CRIV/Thomson Reuters June 2016 Call

The first semi-annual call in 2016 between CRIV and Thomson Reuters was held on June 15, 2016.  In attendance were Lori Hedstrom (Thomson Reuters); Jeff McCoy (Thomson Reuters); Kate Hagan (AALL); and Gilda Chiu (CRIV Vendor Liaison).

Many items were discussed during the call.  Here listed are all the topics in the order that they were discussed.

  • Changes in LMA materials terminology, specifically from “Other Items” to “Tangible Personal Property” – The issue of these changes was raised by some member libraries who noticed the changes on their LMA invoices and wanted to know why it was changed and what did “Tangible Personal Property” refer to. Thomson Reuters explained that the terminology in question are Tax Product Code descriptions.  Their Tax Department defined them based on tax law – each description is tied to a tax code and each of their products has an associated tax code.  The Tax team made the change from “Other Items” last year in response to customers’ requests for a more meaningful description.  “Tangible Personal Property” essentially is any product that does not fall within the other Tax Product Code descriptions, which are “Books and Bound Volumes,” “Newsletters,” and “Periodicals.”
  • Errors in published cases on Westlaw and their print volumes – I asked for an update and what has been done to avoid future issues. Thomson Reuters said an internal investigation revealed that approximately one-half of 1 percent of decisions added to their collection during the period in question were impacted.  Once they became aware they corrected them immediately on Westlaw and are still in the process of correcting, printing, and shipping replacement print volumes.  Re-prints have reportedly been completed for 55 of the 217 volumes affected (as of June 2016).  They expect the process to be done by the end of August.  As to the cause of the error in the first place, the problem was traced to a new conversion technology that takes opinions from the courts and puts them in a format that can be published on Westlaw and in print.  The source of the error has been corrected and additional steps have been put in place to increase testing of the system and provide additional oversight.  For additional information such as a list of the affected decisions and a detailed FAQ that includes more about the cause of the issue, librarians are referred to the website, legalsolutions.com/cases.
  • ICLR pulling UK cases from Westlaw­ – Some librarians have asked for more information about what exactly is going on with ICLR claiming they are removing all of their content from Westlaw, especially since there has not been much information about this released by Thomson Reuters. They confirmed that after January 1, 2017, ICLR content will no longer be available as part of their Westlaw International offering for US customers, though it will remain on their UK platform.  They will continue to offer alternatives however for most recent case law as well as an analysis to reference for context and insight.  Here are the specifics on how:
    • “For the last 10 years, 99 percent of the ICLR will be covered with another report or digest. As the supremacy of the ICLR court citation isn’t an issue for American users, the Westlaw UK case analysis document and digest, along with a transcript of the decision and specialist law reports, is still a compelling research offering.  While there are no direct replacements for some ICLR cases, many of the decisions are available through other case reports which will continue to be available on Thomson Reuters Westlaw. Many of the ICLR cases which do not have alternative versions available are more than 10 years old.”
  • Unpredictability of update costs for subscriptions – A member library asked us to talk to Thomson Reuters after seeing a particular set they had on subscription increase exorbitantly in price. After discussing the specifics of the member library’s case, Thomson Reuters said the situation being described was unique and that they would notify the library’s Account Manager and have that person help the member library.  In regards to the unpredictability of their pricing for subscriptions from year-to-year, Thomson Reuters said the following:
    • “Pricing is determined by a number of factors, including subscription versus non-subscription, amount of content updated, value, cost of materials, and number of subscribers. Sometimes there is year-over-year variability in our shipments, depending on updates to portions of sets or other factors.  Each customer’s subscription and pricing structure is unique. Our customers work closely with their sales representatives and account managers to determine subscription arrangements that will best meet their unique needs.

We’ve created a number of programs to help our customers more effectively manage their collections and budgets, including multi-year contracts to provide the assurance that customers will have a predictable monthly invoice. These multi-year contracts not only allow customers to lock in a low year-over-year increase but they also provide the assurance that customers will have a predictable monthly invoice.”

