Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

Moritz Library Tips: Reading Rooms, Research, and Podcasts

Freedom of Information Act Reading Rooms

This week (March 12-18) is Sunshine Week, which celebrates the importance of open government and free access to information. The 1996 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) require federal departments and agencies to establish publicly accessible "electronic reading rooms" containing FOIA response materials and other public information. These websites contain valuable information about the operation of the federal government and many collect frequently requested records. Some FOIA reading rooms include:

Congressional Hearings Online

If you are looking for the official record of a hearing in Congress, don't forget to check the Congressional Hearings: Main Page from GPO Access. C-Span should be your first stop if you're looking for video of Congressional Hearings such as the recent hearings on foreign control of US ports. You can browse recent hearings from the 109th Congress, or search for video in the gray box right in the middle of the C-Span home page. If you'd like to keep up to date on C-Span programming, including congressional hearings, subscribe to C-Span alert and each day you will receive an email summarizing upcoming C-Span television and radio programming.

Ohio Capital Connection

Ohio Capital Connection is a database that allows users to search for a whole variety of Ohio legislative information. It contains important legislative history information as well as information about pending and recently enacted bills. Users also have access to the Hannah Report, a daily summary of Ohio government activity. You can read the latest report or search the archives.

Washington & Lee Journal Database

The valuable Washington & Lee - Most Cited Legal Periodicals Database, administered by John Doyle, has moved. The database has been moved to a new location and has a new URL ( According to the editor, "[t]he emphasis of the page has changed, with a de-emphasis on rankings, and more emphasis placed on the function of assisting authors with journal selection and article submission." Due to this new emphasis, the name of the webpage has been changed to "Law Journal Submission Information." Read more about the database changes here.

U.S. Supreme Court Term in a Nutshell

2005-2006 ALR United States Supreme Court Update: Part I is available. From West elert:

The staff of the American Law Reports (ALR) has compiled summaries of major decisions from the 2005 fall term in one document, the 2005-2006 ALR United States Supreme Court Update: Part I. (The update for the second half of the 2005-2006 term will be available in August 2006.) In addition to actual opinions, the update also summarizes orders granting or denying certiorari. The update is organized alphabetically by topic, beginning with Civil Rights and ending with War and National Emergency. Each summary includes the title and citation of the opinion or order, a summary of the facts, the Court's disposition, and the title and citation of a corresponding ALR article.

Searching for Podcasts

A podcast is a web feed of audio or video files placed on the Internet for people to subscribe to or download. Sounds neat, but how do you find a podcast that you might want to listen to or watch? Podzinger is a search engine that allows you to search for podcasts by typing terms into a "Google-type" interface. It is a great way to find podcasts that might be of interest to you.

Courtesy of the Moritz Law Library's [link] March 2006 issue of Opinio Juris Faculty Newsletter