Some Changes in the New QL

This from Anette Demers:Reference Librarian, Paul Martin Law Library, University of Windsor

I just thought I would mention a few items that may be of interest to the greater community. Forgive me if these have already been widely published.

First of all I have been informed by WestlaweCarswell of the following change to our access to BNA International Trade Reporter (and other BNA products):

September 6, 2006. There has been a change in the access to BNA. We are no longer able to provide complimentary access to these databases. We do have a special pricing model that permits cross campus and/or specific law school access to such databases.

Also, I don’t know how many of you have encountered issues with the new QL, but here are a few things that we have encountered so far:

  • Statutes of Canada is now under “Canada Annual Statutes” from the Source Directory.
  • Statutes of Ontario is now under “Ontario Annual Statutes” from the Source Directory. For both of these, to browse within a particular year you must find it in the source directory and click browse.
  • RSC 1985 is now under “Canada Historical Legislation” from the Source Directory.
  • RSC 1970 has been dropped.
  • Canadian Law Symposium Index hasn’t migrated yet but will be migrating.

I was thinking that if people are interested, perhaps we could keep an ongoing thread about changes to and tricks for using the new QL?


  1. Dropping the RSC 1970 means that the Canada Corporations Act gets dropped, since it wasn’t consolidated in 1985 and the new Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Bill died on the Order Paper, and hasn’t been reintroduced.
    It continues to be the statute that governs a large number of national not-for-profits, so is not spent legislation by anyone’s standards.

  2. I don’t get why RSC 1970 was dropped either. It’s not like disk space is expensive or maintenance is required. And frankly, we’re paying enough that Lexis shouldn’t be dropping anything. Period.

    Someone should explain ‘the long tail’ concept to the Vendors. Regular usage doesn’t equate value.

  3. My guess is that someone simply regarded it as a fossil, which wouldn’t have contemporary interest or value. But if you’ve ever had to trace a provision back you’ll know how intensive the work is and how quickly the tables fill up with tomes.
    Surely online is the ideal medium for this sort of relational database.
    We posted last year on a Thomson attempt to do this sort of historical depth. Did anyone have a chance to use it?

  4. I really like the idea of keeping ongoing thread on this issue. There are many small differences that may not get noticed and this would be a good forum to track them.

  5. I should also mentioned that last week I suggested to Luc Meloche that perhaps QL would consider publishing some sort of a concordance to show users what the old QL database name/code was and its name or whereabouts on the new system. He said that he would forward the idea on to the department head for training who also does documentation.

  6. Great idea Annette – we’re noticing a number of changes and some whole countries, particularly from Africa and the Caribbean, that have gone ‘missing in action’.

  7. Well if Lexis (nee QL) is slow on the draw why don’t we do it on Slaw? I think this would be an excellent Slaw project. Maybe our list would be better than theirs…..

  8. Nick I would be interested to learn of the countries/ products that you’ve found to have gone missing.

    I for one was very glad to see that the Journal Officiel and Semaine Juridique for France as well as ChinalawInfo and EU stuff is still on there.

  9. Hi Annette – Quicklaw had several African and Caribbean jurisdictions – Uganda I think, Jamaica..can’t recall the others but I can’t find anything there now.

  10. Hello everyone. Here is a new QL development that Yemisi and I have been working on – your suggestions would be appreciated.

    Posted with permission:

    Hi Annette,

    I’m sure we’ve all been experiencing the same problems, so the idea of an ongoing thread sounds very good!

    Now talking about the tricks, how are do your students access QL from the public computers in the library? There is a lot of confusion here as we have 2 versions of QL; one has the Canadian content which is available to all York University students & faculty and then the second one is QL for Law students & faculty. On campus we are able to view the Canadian content only using the library computers. In the offices we played round it and are able to access Law School QL after deleting the cookies. So we are dealing with that problem.

    Content wise I’m yet to be able to access the int’l stuff from the Caribbean & Africa, what is your opinion? Are you still able to access the old interface?

    Yemisi Dina

    Hi Yemisi!

    Thanks for your email. Thanks also for reminding me to ask Luc for our new non-law password. We just got our new non-law password too!
    Interestingly, before we got it, I was able to access a list of about 15 jurisdictions from the Source Directory. After he set it up, my list went down to 6 sources.
    Thanks to you – I knew to go in and clear my cookies – the rest of the list then became available.

    Here’s how we are going to fix this problem:

    I am going to send an email to Luc Meloche to ask him NOT TO USE OUR FULL LAW LIBRARY IP RANGE for authenticating with the non-law passwords.