  • Usage statistics – When asked about any future plans to provide libraries with usage statistics, Thomson Reuters said they currently do not provide those to any libraries and that there are no plans for Westlaw to begin offering that information to customers. They also mentioned that they are not a member of the Project COUNTER group.
  • MARC records and working with VRAG – In terms of MARC records, Thomson Reuters said they are continuing to assess MARC records as they talk to more customers and learn more about their needs. They are currently partnering with OCLC on the creation of MARC records for the specific use by one of their law firm customers participating in a ProView pilot project with EOS, which is Thomson Reuters’ partner for LMS integration.  As for VRAG, Thomson Reuters’ interactions were sidelined by Committee concerns over catalog links disappearing with the sunset of Westlaw Classic, so the majority of their time was spent on efforts on behalf of VRAG on Link Translator, which could apply to nearly any Classic Find, database, or search link.
  • Recent changes/developments regarding products or policies – For this topic Thomson Reuters waited until after AALL to offer a summary of what the showcased at the conference.
    • At this year’s AALL Annual Meeting, we showcased our new law firm attorney workflow solution, Practice Point, which provides expert resources organized by practice area and task. Bringing together curated resources from Practical Law and Westlaw, it provides needed guidance and tools, integrated in one place. Our Government attendees were able to view demonstrations on Practical Law and Drafting Assistant, both recently added to Patron Access.  Academic law librarians were interested in Practice Ready, our new curriculum to enable summer associates and new practitioners to better transition into employment, as well as Practical Law for law school uses, TWEN, and the recent Westlaw enhancements.

The next call is set to be scheduled for some time in late Fall/early Winter 2016.

CRIV/Wolters Kluwer May 2016 Call

CRIV / Wolters Kluwer Semiannual Call, May 17, 2016

 

On May 17, 2016, CRIV had its second semiannual call with Wolters Kluwer.   There were no outstanding requests for advocacy involving Wolters Kluwer products from the AALL membership to discuss.

CRIV inquired about usage statistics, including what is offered, in what format, and what do libraries have to do to get them?  What is available really depends on the platform.  Account managers can provide statistics, and Wolters Kluwer is working on some standardization.

With regard to recent complaints about Transfer Binders being inadequately sized, Wolters Kluwer advised that libraries can go back to the vendor and re-size the binder.  They can call the customer service line at 877-529-5427 with questions and requests for new binders.

The ongoing project to create MARC records for Cheetah and Intelliconnect  on which Wolters Kluwer has been working closely with VRAG group is complete.  MARC records are available free of charge for both Cheetah and Intelliconnect at https://lrus.wolterskluwer.com/marc-records There are close to 1,000 records, with more to come.  Wolters Kluwer reported that working with VRAG was great.  They are working with OCLC to get MARC records in Worldcat. Those will be available in the next month then updated quarterly.

With regard to upcoming changes or developments regarding Wolters Kluwers’ products or policies, there are no policy changes.  Product-wise, Cheetah has added materials in new areas of law, including tax, banking and consumer finance.  There is already materials for already have securities, corporate, IP, antitrust, and litigation.  Coming in one to three months: pension, benefits, labor and employment, government contracts, and payroll.   Wolters Kluwer is also launching a training, consulting and SED services program.  In terms of just in time learning, they will be coming out with some shorter videos.  There is no plan to phase out Intelliconnect at this time.   Finally, there has been no replacement named for Linda Dunton, who retired in February 2016.  Doug French, executive director of marketing, and Cindy Kaplan will work with CRIV until there is a permanent person in the role.

CRIV reminded Wolters Kluwer of the upcoming Vendor Roundtable at the Annual Meeting in Chicago. The event will be on Sunday, July 17th at 5:15 PM in the Hyatt Regency Acapulco Room.  Wolters Kluwer is interested in participating.

 

SocArXiv – a new open access legal repository?

Introducing SocArXiv, an institutional repository for social sciences.

SocArXiv is modeled on ArXiv, the successful open access preprint repository for scientists. Still in the development stage, SocArXiv is currently a partnership with the University of Maryland and the non-profit Center for Open Science that will be a “free, open access, open source archive for social science research.” (perma.cc/8ZLX-RQG8). The “temporary home” of SocArXiv already holds many preprints. At the time of this writing, one preprint has nearly 700 downloads. While there is currently no organizational structure, a quick and dirty search for “law” reveals that legal scholars have discovered and are submitting preprints to SocArXiv.

