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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Legal Week (http://www.lwk.co.uk/default.asp?p=homepage.asp) is an online publication from the United Kingdom. The current issue is featured in the center column following breaking news headlines since its release date. While article titles are links to full stories, a brief description follows each title.
Additional news items are listed in the left column grouped under categories headings that include International News, Deal Week and Legal Developments. The Legal Week search engine offers keyword searching of Legal Week, Legal Director or Legal IT. Result headlines are listed in reverse chronological order. There’s some sly humor here — read the brief article about the lawyer who moved to the UK for the food.
One warning. The site design means that a lot of hyperlinks aren’t underlined. Not a big deal but it does make the site difficult to skim for content. Interesting.
Another source of legal information from the United Kingdom is The Lawyer.com, at http://www.thelawyer.com/. Tabs across the page top list the available options for using this site. The first tab, Lawyer News, starts with news headlines and continues by offering current news about deals, features, comment and surveys. Comments include editorials and opinions, while the
current survey focuses on the London legal offices of the top fifty US firms.
Although this site starts with news, browsing the other tabs will detail how it plans to be more of an online solutions provider. Under the Lawyer Jobs tab, you can search for a legal job, recruitment consultant or law firm. Use the Lawyer Diary tab to search for upcoming legal events with drop-down menu options including types of events, areas, date range and keyword. And don’t miss the Lawyer Library search of over 15,000 articles. Search options include either a basic keyword search or an advanced search that allows you to specify date range for returned articles, as well as type of article searched (news, comment, profile, etc.)
Worth a look.
Mary Minow’s portal to Library Law opens like a book at http://www.librarylaw.com/. The left page bookmarks legal issues while the right page provides links to legal issues affecting libraries.
The issue page starts with online sources for staying atop the news and building currant awareness, and follows with compilations of legislation and court cases involving libraries listed by court level. There are also links to online courses, including some taught by Minow. Issues on the library page
include the Freedom of Information Act, Latchkey Children in Libraries, and many more.
Unfortunately it appeared that at least a couple of the anchors are broken, so you’ll click to go to another part of the page and nothing will happen (maybe they just don’t work in Opera?) Since the page is quick-loading, however, this isn’t a big deal.
[Editor’s Note (SP): Although it indicates on the bottom of the homepage that this site has not been updated since June 6, 2001, this is an oversight, as my visits to the site over the past several months indicate that new content has indeed been added as recently as last week.]
Digital-Copyright Mailing List
The University of Maryland University College’s Center for Intellectual Property is sponsoring an online mailing list focusing on digital copyright and federal information law issues and how they impact higher education. This list will include news announcements, conference postings, philosophical approaches
to digital copyright and more. Anyone interested in the value of intellectual properties for higher education is invited to join at http://www.umuc.edu/distance/odell/cip/listserv.html. Unfortunately this page doesn’t appear to have an archive link.
AltaVista Launches AltaVista ParaPhrase, New Crawling Initiative
Seems like the new hot thing is providing suggestions to narrow a search. Teoma trumpeted that in its new launch and now AltaVista is touting their beta test of AltaVista Paraphrase. One percent of US-based visitors to AltaVista.com will get to check out the tool.
Here’s how it works. Enter a search query. The results will come with a light orangish box on top. The box will contain suggestions for keywords to refine your search. If you’ve used AlltheWeb.com, you’ll notice that it looks very similar to their Beta FAST Topics.
Just for the heck of it I did a little shootout. I ran “radiology” at Teoma, AlltheWeb, Vivisimo, and AltaVista. Teoma had three refining suggestions. AlltheWeb had about a dozen. Vivisimo’s “clustering engine” offered twenty clusters. AltaVista offered twelve suggestions, and while none of them was geographically oriented, some of them seemed too general to be helpful (“residents,” “patients,” “doctor.”) This is only one search, and to do a thorough shootout I’d have to do several different types of words and
proper names, but it’s amazing to see how different the suggestions and clusters turned out to be for this one search.
In other AltaVista news, AltaVista has started a crawling initiative to gather non-commercial content. Four times a day they are checking several areas which provide information on new Web sites, and crawling them. “Our aim is
diversity and completeness of coverage,” said Jon Glick, Director for Internet Search Services at AltaVista. “We want to find good-quality, non-commerce material.” AltaVista had about 600 million pages as of a couple of weeks ago, and while they are expanding they do not have an ultimate page number goal.
Teoma the Search Engine
I finished digesting Teoma and here’s my thoughts:
Google Gettin’ Sued By Overture
Google is getting sued by Overture. Overture says that Google is violating their patent with their new pay-per- click advertising model. A spokesperson for Google says: “This does not come as a surprise to us, since Overture is
engaged in another lawsuit concerning this patent with Findwhat.com. We have analyzed the patent and determined that we do not infringe any valid claim that it contains. Beyond that, we cannot comment for reasons involving legal strategy.” See the CNET story about this at