    Our non-law students are only entitled to use 4 dedicated computers in the library. I will give him the IP addresses of these four computers only- – to tie to the non-law authentication process.

    I think this is probably the best solution for you also. Perhaps you could have a couple of computers set up for non-law access to QL, clearly marked – and send those specific IP addresses to Luc for him to use to authenticate the non-law password. You would have to have signage to tell the law students that they may have trouble accessing some databases on QL from those specific computers. However, this will protect most law students and all of the faculty and librarians from being blocked out of some content on QL.

    With respect to content migration, the Lexis people have told me that they are still migrating databases over to the new QL. They are moving 2 -3 sources per day. I would not be surprised if Africa and the Caribbean are not very high on their priority list. It could still be on its way – I don’t think we can do a real comprehensive assessment until they say they are finished with the migrations.

    For now I am happy to see that all of the South African case and legislation sources have migrated;
    Singapore Malaysia and Brunei cases have migrated;
    Argentine materials have migrated;
    Mexican sources have migrated but do not appear in the source directory as far as I can tell (they can be found by searching the source directory however)

    I was looking on the old QL and I really don’t see any Caribbean materials on it. I don’t see any on the new QL either, except for a couple of journals and news sources. Do you have a specific source that you are looking for? I have found the Source Directory Search works better than browsing it.


  11. Follow up on content question:

    I looked at the old QL and it actually did have:

    Tanzania Judgments 1993-2001
    Uganda Judgments 1996-2000
    Guyana Judgments 1985 to 1999
    Trinidad and Tobago Industrial Court Judgments 1997 to 2002
    Turks and Caicos Islands Judgments TCAJ 1999 to 2002

    I can’t find any of these on the new QL.

    Interestingly, Tanzania and Uganda content doesn’t even appear in the old QL Source Directory from last year. It would be interesting to find out if QL killed the content that was no longer being updated anyway? A pity really.

    For those of you who may be interested, I just snagged off of the old QL a list of all of the Foreign and International Databases in case we need them for comparison sake later. I thought the source directory would fill that gap – but for Africa it did not, so who knows what else may completely fall through the cracks if we’re not watching!

  12. This is indeed a hot thread. Thanks, Anette, for starting it.

    I’ve put a “hot threads” section at the top of the right column, and a link to this, so that folks can get here quicker.

  13. I just thought I would let everyone know that Luc Meloche is away until Thursday and he promised to help me sort out the non-law password problem then. I will post his reply to this list.

  14. Hello everyone!

    I have had some correspondence with a QL manager who has been monitoring the blog. This person sent me an email with information to address the concerns raised by Simon and Steven in the first two comments under this thread.

    The QL person indicated that the Canada Corporations Act was added. It
    can be found in the Canada Statutes source or do a “Find Legislation” search by entering RSC 1970 cC-32 into the query box.

    Apparently, the Canada Corporations Act that was found in the old RSC1970 collection was only current to a specific date. The one included in the new QL Canada Statutes database incorporates all amendments to date. (I think most of us knew this already).

    This person also indicated that if we see any Acts that were not consolidated in 1985 but continue in force and are available electronically, QL would consider adding them to the collection.

    Also in one of my comments above I noted that I had requested that QL put together some sort of a concordance to show us what happened to the old databases (in terms of name changes, items dropped, etc.) and apparently a concordance is in the works and the link to it will be made available soon!

    Mark – I guess they beat us to the punch!

    I have also asked what happened to the browsable version of the weekly SCC Leave to Appeal rulings. We could find the searchable version, but there doesn’t appear to be an actual list anymore. I’ll tell you what I find out about that, unless someone on here knows?

  15. I have also asked what happened to the National Articling Database. I’ll let you know what I find out.

  16. Hello everyone!

    Well it seems that Quicklaw has put together a searchable concordance which will help us to pinpoint what has happened to the old QL databases in the new version.

    You might know that I initially suggested this idea to Luc Meloche in July and have since been corresponding with another manager at QL about this idea.

    It looks like it actually has come into fruition!

    The Quicklaw people know that it is fairly simple at this point with bugs – so they are welcoming any feedback (as well as missing databases) that you have.