SocArXiv launched just about a month after the acquisition of SSRN by Elsevier when speculation about maintaining availability of open access scholarship was rampant. Concerns about SSRN include a spate of take-down notices (now abated), questions about Elsevier’s commitment to open access, and its motivation in making the purchase. See Paul Caron’s blog post Is it Time for Authors to Leave SSRN?, Prawfsblog’s SSRN, Elsevier and the Alternatives (again) and In the Open’s For the 1000th time: who will own (and mine) the scholarly record? blog post.

In addition to SSRN’s Legal Scholarship Network, law schools often archive scholarly work at open access repositories that are self-managed (e.g., DSpace) or outsourced to the Digital Commons run by bepress.* Dspace is open source code that requires sufficient institutional technology infrastructure to self-manage the platform. Bepress and Elsevier are vendors of the electronic platforms that hold and organize scholarly output.

From the academic viewpoint, SSRN was generally “free” for scholars submitting research and fee-based for both institutional ejournals and for current awareness services. We’ve received no indication from Elsevier that the fee structure has changed. Bepress has no “free” level – scholars or their institutions must purchase a Selected Works page or Digital Commons package to submit materials. For a more detailed discussion of payment models see Sharing for Social Scientists by Ruth Lewis (May 2016).

If you want to follow development of SocArXiv, the permanent URL will be socarxiv.org and the development blog is at socopen.org. In the blawgosphere, information about SocArXiv may be found at LLRX and Prawfsblog.


* For a more complete list of legal repositories, see Robert Richard’s Legal Information System & Legal Informatics Resources: Institutional & Scholarly Repositories: Legal (Selected) at https://perma.cc/8VLC-ZG45 (last retrieved 9/15/2016)

Gaunt open for business!

A member contacted CRIV and let us know that they had been unable to reach personnel at Gaunt for several days. Gaunt let me know yesterday morning that their phone and email service is up and running again after some downtime due to storms.

CRIV/Bloomberg BNA June 2016 Phone Call

Bloomberg BNA Semi-Annual Phone Meeting

June 9, 2016

I. Present on call:

Mike Bernier: Director of Library Relations, BBNA

Joe Breda: Executive Vice President for Product, BBNA

Kate Hagan: Executive Director, AALL

Diana Jaque, CRIV Liaison to BBNA

Rick Montella, Executive Vice President for Commercial Operations, BBNA

II. Scheduling of Future Calls:

Our next call will be in late 2016 with the 2016/17 CRIV BBNA Liaison.

III. New Bloomberg BNA Products, Policies, and Other Issues of Interest to AALL Members:

There are some exciting new products launching within the next month and substantial enhancements coming this fall!

A new vertical focusing on Tax is coming to Bloomberg Law. It will include a new user interface that was developed after numerous interviews with users and incorporates the results from eye tracking studies. Content will include the Tax Management Portfolios as well as federal and state primary law as well as the complete library of tax content currently available on BNA.com. In addition, the resource consists of historical versions of the tax code back to 1913 as well as a comprehensive collection of agency materials and approximately 15,000 international tax treaty documents. This tax resource has been built as a vertical and is available for sale as a stand-alone product, but will be included in Bloomberg Law subscriptions as well at no additional charge.

In addition, Bloomberg BNA is revamping their Labor and Employment Practice Center on Bloomberg Law and making its content more robust. This fall, all content from the Labor and Employment Law Resource Center will appear on Bloomberg Law as well as additional local labor ordinances and public employee resources.

The Business Development Center on Bloomberg Law is being streamlined and users will be able to build customized dashboards and populate it with widgets covering news, dockets, deals and more. Dashboards can be published and shared firmwide.

Within representation analytics, they also have introduced a jurisdiction view. By the end of the year, judicial analytics will also be available and users will be able to see how judges rule on certain types of motions and, for example, to see how long matters are pending before a particular judge.

IV. Updates from AALL:

Kate Hagan: Summary of recent and upcoming AALL activities.

