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Archive for ‘Legal Information: Libraries & Research’

Changes at CISTI Announced

The National Research Council’s national science library, the Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) is relied upon by many researchers worldwide for its resources and services. The notice below of upcoming changes went out to a number of listservs today; since I couldn’t see it posted to CISTI’s own website, I am sharing it here since others may find it of interest. Also of note, the CISTI website has changed to comply with new Common Look and Feel guidelines from Canada’s Treasury Board Secretariat (see the notice). . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Is This the Worst Government Legal Information Website?

Over the years, legal users have seen their fair share of badly designed websites, pages whose very design obstructs access. The wayback machine can draw cringes when we look back at sites that looked wonderful at the time.

However, a piece in today’s Korea Times led me to a site that reaches a new level in this dubious competition.

At the outset, we must commend the South Korean government for recognizing the need for having legal information accessible in a language other than Korean – Korean users could always click here.

But this site is extraordinary when it . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

Comparative Guide to Family and Estates Law

Master’s students at the Université de Paris X – Nanterre have produced a comparative guide that provides an overview of the legal situation in 70 countries on issues relating to:

  • nationality, adoption, marriage and divorce
  • estates
  • international private law

The guide is written in French.

[Source: Précisé, un blog pour l’Information juridique] . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Harper’s Index Free Online

As of today, Harper’s Index is free online. For those of you who might not know, Harper’s Index is a collection of information set out in single lines as if it were statistical data and in a way that is meant to surprise and interest you. In the online Index you’re presented with a search box — which will return helpful suggestions as you type, guiding you to those terms that do in fact appear within the index.

For example, a search for “law” produces over half a dozen screenfuls of items, the first of which is:

1/85 Number of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous

Georgetown Law Library Symposium on Blogs as Legal Scholarship

The Georgetown Law Library will hold a symposium on the Future of Today’s Legal Scholarship on July 25, 2009 in Washington. It will debate how blogging has become an integral part of legal scholarship:

“The Future of Today’s Legal Scholarship is a symposium that brings together academic bloggers, law librarians, and experts in preservation to tackle the bigger, more imperative challenges that will influence legal scholarship and democratic access to legal information for generations to come.”

“We must determine how to prioritize, collect, archive, preserve, and ensure reliable long-term access to the burgeoning amount of legal scholarship being published through

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


With the renovations progressing here at the DMP Law Library, most of our print has moved off site, and is harder to get. To compensate the students, I’ve been giving some instruction in electronic-only legal research, and even though I’m immersed in this topic every day, it is still surprising to me just how much can be accomplished online. Generally, of course, Legislation that has any historical aspect still requires the print for most jurisdictions, though CanLII’s new point-in-time functions are great, and some jurisdictions offer this sort of detail online.

For Canadian case law, just about anything you want . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Two Law Publishing Announcements

1. Irwin Law has announced the development of its own online e-books platform. As of July 31, 2009, their current licensing agreement with LexisNexis Quicklaw will come to an end, and digital versions of all Irwin Law texts will be exclusively available on their proprietary platform as of the next day. Jeffrey Miller, Irwin publisher, makes it clear in his announcement to current authors that:

We respect the work of our authors and recognize our responsibility to publish in a manner that enhances their return and their reputation, while at the same time protecting their intellectual property rights. Finally, our

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

Law Journals Lose Print Subscribers

Ross E. Davies, of George Mason University School of Law, has a brief piece called “Law Review Circulation” available on SSRN. The article has been summarized by Inside Higher Ed, and, simply, reveals a serious drop in the the paid circulation for the “top 15” U.S. law reviews, where the figures are available (as they are required by the U.S. Postal Service to be).

One example will suffice here: The Harvard Law Journal’s paid circulation over time was as follows:

1979-80: 8,760 \ 1987-88: 7325 \ 1997-98: 4367 \ 2007-08: 2,610

This is not surprising, perhaps, given the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

Outsourcing in Legal Publishing – Anything (And Possibly Everything) Goes

Just over three decades ago, the Canadian Law Information Council was established by the federal and provincial governments in order to create a framework for online access to legal information in Canada. The idea was that a national council of all of the interested parties could work together to ensure that any development was in the best interest of Canadians.

At the time, there was a serious concern that online databases of Canadian legal information would be built and controlled from the United States, with the result that Canadians would have to go offshore to access their own laws in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research


As we all know, there’s a continuing quest to encompass and, at the same time, tame the spate of information from the internet. Google is the most obvious champion in the quest: all the world’s knowledge … conjured up according to your particular search/need. Without that there’d be simply the blare of everything, which is to say, nothing. Another approach is to filter the flood through others, your friends or people whose judgment you respect: social networks perform this function, of course — Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. Somewhere in between are those services that bring you streams of everything in . . . [more]

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

Human Security Gateway

The Human Security Report Project, affiliated with Simon Fraser University’s School for International Studies, conducts research on political violence and makes that research available to scholars and the public generally. The Human Security Gateway is the tool used for dissemination of this material and as well relevant research available elsewhere.

Currently the counter on the site claims 23,701 resources, categorized as News Articles, Factsheets, Reports or Academic Articles. As well, it’s possible to filter the data by topic and region. There are, for example, 2,472 resources under the heading of International Law, Justice and Accountability . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

Juris Classeur – Major Encyclopedia of Quebec and Canadian Law Launched by Lexis Nexis

LexisNexis has just published the first two volumes of a major encyclopedia of Quebec and Canadian law in French – the Juris Classeur Quebec. Modeled on the celebrated series of encyclopedias that have for 100 years set the standard for legal publishing in France, this “made in Quebec” version of the classic French encyclopedia is expected to quickly establish itself as an essential and authoritative element of the practice of law in Canada.

The Juris Classeur is in fact a series of five separate multi-volume encyclopedias known as “collections”, each one dealing with one of the grand subjects of the . . . [more]

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