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Moritz Law  /  Law Library  /  Opinio Juris  /August 2010


Opinio Juris - August 2010

Scroll down to learn about Federal Register 2.0, AudioCaseFiles, Lexis Advance, Renting a Casebook from West, and Social Media Monitoring Tools.  For additional information on other topics, please see the Library's blog.

Federal Register 2.0

The Federal Register is the legal publication of the U.S. government containing rules, proposed rules, and public notices of federal agencies, as well as presidential documents.  The Register is part of the National Archives.  Timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Federal Register Act, the National Archives has announced Federal Register 2.0.  In its announcement, the National Archives concedes that the Federal Register is "dense and difficult to read whether in print or online as a PDF."  Federal Register 2.0 is an attempt to to turn the Federal Register website into a daily web newspaper more appropriate for the 21st century user.  "In addition to greatly improved navigation and search tools, the site will highlight the most popular and newsworthy documents and feature each agency’s significant rules."  The website is divided into broad subjects including: business & industry, environment, health & public welfare, money, science & technology, and world.


The Library has a subscription to the AudioCaseFiles service. AudioCaseFiles contains downloadable audio files of court opinions and podcasts from law professors and law students. The website contains cases from many 1L classes along with some 2L and 3L subjects. To use this service, simply go to the AudioCaseFiles website and "Sign Up for An Account." Use your OSU e-mail address (.osu.edu) when registering.

Lexis Advance

WestlawNext, West's upgraded Westlaw platform, is in the process of being rolled out to law schools; however, it is not the only new upgrade on the horizon.  LexisNexis has been developing a new platform for its web-based research system. "Lexis Advance" has been chosen as the name for the new product.  Based on some early reviews, the new Lexis product, like WestlawNext, is going to have an interface that is similar to Google.  Lexis is planning an extended rollout that will begin later this year and will continue into 2011. 

Rent a Casebook from West

Many law students will now have the option of renting their casebooks from West, rather than buying them.  West caculates that students will save 38% or more if they rent, rather than purchase, a casebook.  Students will still be able to take notes and highlight in the books.  Students will also receive access to the electronic version of the casebook during the duration of the rental period.  Whether it is cheaper for a student to rent a casebook from West, rather than purchasing it and selling it, would certainly depend on many factors.  Nevertheless, students will appreciate having another option in their fight to keep education costs down.

Social Media Monitoring Tools

Even people who are not actively participating in "social media" like Twitter, blogs and other web applications might find it helpful to know what folks on these systems are talking about.  Six Revisions, a blog for web developers and designers, has reviewed 12 Social Media Monitoring Tools.  "Monitoring helps with branding and marketing and can help identify quality control or customer care problems that may have gone unnoticed."  This kind of monitoring can help a business, or a lawyer, find out who is saying what and where the conversation is happening.  The article looks at Google Alerts, Twitter Advanced Search, Icerocket, Addict-o-matic, Boardtracker, Twazzup, Social Mention, HootSuite, Seesmic, TweetDeck, Scoutlabs, and Radian6.  Scoutlabs and Radian6 are paid services, but the others are free.