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Internet Legal Research Strategies Cuyahoga County Bar Association CLE Sue Altmeyer, JD, MLS Electronic Services Librarian Cleveland Marshall College of Law Library December 18, 2007 URL for this presentation

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Internet Legal Research Strategies

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internet legal research strategies

Internet Legal Research Strategies

Cuyahoga County Bar Association CLE

Sue Altmeyer, JD, MLS

Electronic Services Librarian

Cleveland Marshall College of Law Library

December 18, 2007

url for this presentation
URL for this presentation
what will be covered
What will be covered
  • Formulating Search Question
  • Choosing Search Engine
  • Performing Search
  • Evaluating Web Sites
  • Invisible Web / Deep Web
formulating search question
Formulating Search Question
  • Start with broad concept; narrow as necessary
  • What are potential sources for information about broad concepts? Who would care?
  • What type of information do I want?

See: The Skill of the Hunt: Effective Research Strategies for Finding Information on the Web by Genie Tyburski, Web Manager, The Virtual Chase

formulating search question can government agencies help
Formulating Search Question – Can government agencies help?
  • GPO A-Z Resource List
  • Books – “The United States Government Internet Manual”; “U.S. Government on the Web”
  • Ask a Librarian!
formulating search question type of information wanted
Formulating Search Question – Type of information wanted?
  • Want the latest news? Try, google news
  • Want podcasts? Try a podcast search engine
  • See: Noodletools Chart – Choose the Best Search for your Information Need
evaluating web search services
Evaluating Web Search Services
  • comparison of Web Search Engine and Web Directory features
search services other than google
Search Services Other Than Google
  • Clusty – metasearch engine; groups results by topic.
  • Dogpile – metasearch engine; includes Google.
  • – “smart” answers; easy narrowing.
  • Exalead – Near operator and truncation, smaller amount of web indexed
  • Kartoo – visual metasearch engine; has choices for narrowing.
  • Yahoo & Open Directory Project
specialized legal search engines and directories
Specialized Legal Search Engines and Directories
  • Justia
  • Cleveland Law Library’s Legal Search Engine list
  • Westlaw Webplus (for law school Westlaw subscribers)
performing search
Performing Search
  • Learn to use capabilities of a few search engines
  • Google – Use Google Advanced. See: Googling to the Max by UC Berkeley, esp. re. fuzzy searches (using or, not; synonyms) and limiting searches (by page title or domain); Google Help.
performing search11
Performing Search
  • If first 20 hits not on point, change search statement and/or use different search service.
web site evaluation criteria
Web Site Evaluation Criteria
  • Credibility: Who wrote it; possible bias, accuracy. See Example of Inaccuracy in Wikipedia
  • Coverage
  • Currency / Updating
  • Writing Quality
  • Ease of use – Design, navigation, searchability, help
  • Stability
invisible web deep web
Invisible Web / Deep Web
  • When using a Search Engine, you are only searching information indexed and stored by that Engine. You are not searching “everything on the Web.”
invisible web deep web14
Invisible Web / Deep Web
  • “Search engines still cannot type or think. If access to a web pages requires typing, web crawlers encounter a barrier they cannot go beyond.” See The Invisible or Deep Web by U.C. Berkeley
invisible web deep web15
Invisible Web / Deep Web
  • Access Deep Web by finding databases via directories or search engines (search for a subject term and the word “database”), or ask a librarian.
  • Try The Librarian’s Internet Index and Complete Planet
  • See Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources
  • Google bookmarks or Yahoo bookmarks.
  • – social bookmarking.
  • Create your own bookmark lists with tags.
  • Share bookmarks with others – other attorneys in your office.
  • Google Notebook
further reading
Further Reading
  • Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial UC Berkeley