A survey of law librarians was recently conducted by the Advanced Legal Research Instructors at Stanford Law School’s Robert Crown Law Library and was “designed to answer a few of our key questions: which database could be canceled?, what some of the effects might be from cancellation?, and what low cost or free legal research alternatives are available and recommended?,” according to the report.  It gives thought to the age-old question, Can you live without one or the other?  The survey addresses many issues that are commonly discussed among law librarians and legal researchers, and the comments in the appendices are particularly enlightening.

 

An executive summary can be viewed at the blog of Stanford’s Advanced Legal Research Instructors, Legal Research Plus, and the report can be viewed here: Law Librarians and LexisNexis vs. Westlaw: Survey Results. 

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I love the simplicity and comfort of Google, but have to always remind myself that no one search engine covers all the web.  There are many other search engines out there, and thanks to LibrarianInBlack for pointing out to the latest Top 100 Alternative Search Engines from AltSearchEngines.  Yes, there are some conflicting opinions about whether there really are even 100 good search engines, and you can read the comments on the post for that discussion. 

Meanwhile, there are dozens of places to explore the many facets of search, but here are a couple you may want to check out: ResourceShelf and SearchEngineLand.

Here’s an excellent article by Jenkins Law Library’s Internet Librarian, Dan Giancaterino, about the online resources available from your local library. The article, Better Than Google: Libraries Offer Online Databases With Quality Information — For Free, was published in the Spring 2007 issue of The Philadelphia Lawyer, p.56, and discusses how you might find information on 14 million companies from ReferenceUSA, the schematic for your car’s electrical system from the Auto Repair Reference Center and the full text of articles from the New York Times, all for free.

If you have a membership cards for your local library, such as the Free Library of Philadelphia, you can access databases and services covering news, biographies, science, and more, from home or work. From the Free Library’s site, you may even download audiobooks and music to your pc and transfer to your MP3 player.  Click here for a list of databases available at the Free Library.  You are eligible for a membership card if you “live, work, pays taxes, or go to school in the City of Philadelphia.”  Click here to apply for a card, or check out your local libray today!

Doing more with Google!

March 7, 2007

For a review of some recent posts about things you an do with Google, check out WisBlawg’s post, Google Tips and Tricks.   Bonnie Shucha from the University of Wisconsin Law Library cites to several sources which discuss ways to use Google beyond the simple search, including:

Revealing the Invisible Web

January 10, 2007

Looking to learn more about “The Invisible Web,” those web pages not retrieved by search engines?  The Ultimate Guide to the Invisible Web from the Online Education Database is worth a look.  Particularly interesting is the section entitled, 15 Invisible Web Search Tools, including:

 Thanks to Librarian in Black for reporting on this one.

ResearchBuzz reports on a new search engine from Justia that searches legal blogs only.  Take a look at BlawgSearch.  In addition to the search block on the home page, you will see search terms used by recent visitors, the most popular blawgs, legal blogs broken down by category, and recent posts from all 600 blogs covered displayed in one feed.

Check out this excellent review of web-based sources you can use for searching the news. Cindy Chick at LawLibTech’s recent post,  Old News? Google News! talks about the differences between the premium news aggregators, Lexis and Westlaw, and the free web-based aggregators such as Yahoo News and Google News.  What’s the difference? The short answer: historical archives versus up-to-the minute news coverage.  But with Google’s new Google News Archive Search, you can go further back in time, some 200 years.  Although you may be prompted to purchase many of the articles from Google News Archive Search, membership at your local public library may get you remote access through an online subscription such as Americas Newspapers