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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Are you familiar with Fantasy Football, or Fantasy Baseball? Players create teams with the stats of real sports players. The fortunes of the “fantasy” teams rise and fall on the real-life performance of the players. With Fantasy Court
(http://www.fantasycourt.com/) players choose the outcome and majority/minority split of each case on the Supreme Court’s docket for this term. They get points for correct choices, and the player with the highest points will win a prize at the end of the term.
Sound cool? Well, there’s one more snag; you have to be licensed attorney to participate, so I won’t be playing. But I wish I could; no offense to fantasy sports players but it sounds a lot more fun than “Fantasy Lawn Darts” or whatever.
An Internet source for 100,000 Canadian Documents dating as far back as 1982 is available at http://publications.gc.ca/.
To locate a particular document you can browse the catalogue by subject or department or execute a keyword search. Additional search criteria includes title, author, ISBN and all or any words in the Input Field.
Search results can be sorted by title, author, Agency, Year, Catalogue number or a word in the Input Field. Publication files include the title, issuing agency, price and catalogue number. Some items are available online, some are not. There are instructions available on how to order materials that are not available online.
Florida Library Information
Florida’s State Library has a online database of Library Information at http://librarydata.dos.state.fl.us/intro.htm. The database includes information searchable by organization name or organizations within a city. You can
also search for library projects by name, number or sponsoring organization. In addition, this database can be used to search for contacts by last name or city.
Search results for organization include the name and location with type, such as institutional, public or special. Additional information includes telephone numbers, an e-mail contact and Internet address. Search results list contacts, projects and any organizations with which it may be affiliated. This is excellently done; a lot of information here with plenty of special libraries included.
Andrew Brandt, in the October 25 issue of PC World (http://tinyurl.com/2gsq) reports on fifteen mailing lists and online newsletters that he considers to be excellent sources of free information. He details the difference between the two types and why a good newsletter is like candy. Some of his favorites are
“Lockergnome” “Internet Tourbus” and “Woody’s Office for Mere Mortals.”
The Online Newsletters are grouped into three categories: Tips and Help, News and Current Information and Shareware/Freeware and Sites. Each entry links to the source’s Web site and describes the information in the source with its high and low points as well as the bottom line. He also provides the delivery
frequency and tells how to subscribe. Cool if you’re looking for some general tech guidance.
Georgia Launches Insurance Database
The state of Georgia is testing a database for police agencies to use to verify that drivers have insurance coverage on their vehicles. A spokesperson for the Georgia Insurance Information service recommends drivers use this testing period to verify insurance information and vehicles identification number.
The testing period will end the first of February when the database will be Georgia’s official information source. Check out the WSB-TV article on the new resource at http://www.accessatlanta.com/partners/wsbtv/news/insurance1031.html.
Google Turns the Corner to Three Billion Pages
A hundred years ago when I was young, I boggled at Google’s claim of a billion pages. But now I will be blasé. Google is now claiming an index of over three billion pages on their Web site. Yawn. FAST, on the other hand, is at 2.1 billion (see the bottom of http://www.alltheweb.com/ for the number.)
National Library of Scotland Offers Ask-A-Librarian Service
After a six-month test run, the National Library of Scotland has started offering a new electronic reference service. Fill out the online form at http://www.nls.uk/info/readingrooms/askalibrarian.html and the librarians of the
NLS will either get back to you or pass your question to another library if their resources are not sufficient to answer your query. The site warns that response could take a while but does allow you to track the progress of your
Even if you’re not interested in asking a question, take a couple minutes to check out the National Library of Scotland. They have an excellent digital collection at http://www.nls.uk/digitallibrary/index.html.
Christian Science Monitor Offers Dozen RSS Feeds
Today is happy dance day here at ResearchBuzz; the Christian Science Monitor has announced a dozen freely-available RSS feeds at http://www.csmonitor.com/rss/.
Categories for the feeds include Work & Money, Sci/Tech, and The Home Forum. There’s also one RSS file that contains links to the entire content of the newsletter by section (that’s about three dozen stories.) The feeds are in RSS 0.91, so they’ll work in all the feed aggregators that I know of.
If you were out getting a root beer the last time I was ranting about RSS feeds and you need a little background, the URL above also provides general information about RSS feeds and points you to software you can use to read them.