Research Miscellanea: Everyone Researches

After two posts about dictionaries you would think that the topic had been exhausted but not so. The new Bouvier Law Dictionary was  released this fall.  Despite its historical origins as the dictionary that was used by such legal luminaries as John Marshall, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln, the current version is  being advertised as the law dictionary for the modern student and has garnered praise for its usability.   It appears that author Steve Sheppard has been able to provide a comprehensive, yet concise dictionary that provides the user with detailed, yet clearly understood entries.  If you would like to judge for yourself, you can find the Bouvier Law Dictionary in our Reference collection, call number KF158.W65.

American University recently announced another new legal research resource.  The University is introducing a new online collection of international gender jurisprudence materials.  Working with the War Crimes Research Office,  American University’s Washington College of Law’s Women and International Law Program has developed a searchable  online database of documents culled from the War Crimes Research Office’s  Jurisprudence Collections, and will be developing digests of  key documents as well providing a forum for for expert commentaries.

“WASHINGTON, DC, September 8, 2011 – …. Reviewers have analyzed and cataloged more than 17,000 documents…., noting, for example, when evidence of sexual or gender-based violence appears in the record, when sexual or gender-based violence charges are brought, dropped, or dismissed, or when a defendant is tried for a crime of sexual or gender-based violence. The GJC features keyword and targeted search fields, which eliminate the need to sift through irrelevant documents when conducting research on the rapidly developing jurisprudence in these bodies….. To access the GJC and learn more about the project, please visit http://wcl.american.edu/go/gicl.  Please address any questions, comments, or suggestions to Alison Plenge, WCRO Jurisprudence Collections Coordinator, at genderjurisprudence@wcl.american.edu. ”

You cannot always count on that “perfect” legal research tool being available; sometimes it is up to you to do the hunting and gathering of information.  While everyone knows about LEXIS and Westlaw, everyone also knows about the cost.  Perhaps a visit to  Google Scholar  or even restricting your search further by using Advanced Scholar Search could meet your research needs for a lesser cost.  Basic Google Scholar provides a way to limit your searches to scholarly literature of all disciplines.  This is particularly helpful if you are conducting interdisciplinary research, or if want to search for news about legal and financial matters involving France and Paris without being bombarded with results featuring a vapid socialite.

Not the legal document that you were looking for!

There is a “Legal opinions and journals” section under Advanced Scholar Search that lets you  (logically enough) limit your searches  to legal opinions and journals,  and even to specific courts.  While a databases that lets you limit your searches by jurisdiction is not unique feature to legal researching, it IS unique when you do get billed for it.  If Google Scholar  sounds interesting to you, go to the Google homepage, click on the drop-down menu under “More” in the tool bar, and select “Scholar.”  After that, Google Scholar is yours to explore — and that’s hot.

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  1. November 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm

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