Lexis Provides Information on its Dealings with ICE

Today, Lexis sent an email to Law Faculty to explain its relationship with ICE in response to the #NoTechForICE petition. One of the issues that has been prevalent in the past few years is the interaction that the legal research vendors have with ICE, as the agency has cracked down on illegal immigrants during the Trump Administration. The email noted that all federal agencies can purchase access to LexisNexis products under the contract the company has with the federal government. According to the email, ICE has purchased some ancillary public records services, which account for approximately 10% of the contracts reported in the petition. The email goes on, stating “[w]e are not providing jail-booking data to ICE and are not working with them to build data infrastructure to assist in their efforts (emphasis in original). The email also notes that LexisNexis has a contract with ICE, which provides core legal research services to detainees including cases, statutes, secondary materials, bilingual user guides, and immigration forms. The email also stated that LexisNexis does not sell subscriber user information to ICE or any other government agency.

Westlaw Edge Now Has Regulations Compare for Select States

According to a tweet earlier this week, Westlaw Edge has added the Regulations Compare feature to select state regulations. Unfortunately, the announcement does not say which states are included. However, after a chat session where I asked which states were included, I received a response that the following states have regulations compare: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. For those unfamiliar with regulations compare or statutes compare, the feature allows users to compare red-lined versions of the regulation showing deletions and insertions. The comparison is done automatically when you select two versions to compare. This saves the user the time that would have been spent comparing the versions manually. Presumably, this feature will be added to all states in the future.

West Academic Acquires AdaptiBar

Back in October, West Academic announced that it acquired AdaptiBar Inc.  AdaptiBar is a bar review supplement program that focuses on getting students ready for the MBE. It has simulation exams, explanations, and subject area analysis. AdaptiBar was founded back in 2003. West Academic has not announced how its acquisition of AdaptiBar will impact either company. For now, both will continue to operate as usual.

GPO and Law Library of Congress to Digitize the Serial Set

The GPO and the Law Library of Congress announced plans last week to digitize the Congressional Serial Set going back to the first volume from 1817. The digitization will take place through the Law Library of Congress and the GPO will store the files and upload them onto Govinfo for free public access. The project is expected to take at least a decade to complete. This digitization effort follows on the heels of HeinOnline, which began digitizing the serial set several years ago and made the first phase of its digitization available in October 2018. Hein’s digitization has been made available for free to HeinOnline Academic subscribers, Core+ subscribers, and subscribers of HeinOnline’s U.S. Congressional Documents.

GPO Publishing Changes

The Government Publishing Office announced at the end of September that it is using new software to publish the 2018 United States Code. The GPO is now using XPub, which allows for XML-based publishing. According to the press release, this technology will allow for publishing in print and digital format in a more timely manner. This comes as good news since the GPO has only just begun shipping out titles of the 2018 USC to depository libraries and has been behind on publication of the CFR for 2019 ever since the government shutdown earlier in the year. The plan is to publish all routine publications using this new program. As for the USC, the plan it that the production process will only take about 1 year rather than the normal 1.5 years for past main USC editions.

Fastcase’s Docket Alarm Adds Deadline Display

Fastcase acquired Docket Alarm in January 2018. Docket Alarm is a legal analytics tool that can be used to identify judicial trends and identify possible outcomes of litigation. Deadline display is Docket Alarm’s newest feature. Deadline display gleans any deadlines from the docket and automatically displays them to users viewing the docket sheet. This allows users to see at a glance all upcoming events in a case. Deadlines are also searchable; allowing users to see upcoming work by firm or type of filing. The deadlines can also be exported to Google or Outlook calendars to allow for easy integration into work processes.As of March 14, deadline display is included as a complimentary feature for all Docket Alarm users.

More on the UC and Elsevier Split

On February 28, the University of California (UC) announced that it would not be renewing its subscription with Elsevier. In its negotiations, UC was trying to ensure that research produced by its campuses would be freely available to researchers around the globe immediately. According to UC, Elsevier was proposing to charge UC authors large fees on top of the existing multi-million dollar contract the University had for access to Elsevier journals. In a stance in support of open access, UC decided to walk away from Elsevier entirely. The UC Academic Council released a statement on the same day, supporting the efforts to negotiate to ensure open access to research. Elsevier released a statement in response via twitter. In the statement, Elsevier expresses disappointment that the negotiations were broken off by UC and says that it put forward a proposal to support the multi-payer open access requests by allowing researchers the choice to publish for open access as well as a “scaled path to reduce costs for each campus library.”  Berkeley News interviewed University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, who served as the co-chair of the negotiation team for UC. According to MacKie-Mason, UC wanted to reduce costs (the University was paying $11 million in subscriptions to Elsevier each year) and ensure open access for UC authors publishing with Elsevier. UC was asking for a contract that integrated a paid subscription fee with the open access publishing fees, which is a new approach. The offer by Elsevier agreed to do this, but at a much higher cost of around $30 million more per three year contract. The main idea is to makeup the loss in subscriptions by moving to a market that charges for the publishing, rather than for the reading as it works now. MacKie-Mason pointed out that although UC is the first University system to cut ties with Elsevier in the U.S., the Max Planck Society, University Alliance in Sweden, and University Alliance in Hungary have already done so.