Happy Birthday e-CFR

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations recently celebrated its 10th Birthday.  The e-CFR is updated daily and provides free access to all titles. It includes regulations currently in effect and links to published amendments in advance of their effective date.  While not the “official” version of the CFR (which should be used when citing to the code), it is a good resource to check for the most up to date information.  Note that because there is no keyword searching available, this site is best used when a citation is already known.  Learn more about the history of this resource here.

Who are the Most Cited Legal Scholars?

 As noted here recently, HeinOnline is a great resource for law reviews and journals. Now Hein has published an updated bibliometric analysis of its hefty Law Journal Library identifying the 50 Most Cited Authors. According to the HeinOnline Blog, the calculation was done including both the number of articles written and the number of times the author’s articles have been cited. No doubt many of the names will be familiar!

HeinOnline Webinar

HeinOnline is hosting a free webinar:  HeinOnline Searching 101.  This webinar will cover basic search techniques for newer users. The webinar will be offered twice on Thursday, February 24, at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.  For more information and to register click here.

 

If you are new to HeinOnline, it’s time to discover this useful database!  It is an excellent source for Law Journals, Compiled U.S. Legislative History, the U.S. Code, the Congressional Record, U.S. Reports, the United Nations and League of Nations Treaty Series, United States Treaties, Administrative Law materials, and more.   Plus, these documents are available in PDF format!!

Bridging the Gap — preparing for summer practice research workshop

The Law Librarians’ Society of DC and the Young Lawyers Section of the Bar Association of DC are co-hosting a legal research workshop to prepare students for summer work. The workshop will be held on Friday, April 8 at Georgetown Law Center. Registration is $30, including lunch. You must register by April 1, 2011. Details and registration are available here.

Can You Trust Your Google Search Result?

Using Google as an easy way to access known information sources makes good sense.  Type the name, click on the result, and review the content.  But blindly browsing on Google in the hopes of finding reliable information requires extreme caution. 

Unlike subscription databases that are evaluated by information professionals, Google’s content is malleable by profit-seekers skilled at search engine optimization (SEO).  They seek to capitalize on the exploding e-commerce market with no regard for accuracy or reliability.  As a recent article in the New York Times reveals, Google faces a huge challenge to remain impartial.  

The bottom line: always consider the reliability of each source of information.  Ranking on Google is not indictive of trustworthiness.

    

Explore the Blawgasphere

Interested in reading more blawgs? The legal community churns out musings on myriad topics. The ABA Journal recently announced its 4th annual list of the top 100 blawgs.  And the Journal’s website has a blawg directory that is searchable by topic.

Here are a few blawgs that may be of interest to law students:

ABOVE THE LAW – Covers the latest news from around the law school community with an emphasis on controversy and scandal.

BRIAN LEITER’S LAW SCHOOL REPORTS — Written by two law professors, this blog covers “news and views about legal academia and the legal profession.”

SOCIAL MEDIA LAW STUDENT — Provides information on new technology relevant to the legal community.

SCOTUS BLOG — “The” blog covering the U.S. Supreme Court.

Legislative History On WestlawNext

 

WestlawNext now includes federal and state legislative history materials (coverage varies by source). 

 

After retrieving the desired statute, click on the History tab. Then select one of the options for viewing the available sources.  

 

Also included are 31 compiled legislative histories for frequently referenced federal statutes. From the homepage, click on the All Content tab, and then Statutes and Court Rules.  From the right tool bar, select Legislative History.  Under the heading Federal, select Compiled Legislative Histories. This page also has links to other categories of federal and state legislative history materials to be browsed or searched.

 

U.S.C. Now Has 51 Titles

In December, 2010, Congress passed Public Law 111-314, which authorizes the addition of Title 51 to the United States Code. Title 51 is entitled “National and Commercial Space Programs,” and it is comprised of existing provisions of the United States Code related to that topic. The House Law Revision Counsel, the group that maintains the United States Code, has drafted plans for additional new titles: 52 (Voting and Elections); 53 (Small Business); 54 (National Park System); and 55 (Environment), which you can see here. While PL 111-314 is not currently available on FDSys.gov, Thomas has a link to the House Report and status of the underlying bills here.