Category Archives: Data & Databases

Dive into Criminal Justice Data and Statistics with “Hall of Justice”

Stats and data about any aspect of the legal world have often been notoriously difficult to track down. I know that when I am asked a question about stats at the reference desk, I always prepare myself for what could be a difficult search.

That sigh of relief you are hearing is from law librarians and legal researchers across the US as Sunlight Foundation announced their new repository of Criminal Justice statistics called “Hall of Justice”. Not only does Hall of Justice collect many datasets into one convenient place, but it also, as HOJ’s homepage puts it, brings “criminal justice data transparency” to the forefront.

This data is out there and publicly available, but it can be nearly impossible for a casual searcher (or lawyer, or law faculty, or law librarian) to locate easily. With Hall of Justice, nearly 10,000 datasets are collected in one place and tagged with relevant keywords, allowing users to quickly locate data on a wide array of criminal justice topics ranging from sexual offenders to identify theft. While the repository is not comprehensive, it is still a great step forward in making this important information much more available.

The interface is very intuitive, and a searcher can use it to search by keyword, category or location. Once you have made your initial search, you can then filter the results by Groups (who owns/created the dataset), Sectors (governmental data or non-profit), or by Access Type. This makes the searching process simple and effective.

Try it out yourself and see what useful and eye-opening data you can find.  Hall of Justice can also be found on the Law Library’s database list. If you have any questions, be sure to ask a law librarian!

Hein Online adds an email delivery option

 

Good news for all you Hein-heads out there (I am certainly one of them). Hein Online recently added a great new feature to their interface where you can email a link to a Hein PDF…and anybody can access it, whether they are authenticated by Hein or not.

Granted the link will expire after 7 days (if the user isn’t authenticated…if they are it will never expire), but that is still more than enough time to share research or a great article with a colleague or student that may not know how to access Hein or not have access at all.

For full directions on how to email these PDFs straight from your Hein search, check out Hein’s blog post. Happy Hein-ing!

Scholarly Content from ProQuest Now Discoverable in Google Scholar

According to a press release from ProQuest, “the full text of its scholarly content – including journals and working papers – is now indexed in Google Scholar, enabling Google Scholar users to seamlessly discover and access their library’s ProQuest collections.”

Here’s more:

The collaboration between Google and ProQuest enables authenticated ProQuest users to be recognized at the ProQuest platform after they search using Google Scholar and connects them to full-text scholarly content in their libraries’ collections. Users who are not recognized are sent to a landing page with the abstract or an image of the first page, protecting all rights holders. To read full text, the users authenticate themselves using their library credentials. There is nothing for libraries to set up – the linking is seamless and automatic.

I’m a big Google Scholar user, especially when doing multidisciplinary research.  It’s a tremendous free resource for scholarly content.  I’ve long appreciated that Hein Online Law Journal Library content is discoverable via Google Scholar and am pleased that ProQuest will be now also.

Hat tip to Virtual Library Cat’s Eye View

Study Identifies Gaps in the Research Sources Being Taught in Law School

Rebecca S. Trammell, Law Library Director of Stetson University College of Law has recently completed a dissertation on Technology & Legal Research: What Is Taught & What Is Used in the Practice of Law.

Using data from three sources (the 2013 ALWD Survey; a review of syllabi; and the 2014 law school legal research survey), the study asks whether law schools are instructing students in the legal research resources used by attorneys in the practice of law.

According to Trammell, the answer is no.  Here’s an excerpt from page 79:

The results of the law school legal research survey indicate significant gaps in law school instruction in state administrative law for both the attorney’s home state and other states and for state case law research for states other than the attorney’s home state. In addition, law school instruction is not focused on several tools used in law practice, specifically legal forms, legal news sources, experts, information about judges, jury verdict information, and finding and using public records. Based on the use of these resources by practicing attorneys, instruction in these areas would result in law students’ gaining more practice-ready skills.

Search for Fair Use Cases using the US Copyright office’s new index

Copyright and it’s component Fair Use, are two of the stickiest and (at least for me!) most headache-inducing areas of law. There are so many shades of gray and changes that it can be difficult to follow whether the use of an image or video is allowed or not and under what circumstances something can be used.

