Susannah Tredwell's blog

Carswell changes loose-leaf purchase policy

Effective October 1, 2011, Carswell has changed its policy "regarding the purchase of loose-leaf Supplemented Services". A press release discussing the new loose-leaf policy can be found here: http://www.carswell.com/customersupport/terms/supplemented-services.htm.

Legal links for September 19, 2011

JSTOR announces free access to pre-1923 content

JSTOR has announced that it now offers free access to the pre-1923 content on its databases. According to the announcement:

This “Early Journal Content” includes discourse and scholarship in the arts and humanities, economics and politics, and in mathematics and other sciences.  It includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals. This represents 6% of the content on JSTOR.

(Hat tip to Donata Krakowski of the Halifax Law Courts.)

Legal links for June 10, 2011

B.C. court decision that costs of online research are "overhead"

In the recent judgment Fairchild v. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, 2011 BCSC 616, the judge stated that he was "even more convinced today that the cost of computerised research is properly an item of overhead than I was in 2001 when I decided Prevette v. Cusano." He went on to say:

In this current electronic age there are even more resources available (at no cost) for conducting legal research online than ever before (for example, there is now the CanLii system and our own courts website — which includes the vast majority of the court’s written reasons issues since 1999, at least). Therefore absent convincing evidence that pay-per-use type of computerised legal research was a necessary adjunct of the prosecution of this case, I will not allow the claim for these amounts.

[79]           In respect of the Westlaw charge, Mr. Orchard said that his law firm (Borden Ladner Gervais) does not maintain a monthly subscription service for Westlaw. Each search is billed to the firm as it is conducted and the costs of those searches are then passed on to the client. As to why a Westlaw search was required, Mr. Orchard said that Westlaw has an excellent database for searching cases in respect of quantum.

Legal links for May 2, 2011

New Parliament of Canada website

The Parliament of Canada has unveiled its new website.The changes are intended to "provide users with easier access to content about Parliament, its institutions and processes, as well as enhanced access to legislation."

LEGISinfo now displays bills with a "progress bar" so that you can see at a glance how far a bill has travelled in the legislative process. You can refine the results by bill type, sponsor and/or status. LEGISinfo has also introduced an overview option, whereby bills are sorted based on the stage they have reached (e.g. Third reading, Committee, etc.)

CanLII now has RSS feeds for searches

CanLII announced yesterday that users can now set up RSS feeds for their CanLII searches. An orange RSS feed symbol will now appear at the top of search results; clicking on this symbol allows users to subscribe to an RSS feed for that specific search.

CanLII also announced that it has changed the way that search results for searches involving proximity operators are displayed. Instead of highlighting all the search terms (whether or not they were in proximity to each other) it will now highlight only the keywords that match the query.

The full text of the announcement can be found here: http://www.canlii.org/en/blog/index.php?/archives/52-Major-Improvements-to-Search-Tools.html.

Legal links for March 3, 2011

  • Ted Tjaden has written a great article on SLAW on Finding English Translations of French Language Court Decisions in Canada.
  • Luigina Vileno's recent article "Testing the Usability of Two Online Research Guides" in Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research  looks at usability testing of online research guides. The conclusions are probably the most relevant part of the article for law librarians; they include avoiding jargon, making "greater use of headings and subheadings", removing links to pdf pages, creating shorter pages and hyperlinking significant words.
  • A summary of Roberta Schaffer's (she's the Law Librarian of Congress) keynote speech at the AALL Vendor Colloquium can be found here and here. Schaffer looks at trends in publishing and knowledge sharing.
  • Michel-Adrien Sheppard of the SCC library has some useful links to metrics for measuring (and showing) your library's value.
  • Steven A. Lastres has a recent blog post (February 26, 2011) on SLA's Future Ready 365 blog on "Knowledge Management in a Changing World".

Legal links for February 23, 2011

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