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August 28, 2008

LegalDockets.com is Now Courtport.com

LegalDockets.com, a portal of court case information, is being restructured as Courtport.com. The new site will offer an improved user interface, added content, discussion forums, and more.courtport.gif
The main component of the site is still the portal - a collection of thousands of links focused on court case information, rules and forms, property, recordings, liens, criminal, business, and people records. The new site also features a blog and discussion forums.

Complementary access is available to academic users; others users can access the Courtport portal for a small annual subscription fee. Academics may follow these registration instructions:

1-Go to http://www.Courtport.com and click "Get Started" or "Join Now".

2-Enter your email address, three digit code displayed, and CHECK THE ACADEMIC SUBSCRIPTION BOX.

3-Check your inbox for an email from us. It will contain a verification link that you must click or copy and paste into your browser.

4-Agree to Terms and Conditions, enter your personal information, and click "Continue"

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UW Madison Libraries Develops Mobile-Friendly Site

The UW Madison Libraries have developed a mobile friendly site so that users of devices such as iPhones, PDAs, etc. may more easily navigate through the library web site.

This beta mobile site is accessible at either:


August 27, 2008

New UW Law Library Web Site - URL Changes for WI Briefs & Drafting Records

I'm very pleased to share the newly redesigned Law Library Web site. The new site features lots more quick links to our most popular resources. We've also revamped our list of databases so that users may browse by title, subject, or do a keyword search.
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Because the site architecture is also much changed (for the better, we hope!), the URLs for some of our resources have changed. So, if you've linked to the following resources, you'll want to change them to the new URLs.

August 25, 2008

Phone in a Question, Get a Text Answer Back with ChaCha

ChaCha is a free cellphone service that lets you ask any question answerable via a Web search, using any cellphone, by simply making a voice call. A few minutes later, you'll receive an answer as a text message.

From All Things Digital:

ChaCha requires no registration and works on any cellphone carrier. It needs no special codes or key words. You just state your question as if you were asking a friend. If you prefer to type your question, you can text it to "ChaCha," or 242242. Though ChaCha itself charges no fees, your phone carrier may charge for the minutes you use, or for the text messages.

The service works by routing your questions to one of 10,000 hired "guides" -- students, stay-at-home parents, retirees and others -- who look up the questions on the Web and reply. They get paid 20 cents per answer.


Read on for a review of the service and a comparison to services such as Google SMS, Goog 411 and Microsoft's TellMe.

Thanks to my colleague, Mary Jo Koranda for the tip about ChaCha.

August 22, 2008

Free Wi-Fi Directory

The Wi-Fi-FreeSpot Directory is a listing of locations that offer Free Wi-Fi. There is a state by state directory, along with nationwide chains and airports which offer free access. International locations are also listed.

Source: Now@MPL

August 21, 2008

IDEA to Replace EDGAR for Company Filings

The Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman recently announced that EDGAR will be replaced with a new system called IDEA offering "investors far faster and easier access to key financial information about public companies and mutual funds."

From the press release:

The new system is called IDEA, short for Interactive Data Electronic Applications. Based on a completely new architecture being built from the ground up, it will at first supplement and then eventually replace the EDGAR system. The decision to replace EDGAR marks the SEC's transition from collecting forms and documents to making the information itself freely available to investors to give them better and more up-to-date financial disclosure in a form they can readily use.

August 14, 2008

Star in Your Own Mini READ Poster

Now you (or your dog) can star in your own mini READ poster thanks to ALA (American Library Association).

Just upload your photo, add some text if desired, choose a poster style, and you're done! How fun!

WI Supreme Court to Reconsider Citations to Unpublished Decisions

The Wisconsin Law Journal reports that "on Oct. 14, 2008, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will, for the fourth time, consider a proposed rule to allow citation to an unpublished decision for persuasive authority." Read more.

Legal Research in Wisconsin, 2nd Ed Now Available

I was very pleased to share that Legal Research in Wisconsin, 2nd edition is finally available. The authors are Ted Potter (main author), Jane Colwin, Mary Koshollek, and UW Law Library's own Bill Ebbott and Sunil Rao.

Here's the abstract from Hein:

This new edition continues to offer a comprehensive reference tool about legal research in Wisconsin. It revises and updates chapters and also expands them to include electronic tools and other new sources. Basic research tools are discussed with an eye toward showing their best uses in locating useful information. It remains a guide for attorneys, judges, paralegals, law librarians, students and others needing ready access to information contained in Wisconsin legal materials.
The cost of the volume is $57.50.

August 8, 2008

A Must Have: Zotero Manages the Entire Research & Writing Process

Yesterday a representative from Zotero, Trevor Owens, gave a demo to our law school faculty. To say that they were impressed would be an understatement - there were actual squeals of delight.

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. I've known about it for a while (in fact I posted about it last year) but until this week, I had no idea how powerful it is.

It's not just a free version of RefWorks or EndNote which help you capture citations and create bibliographies. Zotero does that, but also much more: it manages the entire research and writing process.

For example, say you're viewing a journal article in HeinOnline. If you look up in the Firefox address bar, you'll see a little paper icon. When you click on the icon, Zotero will capture the full citation information. BUT--and here's the kicker--you can also download the entire PDF article which will attach itself to the citation information.

Now imagine doing this a hundred times over, and not just with articles but with all kinds of documents - web pages, books, gov docs, images, audio, video, etc. Then add content from your own desktop - word files, PDFs, MP3s, PPT files, etc. You can attach pretty much any kind of file to a citation.

Then organize it all into folders (more like iTunes playlists than folders actually) for different projects. And the really cool part is that you can keyword search it all - even the attached articles, word files, web pages, etc. Wow!

But wait - there's more! When you're ready to sit down and write, up steps the Zotero MS Word add on which automatically creates citations for you in your choice of citation style - INCLUDING BLUEBOOK! (The Bluebook style is still in beta, but neither EndNote or RefWorks offer Bluebook at all) Or, if you don't use MS Word, you can simply drag the citation from your Zotero library into any document (WordPerfect, Google Docs, email, etc.) and it will paste in the correctly formatted citation.

Just amazing - Zotero is an absolute must have for anyone who writes. For more information, watch this short video or read the informational flyer.

Update: When I wrote this post, I'd forgotten that EndNote now supports the Bluebook citation style. See my earlier post.

August 5, 2008

Back Issues of The Gargoyle, UW Law School Alumni Magazine, Available Online

I'm pleased to announced that the entire run of the University of Wisconsin Law School's alumni newsletter, The Gargoyle, has been digitized and is freely available on our Web site. The collection spans from volume 1 (1969) to the present.

The digitization project was organized by the UW Law Library in collaboration with Technology Services. It was graciously funded by the Benchers Society.

The collection is currently browse-able by issue and article title. A search box will be added soon.

August 1, 2008

New Name & Interface for Delicious

Must be the week for new interfaces - this time its a new look for del.icio.us - or make that Delicious (hold the periods). Delicious is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks.

Here's a look at my list of the bookmarks I've tagged PhotosImages in Delicious:delicious.jpg

According to the Delicious blog

We've updated the user interface to improve usability and add a few often-requested features (such as selectable detail levels and alphabetical sorting of bookmarks). Our goal has been to keep the new design similar in spirit to the old one, so all of you veterans should be able to jump in without any confusion. At the same time, we're hoping that newcomers to Delicious will find it easier to learn.

Check out all the changes, including navigation, tag bar, bookmarks, side bar and action box, on the What's New page. Or, watch a short movie which visually depicts the changes.

Behind the scenes, Delicious has also improved the speed and search capabilities according to the blog.