Category Archives: Electronic Resources

Google publishes federal election political ad database

Following Facebook and Twitter, Google has published its political ad database which details spending in US federal elections. The database contains any political ads purchased to run on Google Search or YouTube starting on or after May 31. The database will be updated weekly, not in real time. The database will include information about who paid for the ad, how many impressions it received, how long it ran for, and how much money was spent on it.

H/T Gary Price’s InfoDocket post. — Joe

ALA Six-part Webinar: Licensing Electronic Resources to Serve the Library’s Mission

From the webinar’s announcement:

Licensing electronic resources must be undertaken in a way that supports the library’s mission by providing access to the highest possible number of databases, electronic journals, eBooks, and streaming media at the lowest possible cost. While the specific objectives and strategies of libraries will vary, skilled librarians must undertake a number of complex tasks in order to successfully license electronic resources. Some of the most important of these tasks or objectives include: negotiating the best possible terms in complex license agreements, maintaining positive working relationships with library vendors, communicating important information to internal and external constituencies, tracking changes in business models and relevant technologies, providing data for collection analysis, as well as coordinating their work with library administrators. This webinar series will cover these and other topics that address the needs of librarians working with the licensing of electronic resources.

This six-part series includes the following sessions:

August 22, 2018- Fundamentals of Licensing Electronic Resources

August 29, 2018 – Managing & Implementing Licensing Agreements for Electronic Resources, Part I

September 5, 2018 – Managing & Implementing Licensing Agreements for Electronic Resources, Part II

September 12, 2018 – Negotiation & Cost Containment Strategies for Electronic Resources

September 25, 2018 – Legal Issues in Licensing Electronic Resources

October 3, 2018 – Licensing Electronic Resources for Consortia

During this six-part webinar series, attendees will learn the fundamental structure of contracts, commonly used terms, and how to address indemnification clauses, constraints on use permissions, problems of legal jurisdiction, perpetual access rights, and some more recent developments such as the pursuit of text and data mining rights. Contributors will also explore some complex legal issues and other aspects of electronic resources management including how to maintain positive working relationships with vendors, track important changes in business models and technologies, and control costs. Above all, attendees should understand how licensing does not occur in a vacuum, but must be well grounded in a complex chain of information exchange within and beyond the library, all of which should be undertaken to support the library’s mission as understood and implemented by the library administration.

— Joe

Digital Object Identifiers and the Next Generation of Legal Scholarship

Here’s the abstract for Digital Object Identifiers and the Next Generation of Legal Scholarship (May 15, 2018) by Aaron Retteen and Malikah Hall:

The use of digital object identifiers (DOIs) in academic publishing has become so pervasive that robust, data-driven services using the DOI as the centerpiece of connectivity have been developed and integrated into the publication process. In fact, DOIs have become so commonplace that many services, ranging from academic social media platforms for individual scholars to proprietary products aimed at university administrators, expect most, if not all, scholarship to be tracked using a DOI.

In the academic legal community, the use of digital identifiers has not yet become pervasive, which means the academic legal community is not currently reaping the many benefits DOIs offer and that the academic legal community will be left out of future developments and innovations in generating and measuring impact data from scholarship. This project seeks to understand the current landscape of the use of persistent identifiers in the legal academic community (or lack thereof), identify potential barriers this community experiences regarding the implementation and widespread adoption of DOIs, as well as provide an anecdotal example of creating a sustainable workflow between the law library and legal publication organizations such as law reviews for other similarly-situated entities to follow as a guide.

In addition to the white paper, this project will result in a call to action and a usable toolkit for all law schools and law libraries to follow our example and implement DOI registration in their publication process.

— Joe

OpenEDGAR: Open Source Software for SEC EDGAR Analysis

Here’s the abstract for Michael James Bommarito, Daniel Martin Katz and Eric Detterman, OpenEDGAR: Open Source Software for SEC EDGAR Analysis (June 27, 2018):

OpenEDGAR is an open source Python framework designed to rapidly construct research databases based on the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system operated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). OpenEDGAR is built on the Django application framework, supports distributed compute across one or more servers, and includes functionality to (i) retrieve and parse index and filing data from EDGAR, (ii) build tables for key metadata like form type and filer, (iii) retrieve, parse, and update CIK to ticker and industry mappings, (iv) extract content and metadata from filing documents, and (v) search filing document contents. OpenEDGAR is designed for use in both academic research and industrial applications, and is distributed under MIT License.

— Joe

Legal Research, Legal Reasoning and Precedent in Canada in the Digital Age

Hat tip to Canada’s online legal magazine Slaw for calling attention to Jonathan de Vries, Legal Research, Legal Reasoning and Precedent in Canada in the Digital Age, 48 Advocates’ Quarterly 1 (2018). Here’s the abstract:

The past few decades have witnessed the rapid replacement of print-based sources of legal information by digital sources. This article summarizes the existing Anglo-American scholarship on the interaction between legal media, legal reasoning and substantive law, and applies it to the context of Canadian law and Canada’s unique experience of print-based legal information. While Canada adopted the intellectual methods of a print-based legal system, it lagged behind in the establishment of print-based sources of legal information, with the result that the intellectual and institutional structures that derive from print media were nowhere near as entrenched in Canadian law as compared with other common law jurisdictions. Therefore, to whatever degree the transition to digital legal information poses a threat of disruption to a common law legal system, this disruptive effect will be more acute in Canada than in the United States or England.

