Friday, March 11, 2005

Research Tip: IICLE publications and SmartBooks

Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) handbooks, course materials, and QuickGuides are some of the most popular practice aids in the law library. They include thorough narratives of the law; references to relevant cases, statutes, and regulations; forms and checklists; and practical advice from Illinois attorneys. They are kept current with frequent updates. We keep print IICLEs (pronounced "icicles") covering a wide variety of topics on reserve. To find a specific IICLE title, check the library catalog or the printed lists at the reserve desk.

The IICLE SmartBooks electronic subscription includes all IICLE current practice handbooks, QuickGuides, Flash Points, and select course materials and out-of-print editions. All forms sold separately on CD plus many forms not available anywhere else are also included in a SmartBooks subscription. IICLE SmartBooks and other electronic subscription resources are available from the law library's home page by clicking on Subscription Electronic Resources or using the Research Starting Points jump menu.

The researcher has two options for accessing IICLE SmartBooks, Keyword Search or Browse Publications. To search SmartBooks, enter a keyword or phrase in the "Search for" box and click on the Submit button. You can choose to search all practice areas together or select one of nine areas from the drop-down menu. Put a check in the box to "Search only content with forms available for download."

The default search is for a section that includes all the search terms. Smartbooks recognizes "quotation marks" as requiring that the enclosed terms be searched as a phrase. Searching for a hyphenated search-term will retrieve the term both as a hyphenated word and as a two-word phrase. You can require or exclude a term with a plus (+) or minus (-) sign, respectively.

Click on the Advanced button to customize proximity of search terms (same line, sentence, paragraph, or page), word forms (exact match, plural and possessives, or any word form), and the importance of ranking factors (word order and proximity, database and document frequency, and position in text). Smartbooks also accepts some very sophisticated searches, which are described under Search Tips in the Help section and in a downloadable User Guide.

Once you have run a search, the results page will give you a checkbox option to "Search these answers" to narrow your search. Results are displayed by section, with the best matches first. The publication title and chapter title of the source are listed below the section. Click on the hyperlinked section to view the section content.

From the section display, hyperlinks allow you to browse the entire publication or chapter, download the chapter and/or its supplement in PDF, or browse the sections before and after the current section. If forms are available, there will be links to download a specific form in the section or to see a list of forms available for download in the handbook. Clicking on the link to a form will open an RTF version of the form, which can be edited with most word processing programs.

To Browse Publications, choose a publication title from the drop-down "Select a title to browse" menu. The list of chapters in the publication will appear. Click on a chapter title for a list of sections within that chapter. Click on a section to review the contents. From the section display, you can browse the entire publication or chapter, download the chapter and/or its supplement in PDF, browse the sections before and after the current section, and download available forms. When forms are available, there are links to "Click here for the online list of forms available for download in this handbook" at the top of the list of chapters, the list of sections, and the individual section.

Although you must be using a computer on the SIU campus network, or have your own subscription, to search and view the full contents of SmartBooks, you may search or browse the outlines of the publications without a subscription. Note that this method will not allow you to view the contents of the sections.

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