisdiction, Content Types or International News.
Retrieving international materials via a Global Search is possible once you access the International Materials page. Simply type a search query into the box at the top of the screen. The search will retrieve items from cases, legislation, administrative materials, treatises, journals and number of other areas covered by this database. Check the scope notes on the pages listed on the International Materials page for coverage.
The coverage of foreign jurisdictions in WestlawNext is selective. Australia, Canada, European Union, Hong Kong, Korea and the United Kingdom are listed individually and these countries have full coverage - cases, statutes, and secondary sources. The 31 countries listed under Other International Materials have limited coverage. Most of the information available for these countries is derived from the Doing Business series. It's best to look at the scope note on a country link to find exactly what information is included.
A user can narrow down a search by using the Content Type selection. Search results can be filetered by cases, administrative materials, legislation, treatieses, journals, current awareness, court documents, legal memoranda, jury verdicts, and forms. Check each Content Types carefully because information included varieswidely. Cases only includes the six primary countires - Australia, Canada, European Union, Hong Kong, Korea and the United Kingdom. The Administrative Materials section gives access to the American Society of International Law materials, International Court of Justice, International Economic Law Documents, International Environmental Law Documents, and International Legal Materials. International Economic Law Documents is a project of the American Society of International Law and contains documents and editorial explanations. The International Environment Law Documents listings derive from the treatise - International Environmental Law. The Multi-National subgroup in Administrative Materials is an important source of information. It contains the documents of the criminal tribunals of Iran, Rwanda and Yugoslavia. It also contains the link to International Legal Materials (ILM) - one of the first places international documents are published. Coverage for ILM begins with volume 19 (1980). The ILM Index covrage starts in 1962. Ask your librarian for help if you need to acquire documents prior to 1980. Seven countries - Canada, Cayman Islands, European Union, Hong Kong, Korea, United Kingdom and Scotland are included in the Legislation section. The Treatises section covers titles dealing with multi-nationals. Note that Court Documents, Legal Memoranda, Jury Verdicts and Forms are limited to Canadian material.
If you are looking for news stories in the international area, there are two ways to find them. Either go back to the introductory Browse screen and click the News link. Select the International box at the right ofthe screen to confine your search to international news stories. A link to International News also appears on the right side of the International Materials screen. Searches are either by country or all content.
If you are looking for an attorney in a foreign country, select Directories from the introductory Browse screen. The click the West Legal Directory link. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select International. Searches can be conducted by name, firm, court, organization, city and/or country.
While WestlawNext does not contain every source of information in the field of international law, it has a great many. It is worthwhile to consider WestlawNext when doing a research project in this area.
The Law Library now has a subscription to HeinOnline's new World Treaty Library. This collection brings together works from Rohn, Dumont, Wiktor, and Martens to create an incredibly rich collection of treaties. Click here for a sampling of titles.
Search across all the treaties, or narrow the search by selecting keyword, title, countries, full text, source, treaty number, treaty type, party, description, sign place, sign date, date, subject, or citation with Hein's treaty index search. The index search includes:
The editors at Hein have also created a bibliography linking hundreds of scholarly articles to world treaties. Using Hein’s ScholarCheck, you can see which other law review articles from the Law Journal Library cite the article you are reading and quickly link to them.
Several Bloomberg BNA Books, Manuals and Portfolios have been recently added to Bloomberg Law. You can now access the following publications through the Legal Analysis and News tab on the Bloomberg Law Menu Bar:
BNA Privacy & Data Security Practice Portfolio Series – this series includes the following portfolios
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and highlights the value of free and open access to information. Books are frequently banned for containing adult content, offensive language, strong sexual content, or not being age appropriate. Over this recent past decade, 5,099 challenges were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Check out the banned books display in the library to see some of the books and comic books that have been banned or challenged and the history of censorship in print.
Find out if your favorite book has been banned or challenged by exploring the top ten lists of the 21st century here.