Most AALL staff members are busy at this time with preparations for the AALL Annual Meeting. The good news is that we are already ahead of the attendee numbers for the past three years. The headquarters hotel is already sold out, but two nearby hotels have been added. Thanks to BBNA for their support of the annual meeting.

“Defining Value: Law Library Best Practices” is an AALL digital publication that is now under production, to be released in the fall of 2016.

AALL is currently recruiting for a Manager, Content Strategy, and is in the interview process now.

V. Requests for Assistance/Member Advocacy Issues: 12/1/15-present:

There were no requests for assistance or member advocacy issues with BBNA since our last phone call.

VI. Questions/Updates:

A. BNA.com: Any plans to sunset?

At this point, most development efforts are focused on Bloomberg Law. The creation of Bloomberg Law verticals continues in different practice areas and allows end users to buy just the material that meets a practice group’s needs. As time goes on, there will be a content gap between the legacy BNA.com legal products and the Bloomberg Law platform. There is no date given for sunsetting BNA.com. Content will be also be available on dual platforms for enough time for users to be adequately trained on the new platform with significant notice to all affected parties. Subscribers to Bloomberg BNA’s Privacy and Data Security Resource Center Law who renew after September 1 will receive Bloomberg Law: Privacy and Data Security as part of their subscription with dual access for a time to be determined. The CRIV liaison strongly encouraged that BBNA users be given at least one year’s notice prior to sunsetting BNA.com.

B. Revisiting: MARC records:

The Vendor-Supplied Records Advisory Working Group for TS-SIS has a page concerning the MARC records supplied by BBNA. BBNA will contact VRAG if content needs to be updated.

C. Revisiting: Usage Statistics:

Ashley Moye has compiled a web page listing how to access usage reports for existing legal databases. BBNA to contact Ashley to make corrections as both Bloomberg BNA and BNA are listed.

VII. CRIV Roundtable:

Just a reminder that the CRIV Roundtable will be held on Sunday July 17th at 5:15-6:15 PM in the Hyatt Acapulco room. Topic is still to be announced, but it will focus on the Vendor’s design process for new electronic products.

CRIV Vendor Roundtable in Chicago

The AALL Committee on Relations with Information Vendors (CRIV) will hold its roundtable at the AALL Meeting on Sunday, July 17th at 5:15 PM in the Hyatt Regency Acapulco Room.  Our topic for discussion this year will be the database design process. The discussion will be wide-ranging and should include a short statement by each vendor on aspects of the design process. There also will be a discussion about the end user’s role within that process, included in that will be how the design process accommodates the different constituencies within the law library community including librarians, student, attorney, and public patrons. Your attendance is highly encouraged at this popular event.

 

CRIV/Lexis May 2016 Call

On May 19, 2016 CRIV had its second semi-annual call with LexisNexis. There were no outstanding Requests for Assistance involving LexisNexis products from the membership to discuss.

CRIV inquired about non-disclosure language in LexisNexis licenses so broad that it would prevent libraries from discussing any aspect of the license agreement with CRIV or AALL. CRIV encouraged LexisNexis to adopt more narrowly targeted language to meet its goals, in lieu of language that prevents libraries from bringing potential issues to CRIV or AALL. LexisNexis responded that its non-disclosure language was unlikely to change.

CRIV inquired about LexisNexis’s current offerings of usage statistics, referencing a page on the topic TS-SIS has been curating. LexisNexis was invited to submit more specific information about its usage offerings for this page.

CRIV invited LexisNexis to contact the Vendor-Supplied Records Advisory Group and work with them on any MARC records LexisNexis provides.

CRIV reminded LexisNexis of the upcoming Vendor Roundtable at the Annual Meeting in Chicago. The event will be on Sunday, July 17th at 5:15 PM in the Hyatt Regency Acapulco Room.

LexisNexis informed CRIV that its move to agile development is resulting in more frequent updates and releases for LexisAdvance. LexisNexis encourages libraries to take a look at the visualization tool Legislative Outlook. LexisNexis also encourages libraries to keep an eye out for Search Term Maps, which will be rolling out broadly later in the summer.

CRIV will hold another call with LexisNexis in the Fall of 2016.