    Upon my initial trial of the concordance, it would appear that there are several omissions, here is the content of my recent feedback email to QL:



    Doing some more checking on there today:

    On the Old QL

    UKJ United Kindgom Judgments (not showing up on concordance)
    ALER All England Law Reports (not showing up)
    HLJ House of Lords Judgments (not showing up on concordance)
    UKPC Privy Council Decisions (not showing up by code, does show up by searching Privy in source name)
    EWJ England and Wales Judgments (not showing up)
    News – Group Source (Searches the current year of Canadian and British wire services, newspapers, newsletters and press releases.) (not showing up)
    RSC Revised Statutes of Canada (not showing up)
    SC05 Statutes of Canada (not showing up)
    RC70 Revised Statutes of Canada 1970 (not showing up)
    CJP Canadian Judgments Plus (not showing up)

    May I make a suggestion? Among other things, It seems to me that databases that were part of the old Quicklaw which have been dropped from the new version are not showing up on the concordance. In my view, QL/Lexis needs to be straight up about what parts of the old QL have been dropped, rather than just entering a few of the databases that did migrate. If a database was dropped, the concordance needs to say so – to me, this is one of the major pieces of information that it should contain.


  17. This has been extremely useful – thanks everyone! We haven’t made the switch over yet – just got my new password, and have been having a look around.

    Is there any information on functional changes which we should point out to our users (i’m thinking specifically of the shift from “space is an implicit or” in old QL to “space is an implicit phrase” – which I like, but needs to be pointed out).

    Wendy Reynolds

  18. Here’s one I don’t see in the concordance, CMAC-Court Martial Appeal Court (or CMAR, CMAJ, CACM). The court martial decisions do not appear to be available in the new version. Any thoughts? Anything from LexisNexis Canada Inc?

  19. Scratch that, just found it. Canada Court Martial Appeal Reports. A fallacy in searching the concordance and thinking it would be a tribunal. My bad

  20. Has anyone compared the typeface/layout in the new Netletters with those on the OQL [old QuickLaw]? In checking for an Oct. 16 issue of Gold’s Crim Law Netletter, two sections under bold-faced headings had disappeared from the issue posted on the new platform, but the full copy was loaded on the OQL… Perhaps the two-month timeline that Lexis has set for the “completed conversion” needs to be extended for purposes of quality control?

  21. I just got off the phone with QL support about a few questions:

    1. What is the difference between these sources:

    Canada Statutes
    Consolidated Statutes of Canada

    A: The content is the same, however Canada Statutes offers a browse
    function as well as point in time searches.

    2. What is the difference between these sources:

    All Canadian Court Cases
    All Canadian Judgments

    A: All Canadian Court Cases has 46 distinct titles and includes court cases
    as well as the commercial reporters and board/tribunal reporters. All Canadian Judgments has 28 distinct titles and does not include commercial reporters or board/tribunal reporters.

    3. What is the use of the LEG-REFERENCES segment when searching
    All Canadian Judgments? ( I was hoping maybe they had isolated a field for laws that were cited by cases, however the tutorial for noting up legislation doesn’t mention the use of this segment, nor is there any mention of it in the help section for segment searching.) I also tested it out using charter or constitution and received no results.

    The QL rep was not familiar with the use of this segment, but will email me with a reply later, which I will share.

    4. Does QL have any intention of putting together a comprehensive tool to tell people what segments are to be used for what purpose? I find that the
    way segments are named on QL (and Lexis) is not intuitive. Some of the scope notes tell you what the segments are for, and some do not.

    The QL rep said that it would be suggested to the training/help department, because it is a common question.

  22. Has anyone been able to find the Ontario securities regulations and policies? It was formerly in the OSCR database.

    Are people still using this source on the “old” Quicklaw or have most securities researchers “jumped ship” to other products for this sort of information?

  23. Sent to on November 16, 2006:
    Dear Sir/Madame,

    I am working on some searches of the database “All Core Journals” on the new Quicklaw. One thing that I am baffled by, is:

    Search Results Display:

    Only the title of the article, the author, and the source are provided in the search results list.

    The view options provided are only:
    -search terms in context

    The sort options provided are only:
    -source & location

    Is there any way at present to show the article citation and in particular, the *publication date* in the results list?

    It is impossible to determine article relevancy without knowing the date the article was published – as most people are looking for more current articles.

    If there is no such functionality at present, is it on the product development “TO DO” list?

    For many of the other QL databases, the view and sort options provide more options for users, in particular, you can usually sort by date at a minimum.

    I would make the following recommendation for what minimum changes should be made here:

    -the sort options for this database (and any journal database) should include “date ascending” and “date descending”

    -the view options should include at a minimum “view article citation” and “view publication date”

    – on that vein, since the fields are already available for searching, why can’t every field be available as a view option? You could of course limit HOW MANY fields can be chosen for display purposes, but at least let the user choose what fields are most helpful for determining relevancy of their search results.

    Thanks very much for considering it,

    Annette Demers