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LexisNexis Picks up Blog Content

Looks like LexisNexis has tuned in to the blogosphere. They are now picking up blog content in their Newstex (file name = NEWSTX) database. Lori Blair, Marketing Manager with the LexisNexis - Librarian Relations Group just send me a link to the list of blogs they cover. According to Lexis, coverage is January 1, 2006 through current.

There are also a couple of other blog sub-databases, including:

  • Newstex Business Blogs
  • Newstex Computers & Technology Blogs
  • Newstex Financial Blogs
  • Newstex Government & Politics Blogs
  • Newstex Marketing Blogs
  • Newstex Medical & Health Blogs
  • Newstex Media Blogs

Comments

Wait--is LexisNexis charging for access to blog content?

There's a sucker born every minute, I guess.

Yes, but I don't necessarily see it as a bad thing.

Ideally, researchers would find the blog content via the Web for free. But, if someone picks up content via Lexis, isn't it better than not finding it at all?

Blogs aren't the only type of free content in Lexis and Westlaw. With these sources, you're mostly paying for the ability to search information that's been gathered together in one place.

Plus, I think that including selected blog content in subscription databases lends the blogosphere credibility. Obviously, there must be some research value to blogs if subscription databases are picking them up.

I agree with you Bonnie, this is far from the only instance where the paid online legal research cos. act as a gateway to freely accessible material -- all published legal decisions are freely accessible (and increasingly freely searchable)! They're counting on being an effective aggregator and search tool, saving their paying members time and delivering effective results. The fact that they've narrowed their Newstex blog resources to 18 pages of listings shows they also think their editorial controls add value to their services.

In fact, I'd be curious to see whether otherwise free resources have by this time outpaced for-pay ones in the Lexis and Westlaw databases. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this were the case. And if that's right, can it be long before a good, free, specialized search tool comes along and decimates their paying customer base? (A generalized one already has I'll wager; its name is Google.)

Intriguing concept, Denise. I'd love to see a "Google Law" that indexes all legal materials available for free on the web. Findlaw and other legal portals make a start, but none go as far as they could.

And one with some killer advanced search capabilities would be great. Find by citation, boolean capable, jurisdiction/publication selection & combination, etc.

Google Law, indeed very interesting. But with some good commands you can easily trace only .edu sites or other related stuff.

Also interesting to keep track on:

http://labs.google.com/

Good reminders, Eric. For those of you who don't know, you can search specific domains in Google Advanced search (http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en)

In the domain box, enter in .edu to search just education domains, for example. You can also put in a full domain like library.law.wisc.edu to search just that site. Nice when a site doesn't have a search engine of its own.

Bonnie

Use the Google advanced search and you can define parameters to narrow your focus to the type of information you need. This is overlooked by most people but is invaluable.

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