Know How

The blog of the Great Library


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Legal Research Survival Guide, Part 2 – Just browsing…

In conducting legal research, a lot of time and energy is spent structuring and running keyword searches to retrieve information. But keyword searching is a bit like ice-fishing. You bait your hook with what you believe is your best lure (most relevant terms) and hope for the best. Because you can’t see below the surface, you can’t tell whether the biggest fish (that perfect case) got away.

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Primer, please

For those diving into new and unfamiliar areas of law, tackling often sizable and complex loose-leaf sources can feel like an intimidating task. While loose-leaf materials are a vital tool within the arsenal of the effective legal researcher, working with these materials may prove more manageable if you first develop a certain degree of context. When seeking materials that provide foundational information in legal research, primer materials can save the day.

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Wikipedia and Legal Research

Wikipedia was launched this week seventeen years ago. Since its debut on January 15, 2001, the site has grown exponentially in size and popularity. The English language Wikipedia alone contains 5,548,706 articles and Wikipedia is currently ranked the world’s fifth-most-popular website. Its most viewed pages are those on Donald Trump, Star Wars, and various members of the British Royal Family (Source: Wikipedia). So what role, if any, can Wikipedia play in legal research? Continue reading