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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The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has a database of copyrights registered since October 1991 online at http://strategis.gc.ca/cipo/copyrights/jsp/search.jsp. Content includes copyrights of standard formats and others such as communication signals and sound recordings.
Tabs in the left column sort the content under headings of patent, trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs and integrated circuit topographies. Click on any of the tabs to view information on getting started, e-services, legislation and forms as well as a navigation guide.
Use the forms on the site’s opening page to search the entire database. Fill in a search term and select from the drop-down menu where to look for the term, or within which type of document. Or browse the alphabetical index of strategies including Automotive, Bankruptcy, Legal Services, Lobbyist
Registration and more.
A search for “legislation” found 17 results (the search engine will not provide more than 100 results at a time, so choose your search words carefully.) Results are presented in the official language in which they were filed; there was at least one French result in this search. Search results include a file and registration number, registration date, interested party/parties, and agent.
An index of United Nations Centre for Regional Development Publications is located at http://www.virtualref.com/uncrd/. The keyword search option offers searching of all the bibliographic records.
There are several options for browsing the information on this site including author, title, subject and year. You can also explore the classification system index which features headings like Labour, Education Training, Information Documentation and more. Each classification opens to reveal sub-headings and the number of documents under each sub-heading.
Yet an additional way to browse the site is by the series listing. I opened the Synthesis Report Series to view the report content and a date for each one.
California Campaign Promises Archive
The California Voter Foundation is sponsoring an Archive of Campaign Promises online at http://www.calvoter.org/promises/. The CVF started the site as a guide for voters by providing a directory of candidates running for election in 1994.
By 2000, the format has expanded to include U.S. House Races by district number and California propositions. The 2000 Voter Guide also includes a Campaign Promises Archive for candidate running for U.S. House as well as State Senate and State Assembly. The information provided on this site has been posted exactly as it appeared on the candidate’s Web site. Lots of info here, definitely worth a look.
NTIS to Offer SSA Death Master File
The National Technical Information Service is working with the Social Security Administration to offer a Death Master File (DMF) that will assist private industries and governmental agencies in the prevention of identity fraud. The file will include more than 65 million SSA records with birth and death dates as well as final payment information.
Subscribers to the weekly or monthly update service will be required to keep the DMF complete and current to prevent inaccuracies. Prices will vary. More details are available from
Civil Liberties Docket Archive
The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley has launched The Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute Archives at
This site includes legal briefs, transcripts, and motions in cases reported in the Civil Liberties Docket since 1955. The site is broken into several sections, including history, documents, publications, and finding aids.
History provides a history of the Meiklejohn Institute. Publications includes a partial list of publications provided by the Meiklejohn Institute. Dockets provides content from The Civil Liberties Docket between October 1955
and November 1966. Finally, finding aids provides the Preliminary Inventory of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute Collections, 1940’s- and a guide to National Lawyers Guild Records, 1936-1999.
Google Revamps Their Stopwords
I know sometimes you lie awake at night and try to figure out Google’s stopwords. You start with the, assuming it’s a stopword, while your way to www and com, and eventually fall asleep trying to figure out if both 1 and one count. (For those of you who don’t fall asleep figuring out stopwords, a “stopword” is a term that a search engine will not include in a query because it’s too common.)
Well, Google’s pulled a fast one on us. The no longer counts, strictly speaking, as a stopword. Run a Google search on the . You’ll get about 2,550,000,000 results. In fact, you can search for stopword standbys like a and www and also get results, though none as dramatic as a search for the .
There’s still some search weirdness, though. For example, a search for “the the” doesn’t appear to work, so you can’t search for the band . (Well, you can. You just make the second word a possessive — “the the’s” — and you’re in
gravy.) Searching for the as part of a query —
the google stopword
— gets the standard “”the” is a very common word and was
not included in your search” message, though you can force
Google to search for the by putting a + in front of it —
+the google stopword
— works fine. This is going to take some more experimenting
before I really understand it, I think.
Louisiana Colleges and Universities Start Intellectual Property Site
Fifteen institutions across Louisiana have started The Louisiana IP Directory at http://louisianaip.org/. This site contains a directory of intellectual property managers at institutions in Louisiana as well as a directory of patents held by Louisiana institutions.
The patents can be browsed or searched. Browsing patents can be viewed in several categories including agriculture, optics, and sugar technology. Patents can be searched by abstract, inventor name, patent number, or title.
The site is still in the process of being constructed and will eventually include names of key researchers and labs and equipment available for use.