CRIV Thomson Reuters Vendor Liaison Call Notes from January 26, 2017

CRIV Thomson Reuters Vendor Liaison Call

January 26, 2017 – 10 AM PST

The participants on the call were Gilda Chiu (CRIV Vendor Liaison to Thomson Reuters) and Lori Hedstrom (National Manager of Library Relations for Thomson Reuters).  The following were the items that were discussed:

Issues and Concerns

  1. Changes in the shipping of bound volumes – a member asked to inquire about any changes to the shipping schedule for bound volumes.  They have noticed that shipping has changed from a more regular schedule (a couple of times every week) to once a month, with deliveries spanning about a week.  They have found it to be very disruptive to their workflow and would like to know if there has been a delivery schedule change and whether this is a temporary or permanent change.

LH – This change was implemented in mid-2015.  It supports our continuous improvement efforts in driving internal efficiencies by reducing material handling and eliminating operations, and provided additional savings in shipping costs.  It also addressed customer feedback regarding package handling by combining multiple shipments into a single ship group so customers did not have to handle packages multiple times.

  1. Accurate Westlaw Records in Ex Libris Community Zone – Mari Cheney from Lewis and Clark Law School submitted an issue to CRIV about the inaccurate records available for Westlaw through the Ex Libris Community Zone. She has been in contact with both Thomson Reuters and Ex Libris about the issue since October 2015 and has received no solution from either party. She compiled a timeline for all of her interactions with both companies about the issue, which was sent to Thomson Reuters before the call.  Mari is not the only librarian that wants this resolved.  Several other librarians have reached out wanting a solution to this issue.  I compiled the various emails received for Thomson Reuters to review before the call.  Given how many librarians have been vocal about wanting a solution to this issue, I stressed to Lori the need for this issue to be resolved as soon as possible.

LH – Prior to receipt of the call agenda I was unaware of this issue, but in my initial investigation I have identified two teams with whom I will work to solve this concern, in partnership with Zach Gose, Academic Regional Field Manager, who has been involved.  I will provide progress updates to Gilda Chiu for publication in the CRIV Blog, and our final report will appear in the next print issue of the CRIV Sheet.

  1. Recent or Forthcoming Changes/Developments Regarding Thomson Reuters Products/Policies

Westlaw – Fall 2016

We released Statutes for Research Recommendations, Best Portion Navigation, Superbrowse for Regulations, and Court Level sorting.  Account Team members and Librarian Relations Managers can provide training on any of these elements members would like to explore.

Westlaw – February 2017

Secondary Sources are essential for providing guidance and analysis in every area of the law.  A redesign of these resources on Westlaw allow users to secure a strong starting point find leading caselaw, and cite widely respected sources as persuasive authority in arguments to the court.  This effort was undertaken to optimize the online user experience and address customer feedback by simplifying how users find, access, and navigate this content with new filter and sort options:

  • Table of Contents – full browsable TOC available on both the publication’s landing page & when viewing a document
  • Reading Mode – aggregate multiple documents into a single display
  • Scope Screen – additional relevant information including a description of the content and links to other relevant secondary sources
  • Pinpoint Linking for Rutter Group publications – Go directly to the cited paragraph in these popular California publications

Westlaw – Coming Spring 2017

We anticipate having statutes recommendations in Folder Analysis and continue our iterative product development and maintenance process, making small changes as customer requests are collected and ranked for prioritization.

Practical Law – in progress 2017

  • Continued expansion of jurisdictional content
    • Concentrating on top jurisdictions
    • Developing state-specific versions of key resources in each practice area
  • Cross Practice Collections – Life Sciences, Financial Services
  • New Subtopic – Out of Court Restructurings (Bankruptcy)
  • New What’s Market databases
  • Enhancements to Practical Law & Practice Point
    • Tasks in Practice Point search results
    • Start-Ups & Small Business page

Business Law Center research library integration

Semi-Annual CRIV Liaison and Bloomberg BNA Call

CRIV Liaison and Bloomberg BNA Semi-Annual Meeting

February 9, 2017 at 2PM Eastern

Attendance and Introductions:

Present on the call were: Mike Bernier, Director of Library Relations, Bloomberg BNA; Kate Hagan, Executive Director, AALL;  Brian Houk, VP and Head of Sales – Legal, Bloomberg BNA; Diana Jaque, CRIV liaison; and Rick Montella, Executive VP, Commercial Strategy, Bloomberg BNA

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

Brian Houk: It has been nearly six years since Bloomberg acquired BNA. Since that time, there have been lots of enhancements to the Bloomberg Law platform.  Eventually, Bloomberg BNA expects to get to one platform. Last year, more Bloomberg BNA practice materials were moved to Bloomberg Law to create new Practice Centers. The Practice Centers include improvements in search and navigation. This spring, Bloomberg Law will launch natural language searching. In addition, there is full integration with primary law content within the Bloomberg Law Practice Centers. Currently, there are plans to build out more workflow and visualization tools within each Practice Center. Examples include: chart builders and checklists for drafting. There is also enhanced research trail capability and more alerts and news items. Right now, Bloomberg BNA is concentrating on increased content and functionality on Bloomberg Law. Moving into 2017, early in the second quarter, customers will see the evolution of labor and employment as well as intellectual property material. Healthcare publications are slated for improvement later this year.

Mike Bernier:   The Business Intelligence Center on Bloomberg Law has been enhanced.  The Center brings together many pieces of Bloomberg Law all housed in one area. Within that, it is possible to monitor various industries or sectors on a custom dashboard. Many firms and companies have intranets; this is meant to be similar and is entirely customizable and can be shared with other end users. In addition, at no upcharge to customers, Judicial Analytics has been added to Bloomberg Law. This includes representational analytics and should assist firms in business development and litigation strategies.

