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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Publishing’

21st C Lament

Earlier this week I had one of those discussions/debates with a friend of mine whereby neither of us could remember a certain point. However, our discussion was quickly laid to rest with a quick perusal of the nearest search engine. In our particular case we were trying to remember all the characters that have been in KISS (avec make-up). Trust me, it is not as easy to recall as you might think (absent enlistment in the KISS army).

This occasion brought home a lament of mine, that the interweb has killed the bar stool argument, one no longer goes back . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

A Website With the World’s Constitutions

Shortly after being disappointed that Oxford’s Constitutions of the World wanted money from me — my university background and the ethic of free knowledge can’t be taken out of the boy, it seems — I learn about Constitute. Here, too, are the world’s constitutions, but absent any fee.

Now, Constitute doesn’t promise to update according to a schedule (they claim they’re up-to-date as of September 2013), and though all the constitutions I’ve had a quick look at are set out in English, there’s no indication of how or by whom they were translated from their original language, this is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous

The Legal Semantic Web Inches Forward

Those of you who are into legal informatics will like to know that there’s a proposal to form a new technical committee at OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) to work on “an open standard for machine-readable tagging of legal citations.” Legalcite, if the draft proposal is approved, will come up with a “tagging model” that would let content producers affix a variety of metadata to a case or statute citation in such a way that a computer could, first, recognize that the citation was just that: a legal citation; and then “understand” a number of things . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

F. Tim Knight on Linked Data and Canadian Legal Resources

I am interested to see what comes out of the CanLII hackathon that took place this weekend. F. Tim Knight kindly shared slides and notes from his presentation on Friday, Linked Data and Canadian Legal Resources.

Don’t know what linked data is? Tim walks us step-by-step through what it is, some of the theoretical background of this concept, how linked data could be used, and how it might apply to Canadian legal resources (such as case law), especially using CanLII.

I especially recommend his slides with notes. In them, he encourages more open contributions of legal data:


. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology, Technology: Internet

Digitisis, Part Three: Expedition and Erudition

The major strategic shift of the past two decades in professional publishing is the decline of the historical duopoly. Lawyers never really wanted to deal with more than a few reliable tradesmen (typically Butterworth and Sweets as was in the UK) and the owners of the primary sources certainly didn’t want just anyone playing with their gems of wisdom. This supply-side duopoly propped up Lexis and Thomson/West in the UK for many decades. It coincidentally conferred on them financial supremacy: deeper pockets than the rest. Pockets they used to ramp up acquisition prices, R&D, front list development, etc in ways . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Digitisis, Part Two: The Symptoms of Digitisis

The disease that afflicted legal and professional publishing for the last two decades was corrosive on many levels.

The first symptom of the Digital obsession or Digitisis disease was the overspending on document structure definitions and an obsession with rescuing whole ‘limbs’ of content that were probably going to be amputated in due course anyway. No-one in Lexis, Thomson, Bloomberg-BNA or Wolters-Kluwer-CCH could agree on what future content should look like so they had no idea what to keep or discard. This indecision led to the lowest common denominator strategy of ‘digitise and it will be worth it . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Digitisis, Part One

The larger legal publishers’ 2013 half-year and interim results season was quietly revolutionary. At 80% the issue is done and dusted. The issue that has been plaguing the legal and professional publishing world for decades now can be consigned to history. With a palpable flop over the finish line, you can hear the words ‘largely complete’ panted in an exhausted and rasping whisper. The digital transition is finally finished; honest; no really; trust me – finished.

Looking back over the 15 years it has taken to get here 2 lessons are clear:

  1. Readers buy confidence not content; formats are secondary;
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

CALL/ACBD Blogging – Full Steam Ahead

I am impressed with the sharing aspect of Canada’s legal community, and the generosity everyone shows in blogging. Every day we see great new examples of this with both thought leadership and informational blogs. On Friday members of the CALL-L listserv received a note from the CALL/ACBD Website Editorial Board chair Michel-Adrien Sheppard reminding us about the blog on the Canadian Association of Law Libraries/L’Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit website.

Even as a CALL/ACBD executive board member I didn’t quite realize how much blogging was going on inside the members’ area! Fortunately now members have the option of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Technology: Internet

CanLII Hackathon

Though others have posted about it, Slaw has not yet reported on the upcoming CanLII Hackathon. The two day event, hosted by CanLII and the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law Centre for Law, Technology and Society — and properly titled Law, Government and Open Data Conference and Hackathon — will be held in Ottawa on September 13 and 14 at the Desmarais Building, Room 12101, 55 Laurier Avenue East.

According to the CanLII announcement:

The two day event will be roughly split as follows:

  • Day 1 describes the public policy objectives of access to information and introduces the
. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing

SmartChicago Annotates Legislation

SmartChicago is a group formed with the aim of using technology to better the lives of Chicagoans. Among other things, they support centres that help citizens get access to their health records, they promote free broadband access, they work to improve citizens’ technological skills — and they try to make relevant laws easier to understand.

To assist with this last aim, they’ve done a very practical and perhaps surprising thing: they’ve opened an account on the Rap Genius site, a place to go to learn the meaning of a lot of rap lyrics — or poems, or items in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

Government of Canada Moves to E-Printing

It is important for all persons working in the legal field to have an understanding of how this impacts on perpetual access to legal information from the federal government.

This email was sent to members of the infodep listserv (from the Depository Services Program) on July 8, 2013:

“The new Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) Procedures for Publishing are now in effect. These procedures clarify the continuing role of Publishing and Depository Services during the Government of Canada’s transition to electronic publishing.

They apply to all departments listed in Schedules I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

Hein and Fastcase Announce Publishing Partnership

A press release shared that William S. Hein & Co. and Fastcase announced a publishing partnership today. Hein will share federal and state case law to subscribers via links provided by Fastcase. Fastcase will integrate HeinOnline’s law review and historical legislation. The press release goes into greater detail about the linkages and even discusses how customers will see this material.

This is pretty exciting news. I am looking forward to hearing the reactions of AALL Members at the American Association of Law Libraries 106th Annual Meeting and Conference which kicks off this coming weekend. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing