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Author Archives: BEVERLY BUTULA

Statistical Resources

When searching for statistics, I often start with The University of Michigan Library’s “Statistical Resources on the Web.” This comprehensive list of online resources is well-organized and quite user friendly. The researcher can either select a topic or use the main index. Primary topics include health, military, consumers, education, energy, transportation, weather, agriculture, and several others. Once a primary topic ...

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Site offers timely updates of Code of Federal Regulations

I was surprised to find out that many people are not aware of the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (E-CFR). Most researchers use the general Government Printing Office’s GPO Access page to access regulations online. This is the perfect location for locating the official and historical versions of the Code of Federal Regulations. Historical versions of some titles go back ...

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Site offers summaries of Internet law

The Internet Law Library is a Web site maintained by Attorney Martin Samson. This online database features summaries of hundreds of cases dealing with Internet law. The site allows the researcher to view cases by subject area, browse a listing of all cases, or conduct a general search. Subject areas include trademark, search engines, meta tags, gambling, cookies, blogs, and ...

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Google’s new look for Advanced Search

If you didn’t notice, Google has changed the look of their Advanced Search screen. I wrote a while back about the importance of utilizing an engine’s advanced search option. By creating your query within the structure of the advanced search, a researcher can immediately eliminate irrelevant results. Google’s new look makes Boolean searching much easier. Just fill in the appropriate ...

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Resources help identify legislative intent

Identifying legislative intent is often a challenge. Occasionally the courts will discuss what they believe the legislature was thinking when drafting a statute. Absent that discussion, Wisconsin researchers follow several steps hoping to understand the thought process behind the creation of a specific state statute section. Researchers sift through drafting records, LRB analysis, legislative council reports, fiscal reports and committee ...

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MU Sports Law

With everyone paying attention to Wisconsin sports this week, I had to highlight the Sports Law Institute at Marquette Law School. The website offers a collection of useful sports law links to online periodicals, research sites, news sources, and organizations. The publications page offers links to several sports related articles from both the online version of “For the Record” and ...

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Efficiency through browser shortcuts

I was giving a presentation the other day and wanted to get to my Favorites. Instead of using my mouse, I used the "Control-I" shortcut. A member of the audience asked what I did, and I explained the shortcut. No one in the audience was aware of it. I then asked who used the "Control-F" shortcut to find a word ...

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Maritime at Milwaukee Public

I was recently on the Milwaukee Public Library website and noticed something new. It is a database called Project Shipshape. I’ve known about the library’s great Maritime collection, but not familiar with this project. I spoke to a Humanities librarian at Milwaukee Public Library and found out that Project Shipshape went online in January. So, what is it? The Project ...

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National Center for State Courts

The National Center for State Courts is another one of those websites where it would be impossible to summarize all their features in just one post. The amount of data available on this site is wonderful. One item I seem to access each year is the “Future Trends in State Courts” report. It always contains several articles of interest to ...

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New Look for K&L Gates E-Discovery Database

K&L Gates’ Electronic Discovery Law blog focuses on the evolving landscape of electronic discovery. Posts address “legal issues, news and best practices relating to the discovery of electronically stored information.” One item that sets them apart is their case database, which received a “fresh new look” this week. The searchable database contains over 900 e-discovery cases from state and federal ...

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Online resources for going green

Many businesses and municipalities are striving to “go green.” The focus of this effort can range from reducing waste, to utilizing energy efficient resources, to constructing buildings using new technologies. Some companies have begun by encouraging two-sided printing, using recycling bins, turning off desktops at night, and subsidizing the use of public transportation. Federal, state and local governments are looking ...

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Looking for Government Publications?

Okay, you have heard it before – starting with the right online tool will save time. One such tool when looking for Federal publications is the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. The Government Printing Office (GPO) maintains the site. They describe the catalog as “the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and ...

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EPA Adds New Features

In January, the EPA updated their “Laws, Regulations, Guidance, and Dockets” page. The site “has been enhanced with easily accessible ways to search and comment on EPA regulations and significant guidance documents, and to learn how environmental regulations are written. The site also includes new sections for finding regulations and related documents, plus regulatory history, statutory authority, supporting analyses, compliance ...

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The Treasure that is the Wisconsin State Law Library

The Wisconsin State Law Library just released their February 2008 newsletter. In a look back at 2007, Jane Colwin, State Law Librarian, highlights several items. One interesting fact is that the WSLL website received “over a half million hits – with Legal Topics A-Z being the most popular destination.” Were you one of them? I have discussed the WSLL a ...

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FAA site tracks flight delays

During the recent winter storm I dreamed of being in Hawaii or the Bahamas. However, instead of scheduling flights, I shoveled a lot of snow. Throughout the week, I did keep my eye on several airports since I have family members traveling throughout the United States. One site I use to accomplish this task is the FAA’s “Flight Delay Information” ...

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Google offers free directory assistance with GOOG-411

Not too long ago, I gave a presentation to the Downtown Milwaukee Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. I love speaking to groups. Not only can I share some of my expertise, but I always learn something as well. This particular lunch program focused on Google and some of its features. I believe it is important to learn ...

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Medical images at your fingertips

Attorneys that specialize in Personal Injury or medical issues usually have an extensive collection of medical resources. For others looking for medical images, a great place to start is the Medical Image Databases on the Internet maintained by University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). This site has an extensive listing of online resources (over 30 databases ...

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Uniform laws

In an earlier post, I listed tips to improve search results (read here). One suggestion was to “start with the right engine.” We often run our search in board spectrum engines such as Google when a specialized search engine or portal may be a better answer. One such legal portal is ALSO! (American Law Source Online). ALSO! defines themselves as ...

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Let the Sun Shine In!

It’s called “insanely useful web sites” and that is just what it is! The Sunlight Foundation has a web page dedicated to government transparency. Sites listed monitor legislative activity, campaign contributions, legislative proceedings, government contracts, DOJ documents, and much more. Currently, 24 different websites are listed. I have used GovTrack since its inception to assist me in monitoring Federal legislation. ...

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Do you have a form for that?

I wonder how many forms the average law firm fills out in a week. It amazes me just how many exist. Regularly used forms are easy to find, but where do you look when in search of something new? Sure, you can just put the name into a search engine. That might work without too much effort. You could conduct ...

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Constitution Finder

The University of Richmond maintains a wonderful website called the “Constitution Finder.” It is a database of the constitutions, charters, amendments, etc. from several hundred countries. The site design is a clean, easy to use interface. Once the country of interest is located, the result is a list of the documents available online. In addition, each of the document listing ...

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Great Access to Scholarly Articles

Many launch their research by reading journal articles. Scholarly pieces can offer insight into a new area, identify seminal cases or issues, or provide much needed analysis. I rely on a few quality sites for full-text articles. One worth bookmarking is the Social Science Research Network. A significant portion of their full text articles are free to download. Users must ...

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Site offers government abbreviations and acronyms

Library websites are often times a gold mine. I admire my colleagues’ efforts to bring quality information to the public. One such find is the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Library’s Abbreviations & Acronyms of the U.S. Government. It is an extensive listing of Federal Government abbreviations and acronyms, including even the most obscure entities. In most cases, the site includes ...

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A different map search engine

Most of us utilize Mapquest, Yahoo!, or Google for our primary map searching tool. Each offers wonderful features, like Mapquest’s Gas Prices link. However, I would like to suggest another site to check out. Have you tried Metrobot? I use this search engine to identify what businesses are at a single location. Putting in an address will produce not only ...

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Improve your online searching skills immediately

True story: I received a request for help. The patron said that he “has been searching online for an hour” and could not locate X. In less than 15 minutes, I was delivering X to the patron. Librarian magic? Nope, I used the phone. My point is that we (me included) seem to use the computer as our “default” research ...

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The beauty of advanced search

Everyone loves the information available on the Internet. Everyone hates pages of irrelevant hits. One possible way to reduce retrieving useless results is to use the “advanced search” option offered by some engines. By starting out on this “Advanced” page, searchers can apply many useful filters and refine their results. Google, Ask, Zuula, and Exalead are all great examples. Just ...

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New blog offers research tips

Welcome! The genesis of this blog was a conversation I had with two fellow law librarians. With the new design of the Wisconsin Law Journal website, we discussed the importance of librarians sharing their knowledge with those attorneys and legal professionals who do not (yet) have a librarian on staff. Fortunately, the WLJ thought it was a great idea as ...

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Tips for tracking down toy info

Whether you are researching toys for a legal matter or as a parent (it is the holiday season), two common issues are safety and age appropriateness. Check out these websites to assist in your quest. The first stop for most is the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to finding recall information, it is an excellent resource for statistics on ...

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Statistical Web sites by the numbers

Numbers are important. The legal field often utilizes statistics for justification or explanation. This article highlights several quality Web sites that provide statistical data on a variety of topics. Some provide information in a simple chart, while others allow the searcher to query a database and create a graph based on individual parameters. The sites found in this article are ...

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Beyond Google — Alternate Search Engines Enhance Research

The majority of us in the legal field utilize the Internet on a daily basis. E-mail access and research via the Web is commonplace. The type of research conducted could range from locating a phone number, to obtaining a government form, to gathering company data, to finding a recent court decision. If the searcher is not sure of the Web ...

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