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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Greetings! We’re back to a regular format after a tour of the states. We will be going back in coming weeks and highlighting sites that readers suggested from different states, as well as providing coverage of D.C. In the meantime, keep those suggestions coming, and thanks for reading!
The Cornell Legal Research Encyclopedia, at http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/encyclopedia/, is a compilation of research tools in multiple formats including print, CD-ROM and the Internet.
The entire site can be searched by keyword of phrase in all of Cornell Law Library or narrowed to a single source such as InSITE Archives or Permanent Court of Arbitration Documents. Menu searching is also an option under the headings of Subjects, Countries, United States and International. Search results can be sorted by relevance or date.
Encyclopedia coverage includes administrative law, legal ethics and history, torts, and taxation. The subjects I reviewed include a search of the InSITE database, Web sites in several subcategories, and links to relevant primary legal materials. Worth a look.
FSRIO is the Food Safety Research Information Office established by the Secretary of Agriculture to provide information or food safety research initiatives. The FSRIO site, at http://www.nal.usda.gov/fsrio/, has a food safety database searchable by query, keyword, agency or category. Categories
related to food safety include Food Quality Characteristics, On-Farm Food Safety, and Government Policy and Regulations.
The site’s Program & Planning section offers searching of food safety research expenditures, annual reports or briefing papers searchable by federal agency. The What’s New section features current Hot Topics and upcoming conferences, as well as recently released food safety documents.
The United State Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General has a revamped Web site at http://www.oig.dot.gov/.
Be sure to explore the Reading Room on the left. You can search DOT documents by number, dating as far back as 1997, or search under such subject headings as Transportation Infrastructure, Criminal Investigations
and DOT Management Issues. Files are available both as PDF documents and plain-text documents.
The page also provide links to most recently released documentation or search by time period since 1999. There is also an events calendar, a focus on current areas of interest and a keyword search option.
Across the top of the page there are links to documentation by format, such as Audits, Investigations or Testimony/Statements. Documents are listed by date
in reverse chronological order. There is a lot of information here and it’s easily located. Worth a look.
Euro Scanner (http://www.euroscanner.com/eng/) bills itself as “The 100% EURO search engine,” but it also searches additional countries as well. Upon opening the site, the first thing to do is select from the list of languages, including Dutch, Portuguese, English and others.
This site consists of four columns: Country, Trade, Job Area and Content. Countries include those in Europe plus Asia, Canada and the US. Content options are cases, official texts, research and others, while Job Area includes administration and finance in addition to law & tax. Each entry has a block and searching can be narrowed by checking one or more blocks in one or more rows.
Click a block for each column (there’s an ALL option so you can catch everything) and you’ll get a list of relevant pages. You can only get 500 results at a time. It looks like if you click the screen icon next to the result you’ll get the page by itself, while if you click on the page title you’ll get the page with a Euro Scanner frame.
Singapore’s National Library Board has launched the eLibraryHub at at http://www.elibraryhub.com/. The site, which is in English, offers access to 10,000 reference books and 13,000 electronic magazines. You do not have to be a resident to Singapore to sign up — though if you are you are asked for a little bit of additional information upon sign up.
I was all psyched, ready to do this big write-up, but now I can’t get the site to respond when I click on it. You can get more information at the ZD article on the launch at:
WiseNut officially launched yesterday; it’s available at http://www.wisenut.com What is it? It’s a search engine that claims to index 1,495,332,308 pages. (Does anyone else find it interesting that at about the same time WiseNut officially launches, Google starts claiming a 1,610,476,000 page search?)
WiseNut has a simple front-page interface; just put some search words in the box and away you go. Now, there are two ways you can get search results. If you do a search that has limited results — try “nerve restoration surgery” as a query — you’ll get just Web page results. You’ll get the page title, a snippet from the page, the page URL, and a link to view more Web pages from that domain if there are any available. You’ll also get the option to “Sneak-A-Peek,” which looks to me like it just takes you to the Web site.
Now, if you do a more general search — like microneurosurgery — you’ll get some results in white lettering in a black background at the top of your results. These are category searches. The number in parentheses beside the category name is the number of search results relevant to your query in that category.
Click on the name or the number and you’ll get taken to that list of results. Alternately you can click on the [search this] beside the category name. When you do that you search WiseNut for that category name and nothing else. For example, say you search for microneurosurgery. Then you click on [search this] beside the minimally invasive category. That will cause WiseNut to search on minimally invasive, NOT minimally invasive and microneurosurgery.
While there is a very basic advanced search at http://www.wisenut.com/WiseSearch/ (it allows you to input keywords into “with all these words,” “without all these words,” and “with this exact phrase”
categories) it does not appear to support special syntaxes (I’m not absolutely sure on this as I cannot find the help file.) The category search is interesting, though; it provided me with unexpected search ideas. Worth a look.