Secondary Source Research - ubalt.edu

Secondary Source Research - ubalt.edu

Secondary Source Research Using the Law Librarys Online Resources Bijal Shah

Electronic Resources/Interlibrary Loan Librarian February 24, 2009 Discussion Points o Why use secondary sources?

o Types of secondary sources o Tools to locate and access secondary sources Why Use Secondary Sources?

o Provide analysis and commentary written by law scholars, attorneys and judges o Help to locate and explain primary sources o Can be heavily footnoted

o Can be used to provide background information on a new or unfamiliar topic o Introduces basic concepts and terminology, which can help you construct a better online search

Why Use Secondary Sources? o Keep in mind disadvantages o May oversimplify complicated concepts o May make the law appear more static than it

really is Types of Secondary Sources o Treatises o Can be single volume or multi-volume

o Kept up to date with looseleaf updates or pocket parts o Irregular publication schedule o E.g. Immigration Law and Procedure multivolume looseleaf set

o Journals o Current Awareness Locating Treatises o USMAI online catalog

o What is USMAI? o Search law librarys catalog or all USMAI libraries combined catalog o Lists titles at book level o Can search for journal titles, not articles

o Some catalog records may contain chapter titles/authors as well o Can request books from other USMAI libraries o Need library bar code - needs to be updated every

semester Accessing the Catalog Searching the Catalog

Searching the Catalog (Contd) Searching the Catalog (Contd)

Searching the Catalog (Contd) Interpreting a Catalog Record Interpreting a Catalog Record (Contd)

Interpreting a Catalog Record LCSH o Library of Congress Subject Headings o Comprise a thesaurus used by catalogers o Assigned to all bibliographic records

o One bibliographic record may have several subject headings o Facilitate users access to titles related to a specific topic

Interpreting a Catalog Record LCSH (Contd) Interpreting a Catalog Record LCSH

(Contd) Doing a Multi-campus Catalog Search

Doing a Multi-campus Catalog Search (Contd) Doing a Multi-Campus Catalog Search (Contd)

Requesting a Book via the Catalog Requesting a Book via the Catalog (Contd)

Requesting a Book via the Catalog (Contd) Requesting a Book via the Catalog (Contd) Resources Available Beyond USMAI

o WorldCat o Search for titles not available in USMAI o Accessible via library web site, under Virtual Reference Shelf => Research Databases o Need 14-digit library bar code to access from

off-campus (applies to all of librarys subscription databases) o Request books via interlibrary loan Accessing WorldCat

Accessing WorldCat (Contd) Searching WorldCat

Searching WorldCat (Contd) Other Methods of Placing ILL Requests o Online forms on

librarys web site o Paper forms available near circulation desk

Searching for Journal Articles o Shouldnt rely on LexisNexis/Westlaw alone o Have powerful search engines but coverage is lacking

o LegalTrac and Index to Legal Periodicals indexing/abstracting databases o Entries contain editorial enhancements o Editors assign descriptive words/phrases to articles which are access points into article o Access points make finding more articles on

same topic easier Searching for Journal Articles o LegalTrac - coverage begins with 1980; contains some full-text and abstracts

o ILP Full-text o Indexing 1981+, Abstracting 1990+, select Full Text 1995+ o ILP Retro covers 1908-1981

o Both LegalTrac and ILP are accessible via library web site, under Virtual Reference Shelf => Research Databases Searching for Journal Articles (Contd)

o HeinOnline o Accessible via library web site, under Virtual Reference Shelf => Research Databases o William S. Hein & Co. obtained permission from publishers of law reviews to scan content of

journals o Documents are scanned PDFs o Easier to use if you have a citation already Example of LegalTrac Entry

Example of ILP Full Text Entry HeinOnline

HeinOnline (Contd) HeinOnline (Contd) Search Catalog for Journal Title

Search Catalog for Journal Title (Contd) Search Catalog for Journal Title (Contd)

Searching Catalog for Journal Title (Contd) Current Awareness Resources o Keep abreast of current issues and

developments in specific areas of law o Helpful when trying to come up with a research paper topic o BNA email alerts Highlights o Subject specific

o Have to sign up using an on-campus computer Current Awareness Resources - BNA BNA E-mail Alerts

BNA E-mail Alerts Example of BNA Email Alert

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