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.
In This Issue:
The Latest on Legal Research
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Welcome back! This week we’re going from New Hampshire
to Ohio. Fasten your seat belts.
Actually before we get started I want to add one thing: I’ve been getting some letters saying “You forget this,” or “Why didn’t you cover that?” Unfortunately I
can’t cover everything because these columns would be book-sized! But if I did miss something you think is useful and great, send it on. There’s no law that says I can’t cover it in a later edition of ResearchBuzz or LLRXBuzz. I’d love to see it!
New Hampshire – http://www.state.nh.us/
This is a fast-loading site. Looks like most of the links on the front page are text, with only a few graphics.
Cities and towns in NH, at http://www.state.nh.us/living/towns.html, provides a
lot more information than you’d think. There are several different sections to the site. There’s a page of links to information about NH’s municipalities, from Acworth, population 779, to Woodstock, population 1,269. information includes population, districts, town office mailing address, and Web resources if there are any available. There’s a list of online business and organizations in NH. There’s a page with information on both the K-12 and higher education facilities in New Hampshire. I haven’t even mentioned the newspaper page. This is a page to explore.
There’s also the New Hampshire General Court page at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/. This page in and of itself isn’t much to look at, but go down a couple layers and you’ll find some good stuff. The advanced
bill search, at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/ns/billstatus/default.asp, offers several different ways to search for legislation. There’s a roll-call search so you can see how different reps voted, and a browsable state budget.
Lots of stuff here; most of it beneath the surface.
New Jersey – http://www.state.nj.us/
No New Jersey jokes, please; I have relatives there. This site doesn’t deserve any jokes, anyway; what a lot of material!
The government information page, at http://www.state.nj.us/government_info.html, is a keeper. The page is divided into three columns: state, local, and federal government resources. The state column provides several direct links, but also three directories that lead to several directories (mayors, zip codes, fax directory, etc.), state agencies, and state contracts.
The local government information page provides links to county and municipal web sites, local place names, local planning officials, etc. Finally, the federal
government column leads to resources you might expect, like the White House and the Library of Congress.
New Jersey’s licensee directories, at http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/director.htm, are not aggregated. Instead there are several linked categories, from accountant to veterinarians. The search forms seem to be similar, though. For example, the hearing aide dispensers and the master plumbers had the same search interface — a last name query box and a pulldown menu to specify the number of results to return.
New Mexico – http://www.state.nm.us/Welcome.html
If you have good bandwidth, not only can you see a picture of the governor, you can see a 4.1MB AVI of him greeting you.
The economic development site, at http://www.edd.state.nm.us/, links to aggregated license information acupuncturists to vegetarians. This is a list of occupations which are licensed, but the license information isn’t automatically available. For example, medical examiner licensing information isn’t available online. If you want to get a list of required permits, check out
New Mexico’s cultural resources have their own site at http://www.nmoca.com. In addition to information about some of New Mexico’s monuments, there’s audio about different events in New Mexico’s history, information on library services and events, and links to New Mexico’s Blue Book and the New Mexico cultural database.
New York – http://www.state.ny.us
How do you segue into New York? How can I possibly make a joke about New York that a million writers or comics haven’t already made? I can’t. I give. I will
note they have a huge Web site.
Make your first stop http://www.nysegov.com/e-bizNYS.cfm. This site lists transactions and forms by category and agency. (Transactions = things like birth certificate requests and parking ticket payments, while forms = things like New York Lotto Subscription, temporarily down, and a registration for interested organ and tissue donors. Also in this section don’t miss the business guide, with a bevy of business and licensing information, and a short list of links related to doing business in New York.
Map-NY (http://www.nysegov.com/map-NY.cfm) is an interesting idea. It’s a site of New York government services broken out by area. Now, don’t click on the nice map of New York — it didn’t work for me anyway. Instead, look at your options on the left. You can view information by agency or category. The interactive mapping section lets you see New York in several different ways, including via aerial photography and with an affordable housing directory. Finally, the NYS GIS clearinghouse provides tons of processed aerial
North Carolina – http://www.state.nc.us
When I first loaded this page, the first thing that caught my eye was the graphic on the left announcing that the weather was “Powered by Yahoo.” Gggh.
Tear away your eyes from that bit and you’ll see a series of tabs about one quarter way down the page. The Business tab takes you to
http://www.ncgov.com/asp/basic/business.asp. There you’ll find a Yahooesque searchable subject index concerning doing business in North Carolina, including a link to an unclaimed property database, links to government databases, and weather.
The NC Research section, at
http://www.ncgov.com/asp/subpages/intention.asp?P=1&I=35, provides you a variety of pointers, including links to county information, access to NC court records, and information on NC economic trends. Annotation is nonexistent, but would improve the quality of this listing by a thousand percent.
If you’re looking for businesses in North Carolina, you want http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/. This page allows you to look up about 400,000 corporations and limited liability companies. An interesting twist is that you can look for corporations added between dates. For example, I could search for corporations added in March 2001. Corporation information includes the name, date formed, id #, type, and registered agent’s name and address.
North Dakota – http://www.state.nd.us/
Clean, fast-loading page with a groovy logo in the upper-left corner.
Check out the Government link at http://discovernd.com/law/, and from there State Laws at http://discovernd.com/government/statelaws.html. From here you can get to State Supreme Court Opinions (from 1987 on), the state constitution (as PDF file) and court rules.
North Dakota has a couple of items that I think you’ll find interesting. There’s an alphabetical list of business and professional positions that require
licenses at http://discovernd.com/business/busprolicense.html. This list probably isn’t complete, but there’s a lot here. Each link leads to a page of information about the profession in North Dakota, including application forms and rules.
The local government page, at http://discovernd.com/government/localgov.html, contains a city and county index, populations of cities and counties, county map and profiles, and more. And if you want to more information on North Dakota, there’s a facts page which points to information on everything from symbols to economic information.
Ohio – http://www.state.oh.us/
The first thing that went through my mind when I saw this site was “Why does Ohio, of all states, have a DOLPHIN project?” I still don’t quite understand it
but I don’t think it has anything to do with Flipper.
Anyway. The licensing and permits page, at http://www.state.oh.us/Business/LicensingandPermits.htm, links to professional boards as well as individual license and permit information. Some organizations have license verification engines (Dental Board) and some don’t (Embalmers and Funeral Directors Board).
Ohio’s Legislative Branch page, at
provides more than legal information. There are links to legal resources, of course (including subject- specific information like school funding reform) but
there’s also frequently-asked questions about Ohio, a pointer to state facts (I never would have guessed what the Official Rock Song of Ohio was), and information on elected officials.
A couple more weeks to go! Stay tuned!