Hopefully the US Copyright’s office new Fair Use Index will help make the issue a little bit clearer. Users can search cases that deal exclusively with Fair Use and quickly see how the decision has been rendered (if Fair Use was found or not). You can narrow your search by jurisdiction and, importantly, by format (text, audio, computer, etc).

You can check out the Fair Use Indexes searching capabilities here on their website and read the US Copyright Office’s press release here.

Remember that the use of the index does not constitute legal advice, but does give users a better idea of the recent developments in Fair Use. Thanks to the UW Law Library’s Government Documents librarian, Margaret Booth for alerting us to this new resource!

Track Citations to an Author’s Works in HeinOnline

Earlier this year, HeinOnline added a new author profile feature to their Law Journal Library that allows readers to view more information about authors and allows authors to showcase their work.  See WisBlawg post.

Hein has recently enhanced the service by adding a new e-mail alert option for authors.  In addition to setting up a notification for when new material by a certain author is added to HeinOnline, users can now be advised when that author’s existing works are cited by new articles.

profile

This is a great tool for authors wishing to track the impact of their scholarship or for those wanting to follow the work of a favorite author.

Instructions for setting up the alert are available on the HeinOnline blog.

HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library is available to anyone at the UW Law Library, as well as at the State Law Library, the Dane County Legal Resource Center, the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center, and Marquette Law School.  It is also available remotely to Wisconsin State Law Library cardholders who work at a firm or organization with fewer than 25 attorneys (for more information, see WSLL website).

The ABA launches the collateral consequences of criminal conviction database

A great new addition the world of legal research is the recently launched Collateral Consequences database from the ABA. With it, legal researchers can search across all 50 states and federal jurisdictions to discover and analyze how collateral consequences impact individuals with criminal convictions. These consequences can be hard to nail down and were certainly not available all in one place, so this database is welcome to fill that gap.

map

Check out the free database at: http://www.abacollateralconsequences.org/map/ and read more about the development of the database here.

HeinOnline’s top 250 authors (according to ScholarRank)

Coming on the heels of Hein’s new Author Profile pages that Bonnie detailed last week comes Hein’s ScholarRank. This interesting tool gives users a glimpse at which Hein authors are not only cited the most by other articles and cases, but also have the most views of their own articles. Basically, ScholarRank is trying to determine the 250 most influential legal scholars by analyzing and crunching these important numbers.

UW’s faculty is represented at number 90 by Professor Emeritus Marc Galanter, who has written numerous influential articles throughout his career.  The list is a veritable ‘who’s who’ of legal scholars, including such well-known names as Scalia, Renquist, Bader-Ginsburg, Brandeis and many others. University of Chicago Senior Lecturer Richard Posner is number 1.

You can review the list (and review each author’s enhanced profile page) by visiting the Hein ScholarRank page.

As Bonnie mentioned last week, HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library is available to anyone at the UW Law Library, as well as at the State Law Library, the Dane County Legal Resource Center, the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center, and Marquette Law School.  It is also available remotely to Wisconsin State Law Library cardholders who work at a firm or organization with fewer than 25 attorneys (for more information, see WSLL website).

Author Profile Pages Now Available In HeinOnline

HeinOnline has added a new author profile feature in their Law Journal Library that allows readers to to view more information about authors and allows authors to showcase their work.

To access the profile page for a particular author, open the Law Journal Library and search for an author.  From the search results, click the author’s name to view their profile which contains information about the author, a list of their articles available on HeinOnline, and data on how many times their articles have been cited and accessed in the last year.

Authors may further enhance their profiles by adding a photo, biography, university/affiliation, and links to profile and social media accounts.  Simply click the “submit author profile” link at the top of your author profile and complete the form.

Below is an example of my enhanced author profile:

author profile

HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library is available to anyone at the UW Law Library, as well as at the State Law Library, the Dane County Legal Resource Center, the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center, and Marquette Law School.  It is also available remotely to Wisconsin State Law Library cardholders who work at a firm or organization with fewer than 25 attorneys (for more information, see WSLL website).