Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How Current Are LexisNexis and Westlaw?

rabbit from Alice in Wonderland

A few months ago, I posted an item here about a LexisNexis statutory database that was much less current than I expected it to be. I recently discovered that another LexisNexis database—this time the Journal of Legal Medicine—is almost a year behind the same journal on Westlaw.

The Journal of Legal Medicine is a quarterly publication. The December 2006 issue is available in print, and the table of contents and abstracts have been added to the publisher's website. The most recent articles available on Westlaw are from the September 2006 issue—not as current as the print, but only one issue out of date. Westlaw's Scope for the database says that "Documents selected from this periodical ... are made available after a license for inclusion in WESTLAW has been obtained from the author(s)."

The most recent Journal of Legal Medicine articles available on LexisNexis are from the December 2005 issue. The LexisNexis Source Information says that coverage is "From March 1995 through current" and that the database is "Updated regularly - Atypical update schedule/as received from the publisher."

Although these are just two examples, I have started to wonder just how current databases on LexisNexis are. I wasn't looking for out-of-date databases when I stumbled across these two. Maybe I just happened to find two anomalous databases. Maybe there are many more. Have you seen other LexisNexis databases that are less current than you would expect? How about Westlaw databases? If so, please leave a comment.

The image above is the rabbit from The Tenniel Illustrations for Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, found at Project Gutenberg.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Many of the LexisNexis encyclopedias are out of date. Michie's Jurisprudence of Virginia/West Virginia was last updated online in 2003. Oddly, Michie publishes the print version, but doesn't seem to provide it to its parent company for an electronic version.