Interesting. — Joe

LexisNexis launches Lexis Analytics

Yesterday, LexisNexis launched Lexis Analytics. From the press release:

The suite consists of new and enhanced products fueled by smart content from Lexis Advance and the strategic acquisitions of Lex Machina, Intelligize and Ravel Law, and integrates the most powerful technologies in the legal space, including machine learning, artificial intelligence (A.I.) and visualization tools.

Most powerful? Thomson Reuters’ Westlaw Edge is offering stiff competition for analytics. For a review of the launch, see the following stories:

LexisNexis Launches Lexis Analytics, Putting A ‘Stake in the Ground’ to Claim the Legal Analytics Space, Bob Ambrogi, LawSites, uly 13, 2018

LexisNexis Launches Lexis Analytics, Leveraging Collective Power of Recent Acquisitions, LegaltechNews, July 12, 2018

— Joe


Westlaw Edge overview videos

Hap tip to Scott Frey for locating introductory videos of Westlaw Edge features. The videos cover litigation analytics, WestSearch Plus, KeyCite overruling risk, and statutes compare. Recommended. — Joe

Thomson Reuters launches Westlaw Edge

Calling Westlaw Edge the most significant release since WestlawNext in 2010, Thomson Reuters announced the launch of Westlaw Edge just in time to create a lot of buzz at AALL’s annual meeting. Is it buzz worthy? Well, I haven’t seen it but initial reports indicate that the AI-enhanced Westlaw Edge is more that just an incremental upgrade.

To dive into this new development ahead of AALL 2018, check out the below articles:

Move Over Westlaw – Meet the Next-Generation Westlaw Edge, With Advanced AI and Analytics, Bob Ambrogi, LawSites, July 12, 2018

Thomson Reuters Launches Westlaw Edge, West Search Plus, Analytics, Enhanced Citator and More, Jean O’Grady, Dewey B Strategic, July 12, 2018

A Deep Dive Into the Tech Upgrades in Thomson Reuters’ Westlaw Edge, Legaltech News, July 12, 2018

Westlaw Edge will be offered as an upgrade from Westlaw for current Westlaw subscribers. Westlaw will be phased out in 2024. I wonder if Thomson Reuters is going to repeat the pricing mistake the company made at the launch of WestlawNext by trying to charge a 10% premium for Westlaw Edge? It didn’t work for WestlawNext. I doubt it will work with Westlaw Edge. — Joe

Ohio joins list of states enacting UELMA

On Friday, June 29th, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed SB 139 into law, making the state of Ohio the 18th state to enact the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act.

H/T Kathy Dugan, Cleveland Law Library. — Joe

New lawyer directory: U.S. News Lawyer Directory powered by Best Lawyers

US News & World Report is partnering with Best Lawyers to release the U.S. News Lawyer Directory of lawyers who are working in private practice in the United States. The directory initially includes tens of thousands of lawyers, but eventually will cover more than 1.3 million private-practice lawyers in the United States, according to a press release. See the FAQ for details. — Joe

The No-Nonsense Guide to Born-Digital Content

From the blurb for The No-Nonsense Guide to Born-Digital Content (Facet Publishing, 2018) by Heather Ryan and Walker Sampson:

Libraries and archives of all sizes are collecting and managing an increasing proportion of digital content. Within this body of digital content is a growing pool of ‘born-digital’ content: content that has been created and has often existed solely in digital form. Providing continued, sustainable access to a wide array of born-digital content is a challenge for libraries and archives, particularly because of the broad and highly technical skills needed to build and sustain born-digital content management workflows.

The No-Nonsense Guide to Born Digital Content provides an entry level how-to guide that aims to help ease inexperienced students and practitioners into this area. It explains step by step processes for developing and implementing born-digital content workflows in library and archive settings of all sizes and includes a range of case studies collected from small, medium and large institutions internationally.

Coverages includes:

• the wide range of digital storage media and the various sources of born-digital content;

• an overview of digital information basics;

• selection, acquisition, accessioning, and ingest;

• description, preservation, and access;

• methods for designing and implementing workflows for born-digital collection processing;

• a comprehensive glossary of common technical terms; and

• strategies and philosophies to move forward as technologies change.

— Joe

Born digital only but not curated at BNA: Bloomberg BNA transforming its print and online topical news reporters into real time “news delivery portals”

On the Boston College law library blog, Mary Ann Neary reports that Bloomberg Law has notified BNA Premier subscribers that all print subscriptions will cease being published. She writes

Titles now available as electronic Resource Centers, such as Bankruptcy Law Resource Center, will cease publication and this content will be delivered via a “news delivery portal.”  Bloomberg presents this change as an  improvement due to news stories being published in real time with subscriber ability to customize e-mail alerts for user interests. What is apparently being lost in this transition is the added value of BNA’s content curation, namely its indexing features, such as searching by Hot Topics and filtering article searches to Key Features. Bankruptcy researchers depended on the ability to sort by industries and track these developments.

