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Opinio Juris        2013 / December

Scroll down to read about a new feature in Google Scholar, an expanded database for U.S. bills and resolutions, apps from the Census Bureau, the 25th anniversary of PACER, and Yale law librarian Fred Shapiro’s list of notable 2013 quotes.

Google Scholar changes


Google recently announced the release of its Google Scholar Library feature, which allows searchers in Google Scholar to save articles to a cloud-based “library” called “My library” directly from the search results page. Users can tag articles by topic within “My library” and conveniently search the content of saved articles. Google’s announcement provides additional detail on how to use the feature. Judicial opinions available on Google Scholar can also be saved and organized in the same way.

ProQuest Bills and Resolutions

The Moritz Law Library has expanded the content in its ProQuest Congressional database to include a robust bills and resolutions collection covering 1789-2013. This expanded coverage includes all versions of public and private bills and resolutions, including those not contanied in compiled legislative histories. The newly-added content is seamlessly available within the library’s current ProQuest Congressional interface, accessible on-campus or off-campus.

Census Bureau apps

The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced the release of a mobile app called dwellr that makes it easier for users to find local statistics. According to the Bureau, the app “delivers on-the-go access to key demographic, socio-economic and housing statistics for thousands of places across the nation.” The Bureau earlier released another mobile app called America’s Economy, which provides real-time updates for 19 key economic indicators from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

25th Anniversary of PACER

The U.S. Courts website recently provided a look back on the history of PACER, 25 years after its establishment. PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) began as a pilot project with a few courts and in the beginning only provided docket sheet information to users with dial-up modems. The scale of PACER and the late 1990s-established electronic case management system, CM/ECF, grew dramatically in the early 2000s as more courts adopted online filing. By 2007, electronic filing in federal courts was nearly universal. According to the article, new challenges for PACER include effectively preserving its massive collection of electronic documents.

pacerMoritz College of Law users can avoid PACER’s $0.10/page document downloading fee by accessing federal court documents through Bloomberg Law‘s Litigation & Dockets tab.

Top 2013 Quotes

Yale associate law librarian Fred Shapiro recently released his annual list of notable quotes, chosen for their importance in revealing the spirit of the times. President Obama took top honors for 2013 with his quote, “With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it . the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate.” Other figures in the top ten include Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, Pope Francis, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. An AP article shows the top 10 with commentary by Shapiro.

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