My team has nearly finished with our project rolling out the new WestlawNext Canada platform. So far the response to the new site is positive. WestlawNext Canada has a lovely new feature along side the new all-in-one search box that will be interesting to Slawyers.
Within WestlawNext Canada a user can create folders to store information like full documents or snips from a WNC content (cases, legislation, texts and annotations as well as journal articles). Sharing a folder with colleagues within the firm is also available.
While I like the concept of sharing folders full of research bits with other WNC users in my firm, I am a bit surprised that this doesn’t have as much initial uptake as I expected. Perhaps my expectations were out of line with the reality of the learning curve for a new platform. While there is nothing terribly difficult, WNC does have a different philosophy underpinning the site than Westlaw Canada. With Westlaw Canada the philopsophy was browse or search within a collection. WestlawNext Canada is based on finding all kinds of relevant results regardless of the source type.
There are many shortcuts and advanced user processes that are available within every tool – WNC included. Perhaps once the learning plateaus, the functionality of organizing research in folders and sharing folders to collaborate with team members will catch on.