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Feedback Desired on New Changes to WI Legislature's Beta Search Site

Last week I posted on the Wisconsin Legislature's new beta site for searching documents.

Bruce Hoesly, at the Legislative Reference Bureau, informs me that they are very interested in getting feedback on the system, including some new changes that debuted yesterday. To facilitate this, notice that there is now a Feedback link in the top right corner of the site.

Specifically, they are interested on feedback on the following:

  • There are now two icons next to the statute number (reference line) on the left. The arrow shows you the bread crumb trail, although I prefer that it looked more like a traditional bread crumb trail (Statutes home > Chapter > Section > Subsection). What do you think?

    The magnifying glass gives you other options, including a link to the PDF and "References to this" which displays other WI statutes that cite to your statute. I thought that this was very useful. Which options do you find the most useful?

    I also suggested to Bruce that a link to older statutes be added. He thought it might be possible to link to all archived PDFs for that particular chapter, but it wouldn't necessarily show when changes had been made. Would you find this helpful?

  • They have changed the default so that a reference line appears next to each chapter/section/subsection to help users identify where they are in the text. Would you prefer that be the default, or would you rather they not be displayed.

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    Note that you can change the default using the preferences link at the top right. Or you can turn them on/off temporary by clicking on the magnifying glass next to the reference line.

  • Links to opinions have been added. When the opinion is available on the WI courts site, the link points there. Otherwise, the link directs the user to the opinion in Google Scholar. Do you agree that this is useful? Or are you troubled that Google Scholar isn't authoritative enough?

    Links to USC and CFR sections which go to the federal government website are also available. They looking into linking public laws also.

  • The search box at the top is now capable of searching by citation, however, it doesn't seem to be showing up on every page yet. I suggested that it would be better to have a separate "find by citation" box rather than having it together with the keyword search. Would you agree?

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    Currently the "go to cite" search requires a specific syntax-- Include the parentheses and periods and use no spaces. More forgiving syntax is in development.

  • I've been told they are working on a top to the Statutes Table of Contents that will show the updated though information, along with more explanatory material. That just hasn't caught up to the rest of the production update.