Our research tip in Lawyering Skills last week was using Westlaw's Research Trail and LexisNexis's History to save time (and maybe some money).
To get to the Westlaw Research Trails, click on "Research Trail" in the upper right corner of the screen. The first screen you see will be the trail for your current research session. If you have just logged on, it will be empty. Click on "List of All Research Trails" to go to a previous trail. (Trails originally appear in the list with a date and time designation, but you can rename them to something more memorable.) In general, you can access a previous search at no additional charge until 2:00 a.m. the following morning. Once you have displayed the research trail you want, you can print with your browser's print function, download or email the trail.
To get to your LexisNexis History, click on History in the upper right corner of the screen. The first screen will display your research results for the current day. If you want to see a previous day's research results, click on "Archived Activity." You can view today's results until 2 a.m. ET tomorrow. Before printing, click on "View Printable History;" then use your browser's print function.
Besides saving money by going to today's searches through research trails or archived activity, you can save time by using the trails and history to review your previous searches. By keeping track of what worked and didn't work in your previous research sessions – whether you use a commercial online service, a print source, or a free website – you can save yourself unnecessary repetition and build on your previous research efforts.