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Opinio Juris        2014 / April/May

Scroll down for information about visualizing legal research, faculty research assistant training, a Moritz reference librarian winning the AALL Spectrum Article of the Year Award, the International Encyclopaedia of Laws, recent activity at the reference desk, and new books in the Moritz Law Library.

Visualizing Legal Research

ABA Journal recently published an article on “visual law services,” referring to services that help legal researchers visually contexualize how cases relate to each other. The article mentions such projects as Ravel, which started as a collaboration between a law student and a computer scientist at Stanford, and the Mapping the Supreme Court project at the University of Baltimore School of Law. The founder of the Baltimore project, which maps U.S. Supreme Court doctrine on civil pleading standards, is Assistant Professor Colin Starger, a former computer programmer. The article provides further examples of the use of data visualization tools to enhance understanding of the law.

Faculty Research Assistant Training

The Moritz Law Library will offer two training sessions for faculty research assistants later this month. Topics covered include library catalogs, legal databases, interdisciplinary databases, legislative history resources, library policies, and more. The sessions will both be held in Room 251 on:

  • Tuesday, May 13th at 10am
  • Wednesday, May 28th at 2pm

The second session will be a repeat of the first. If you’d like your RAs to attend one of these sessions, let Susan Azyndar (azyndar.1@osu.edu) know which session they will be attending.

Finally, if you’d like your research assistant to check out material on your account and use the RA copy card to print and photocopy, please email Circulation Manager Kaylie Vermillion (vermillion.41@osu.edu).

Mattson Wins AALL Spectrum Article of the Year Award

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Moritz reference librarian Ingrid Mattson’s article on electronic database license agreements, co-authored with Philadelphia law firm librarian Linda-Jean Schneider, was recently named AALL Spectrum article of the year. Spectrum is the monthly magazine published by the American Association of Law Libraries. The award will be presented at the AALL Annual Meeting this summer in San Antonio.

International Encyclopaedia of Laws

The Moritz Law Library is now providing online access to volumes of the International Encyclopaedia of Laws via the Kluwer Law Online platform. These volumes provide information about the national laws of various foreign countries on particular topics. Volumes that are part of the subscription include constitutional law, contracts, corporations and partnerships, criminal law, energy law, intellectual property, media law, and medical law. Access volumes by title, listed for example as “IEL Energy Law.” This resource is available on campus or off campus.

Activity at the Reference Desk

Moritz reference librarians have answered over 400 questions at the reference desk since early February when the library began using a new data tracking platform. In addition to questions from Moritz faculty and students, questions have come from visitors from other OSU academic departments, Moritz alumni, and members of the public. The library plans to use this data, which includes the time the question was asked, patron-type, the substance of the question, and other variables, to inform reference desk staffing and the services the library offers. In addition to in-person availability at the reference desk, phone, and email, librarians are now available via live chat during reference desk hours. See our Ask A Librarian page for more details.

New Books at the Moritz Law Library

See what’s currently available on the Moritz Law Library’s New Books Shelf in the reserve room, including the titles below. A complete list of new materials acquired in April is also available.


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