Saturday, February 05, 2005

Miscellaneous Research Tips

I discovered when I visited the Advanced Electronic Legal Research (AELR) class yesterday that they also have had a weekly research tip in class. Here are summaries of the AELR research tips so far this semester:

  • LLRX is a monthly publication that includes articles, guides, and resources authored by expert law librarians, lawyers, and information professionals on online legal research services, sites, tools and applications, legal research training, legal marketing, international and comparative law guides, recommended books, and reviews of the latest tech gadgets. It includes a searchable archive of all content published since 1996. (by Frank Houdek)
  • Five Quick Internet Browser Tips by James Duggan:
    1. Set the Home Page: Use Tools/Internet Options/Home page
    2. Use Tools/Internet Options to clear the Cache, Cookies and History
      • Cache: Tools/Internet Options/Delete Files
      • Cookies: Tools/Internet Options/Delete Cookies
      • History: Tools/Internet Options/Clear History
    3. Change the Text Size: Use View/Text-Size
    4. A mouse Right Click on a link will offer the option of launching the link in a new browser window.
    5. Use Copy/Paste Special when pasting content from the web to word processing to avoid pasting unwanted formatting.
  • Cite vs. Site (paraphrased by Diane Murley; Professor Houdek's presentation had illustrations)
    • Cite refers to citations. You cite to a case or a law review article. Or you make sure that your cites follow the Bluebook or ALWD Citation Manual rules.
    • Site refers to location. In legal research, site is used as an short form for website.
    • You can cite to a site, but you can't site to a cite.
  • I demonstrated for the AELR students Mozilla Firefox, a browser alternative to Internet Explorer, which you can download for free. Many people have switched to Firefox because of privacy and security concerns about IE. I switched because of its special tools for web developers, but I liked it so much that I made it my default browser. I showed the students some of Firefox's features, including tabbed browsing, the Find feature that finds text as you type without covering up anything, and the searchable full-screen Manage Bookmarks display, which gives you much more flexibility to manage your bookmarks.

If you are interested in a more detailed discussion of Firefox features, link to Chris Sherman's three-part series on Firefox. I will post more on my favorite Firefox features later.

We have added an Archive of Research Tips to the law library's web site. All the research tips appearing in the Law Dawg Blawg will also be linked from the Archive page.

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