In the academic market, Mike indicated that Bloomberg BNA has launched a series of webinars and continues to issue a quarterly newsletter. Within the academic market, the focus has shifted from 1Ls to upper division students. 1L students will primarily be trained with webinars that they can take when it is easiest for them. Upper division student sessions will focus on prepare to practice and summer associate training. Bloomberg Law is shifting from a focus on 1Ls to advanced legal research and clinics and will no longer use student representatives. The general emphasis has shifted to helping to create practice ready graduates. The contractual requirement to teach 1Ls Bloomberg Law in exchange for a discount no longer applies but the discounts given continue to apply. Effective immediately, law firm and law school relationship managers have been merged into one unit called Client Success so that law firm expertise can be shared with academic customers.

Finally, there are expanded MARC records for Bloomberg Law. Concerning the records, they are open to communicating with catalogers and VRAG members directly. They have been contacted by various catalogers and have worked to incorporate suggestions into the records.

Update from AALL (Kate Hagan)

AALL hopes to open registration for the annual meeting by the end of next week. Bloomberg Law is a Gold Sponsor. A special committee is being convened to examine both the AALL Guide to Fair Business Practices for Legal Publishers and the Procurement Toolkit and Code of Best Practices for Licensing Electronic Resources. A committee will be appointed soon. Expect it to take six to twelve months for changes. The chair is undetermined yet. Mike Bernier asked Kate what the attendee target is for the Annual Meeting. Kate responded that it will be 1500 and that the keynote speaker will be announced soon.

Requests for Assistance/Member Advocacy Issues (Diana & Bloomberg BNA Staff)

Diana again shared with Bloomberg BNA the following anonymous member assistance request:

Description of the Issue:  BBNA is raising its prices astronomically for its tax vertical, and requiring firms that wish to get its well- regarded Tax Management Portfolios in any media to subscribe practice group-wide to one of its tax libraries. That is, to obtain the Portfolios digitally or in print, BBNA requires subscribing to content many of its customers do not want this content is available on other platforms that function quite ably. It has been suggested that the behavior might qualify as an illegal tying under antitrust law. Note: previously, firms could subscribe solely to the Portfolios in print, digitally or both. BBNA further threatens that it may withhold subscriptions to the BNA Daily Tax Reporter to libraries that do not subscribe to its tax library. The price increases are certainly in the double digits. The cost of these increases are almost unconscionable.

Steps Library Has Taken to Resolve this Issue:  This is not an issue for a single firm or library. Firms with large tax practices seem to feel coerced to purchase BBNA’s tax products solely because the Portfolios are valued.

Bloomberg BNA Response: Rick Montella

Most large firms purchase Bloomberg BNA products on a practice group basis.  This allows for better workflows and yields a lower effective price per user.  As Bloomberg BNA prepares for the move from Resource Centers to Practice Centers on Bloomberg Law, they found that only a small number of firms, less than 20%, were just selecting a few individuals as designated users.  Bloomberg BNA feels that the fair way to price their resources is at the practice group level.  As a result, those with just a few seats will potentially see a significant price increase.  Their suggestion is for these firms to work with Bloomberg BNA to discuss multi-year contracts in which prices are more gradually adjusted upwards.  Over 50% of firms are selecting multi-year options.  In regards to print subscriptions, Bloomberg BNA will continue to offer Bloomberg BNA Books, but will not be offering new print subscriptions for all other products.  Bloomberg BNA stated that electronic products provide more value and timeliness.  Although they are not investing in print, there are no current plans to sunset existing print subscriptions.  They have received little or no pushback for not selling new print titles.  In response to a question about small firm libraries and their concerns, they responded to have all questions sent to Bloomberg BNA account representative or directly to Mike Bernier (mbernier@bna.com)

In addition, Bloomberg BNA furnished the following statement:

Bloomberg BNA is in the process of rolling out new “Practice Centers on Bloomberg Law,” which are the next-generation versions of Bloomberg BNA Resource Centers. The new Practice Centers include features and functionality long requested in the Resource Centers, including enhanced search, customizable alerting, a full collection of case law, and a citator.

Over the past year Bloomberg BNA has launched a new Tax Practice Center and a Privacy and Data Security product  – both of which have been well received by clients – to better serve the Legal market.  Clients of these Resource Centers are being upgraded to the Bloomberg BNA Practice Centers on Bloomberg Law as their subscriptions renew.

Recognizing that all firms are different, Bloomberg BNA’s approach — as always — is to partner with clients to help them realize the increased value of these enhancements and to provide them with options.

Additional Bloomberg BNA Practice Centers will be released throughout 2017, leveraging the upgraded features and functionality of Bloomberg Law, while providing the familiar, value-driven content our clients have come to rely on from Bloomberg BNA.

Diana inquired if there is a current plan to sunset BNA.com, Bloomberg BNA responded that no date has been set. The Bloomberg BNA web site continues to be updated in real time for the foreseeable future.  

Meeting ended at 2:38 PM Eastern

Catching up on recent news: Jane Sánchez appointed Law Librarian of Congress

It was announced on February 1st that Jane Sánchez has been appointed as the Law Librarian of Congress effective February 5th. The press release is available here.

Academic Law Libraries: Lexis.com retiring 12/31/16!

Just a reminder for academic law libraries, Lexis.com will be retiring on 12/31/16. Non-academic customers will be upgraded and will transition within the next twelve months. Click here for further information.

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.

 

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.