LLRXBuzz - January 22, 2001

The Latest on Legal Research

Tara Calishain is the co-author of Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research, 2nd Edition, and author or co-author of four other books. She is the owner of CopperSky Writing & Research.
January 22, 2001

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New HR Site Lets You Ask Questions

Hrquestion.com (http://hrquestion.com/) is a new human resource information site. For $49.95 a business owner can submit a question and receive an answer within 4 hours or, for $79.95, within an hour. (Bear in mind that this applies to their "office hours" which are available on the site.)

The site can also create personnel policies and employee handbooks on short notice. Policies are written within 4 hours and handbooks are completed and sent by e-mail within 24 hours. Personnel policies and handbooks have their own prices.

The president of the site does have his bio on the site, but I wish some of the other people who answer questions were also profiled. For a site like this it's good to have as much credibility as possible.

New York Times Vastly Expanding Archives

The New York Times archives will be expanded to include digital images of every page from 1851 to the end of 1998. (That's about 3,500,000 pages.) This is as a result of a licensing deal between Bell & Howell and the New York Times. This conversation will take about 15 months and the pages will be released in batches that cover a decade each.

Unfortunately this archive will be available only to libraries and schools. The news release about this deal is available at http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/010112/ny_the_new.html.

This announcement comes on the heels of Bell & Howell's announcement of the ProQuest Historical Newspapers project, which will cover the digitization of many newspapers back to the 19th century. While the press release doesn't name any specific papers, it does mention "hundreds" of newspapers, starting with US newspapers and then expanding to cover newspapers all over the world. You can get the press release for this announcement at http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/010112/dc_bell_ho.html.

New Government Info Resource Launched

Carroll Publishing launched GovSearch (http://www.carrollpub.com/govsearch/) last week at the MidWinter Conference of the American Library Association. This site provides access to government related information including 385,000 listings at all levels of government. GovSearch also includes resources like Presidential prerogative (plum) positions and intuitive address searches, where users can use a home address to access pictures and biographical data on their specific elected officials. (At the moment, that function is not finished. It is promised to be available on January 31.) The database can be searched by party affiliation, gender, school, etc. and special categorical searches based on who's in, out or pending, as well as vacancy listings.

There are some fun things you can do with this. For example, you could do a county-level search in Utah. (Make sure it's for a "all branches" or it won't work.) Results include name, title, office, city, and state. Clicking on the person's name gives you a page of information including name, title, address, and phone number. Plenty of stuff here; it'll be interesting to see if they manage to keep it updated. Worth a look.

Elsevier Science Expands Its Portfolio

Elsevier Science Direct has added five new product lines: PhysicsDirect, BioMedDirect, EI EngineeringDirect, PharmaDirect, and ScienceDirect. Each line will offer Digital Collections of full-text journal content, Navigators, and information services designed for the specific market with content, product features, and personalization services. You can read the press release on this new product at: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/010116/dc_elsevie.html

Keep Up With Gas Prices

If you're wondering what the spread on gas prices is these days, check out http://www.gaspricewatch.com/. This site gives you gas and heating oil prices in the US and Canada.

The front page gives the high, low, and average price for gas and heating oil in the US and Canada. (The Canada price is per liter, by the way.) There's also a space for maritime prices, but that appears to be inactive.

You can do a zip code search for gas stations within a certain radius. I did a search for 91210 within 10 miles. I got 591 results! Results give the name and address of the station as well as prices for regular, plus, premium, and diesel when available. Prices were color-coded by how old they were (less than 48 hours, less than 96 hours, or over 96 hours.) You can also get an exact date of the price by holding your mouse over a graphic next to the price.

You can do a similar search for heating oil. This time, when I did a search for all heating oil suppliers within a ten-mile range of 10001, I got 301 results. The results gave site name and addresses, but no prices.

This site also has some other interesting/useful stuff, including a table of gas taxes by state and a discussion board. Worth a look.

Northern Light Tricks

I was working a little with Northern Light (http://www.nlsearch.com) yesterday, and found a couple of interesting special syntaxes that I hadn't used before. The Company: syntax searches for information on different companies. Do company:"Duke Energy" and you'll see what I mean. The ticker: syntax searches for a company's ticker information. Try ticker:yhoo.