Neary also reports that the changes will be effective June 25, 2018, just in time for answering questions at AALL 2018 in July. Sounds to me like Bloomberg BNA is taking a step backwards in providing professional grade topical law resources. — Joe

Lawfare’s bibliography of DOJ pardon opinions potentially relevant to the Russia investigation

The scope of the annotated bibliography as explained by the compilers:

The Justice Department has issued many opinions about the president’s pardon power. In recent decades, the Office of Legal Counsel issued these opinions; in earlier years, the attorney general’s office did so. The opinions presumptively bind the executive branch. However, issues related to a pardon might be subject to judicial review by courts, which are not bound by executive branch interpretations of the pardon power.

In Part I below, we have collected and summarized the publicly available opinions most relevant to the Russia investigation. These opinions show that the executive branch interprets the president’s pardon power to be extraordinarily broad in ways that might become relevant to the Mueller investigation. After briefly describing these opinions and their relevance in Part I, we list in Part II all of the other published Justice Department pardon opinions, with links.

Recommended. — Joe

Homeland Security wants to create a comprehensive ‘media influencer’ database

HuffPost, Forbes and others reported last month that the Department of Homeland Security is seeking a contractor for a “media monitoring services” project. The job entails creating a searchable database that has the ability to track about 290,000 news sources, both foreign and domestic, according to the DHS’s statement of work. The successful contracting company will have “24/7 access to a password protected, media influencer database, including journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers etc.” in order to “identify any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event.” — Joe

Kyle Courtney and Harvard’s State Copyright Resource Center team win 2018 AALL Public Access to Government Information Award

Kudos to the award winners. From AALL’s press release:

Courtney and the State Copyright Resource Center Team at Harvard University have created an innovative website that helps users easily access information about the copyright status of their state’s legal information. By offering an easy to navigate, free to use digital resource, the State Copyright Resource Center website educates the public on copyright law and policy and provides advocacy tools for open access advocates and libraries.

Visit the State Copyright Resource Center at Harvard University here. Very helpful. — Joe

Facebook Launches Searchable Archive of U.S. Political Ads

The New York Times is reporting that yesterday Facebook launched an archive of U.S. political ads that appear on the world’s largest social network, showing who paid for them and other details. From the Facebook press release:

We believe that increased transparency will lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time – not just for Facebook but advertisers as well. We’re investing heavily in more people and better technology to proactively identify abuse. But if you see an ad which you believe has political content and isn’t labeled, please report it. Tap the three dots at the top right-hand corner of the ad, select “report,” and then “it refers to a political candidate or issue.” Facebook will review the ad, and if it falls under our Political Advertising policy, we’ll take it down and add it to the archive. The advertiser will then be banned from running ads with political content until they complete our authorization process. And we’ll follow up to let you know what happened to the ad you reported. This is the tool that makes it easier for you to find problems, which we want. We invite you to report any ad so we get better, faster.

Here’s the link to the Political Ads Archive (FB login required). — Joe

The Trump Twitter Archive

While approximately 4,000 tweets deleted prior to September 2016 will not be found in the Trump Twitter Archive, the Archive monitors Trump’s Twitter account in real time. — Joe

A best practices guide to integrating social science methodologies to improve corpus design and analysis

From James Cleith Phillips and Jesse Egbert’s Advancing Law and Corpus Linguistics: Importing Principles and Practices from Survey and Content-Analysis Methodologies to Improve Corpus Design and Analysis __ BYU Law Review __ (2017): “The nascent field of law and corpus linguistics has much to offer legal interpretation. But to do so it must more fully incorporate principles from survey and content analysis methodologies used in the social sciences. Importing such will provide greater rigor, transparency, reproducibility and accuracy in the important quest to determine the meaning of the law. This paper highlights some of those principles to provide a best-practices guide to those seeking to perform law and corpus linguistic analysis.” — Joe

Court ruling calls for partial reimbursement of PACER fees [text]

On March 31, 2018, Judge Huvelle, DDC, ruled that the Judicial Conference overcharged Pacer users. Here’s the text of the opinion. For a critique of the ruling, see Stephen Schultze, Judge Declares Some PACER Fees Illegal but Does Not Go Far Enough, Freedom to Tinker, April 1, 2018. Recommended. — Joe

Should we be concerned about data monopolies?

Should We Be Concerned About Data-Opolies?, Georgetown Law Technology Review (Forthcoming), by Maurice E. Stucke “explores some of the potential harms from data-opolies. Data-opolies, in contrast to the earlier monopolies, are unlikely to exercise their power by charging higher prices to consumers. But this does not mean they are harmless. Data-opolies can raise other significant concerns, including less privacy, degraded quality, a transfer of wealth from consumers to data-opolies, less innovation and dynamic disruption in markets in which they dominate, and political and social concerns. Data-opolies can also be more durable than some earlier monopolies. Moreover, data-opolies at times can more easily avoid antitrust scrutiny when they engage in anticompetitive tactics to attain or maintain their dominance.” — Joe