CRIV/Thomson Reuters Biannual Phone Call

Conference call took place on Tuesday, June 2 at 1:00 PM EDT.

Participants:

  • Deborah Heller – CRIV Thomson Reuters Liaison
  • Kim Hurley – Information Management Advisor at Thomson Reuters
  • Rachel Torgerson – Customer Success Strategist at Thomson Reuters
  • Kevin Lane – Manager, Westlaw Product Development

Agenda:

  • Discussion about some of the billing changes recently implemented and forthcoming.
    • Working to improve communication and redesign invoices
    • Ensuring a more reliable communication channel to customers
    • Increase in electronic invoicing
    • Making it clearer to customers if they are on auto-pay for certain items
      • The invoice more clearly shows that something has already been paid to cut down on duplicate payments
      • Providing 60, 30, and 15 day notices when a credit card that the customer is using for auto-pay is expiring to help prevent past due invoices and collections.
    • Working to reduce the unapplied payments backlog by contacting customers and asking how payments should be applied to their account
    • 3 phase invoice redesign
      • Phase one began in early May and applies to new sale or debit invoices
        • Cleaner
        • Clearly outlines the amount due and the date it is due
        • Customer name and address clearly provided on the invoice
        • Customers will receive a PDF attachment with the invoice in an email so there is no longer the need to go to a separate platform in order to access the actual invoice
        • The invoice will include hyperlinks.
      • Phase 2 is anticipated to launch in the 3rd Quarter of 2020 and applies to Subscription, Credit, and Pro Forma invoices
      • Phase 3 launch date is still being determined after Phase 2 and will include online invoices
    • Customer support information including how to read my new invoice is available online here
  • Quick Check on Westlaw Edge has added a quotation analysis feature
    • It analyzes quotes in legal documents to ensure that they are accurate
  • A new feature on Westlaw Edge that will be rolling out later this summer (August) is Quick Check Judicial
    • Allows you to upload multiple documents from a single matter. So the documents submitted by both parties will be analyzed together
    • Shows the cases cited by each party, cases cited by both parties, and cases cited by neither party
    • Will allow you to upload up to 6 documents at one time and assign each document to a party
    • It will be included with a Westlaw Edge subscription
  • More Practical Law materials will be released towards the end of June
    • Includes a commercial litigation subtopic with over 200 new resources
    • Substantive videos by the Practical Law editors
    • Relaunch of the life sciences topic
    • FDA-regulatory cross practice collection

New, Notable, and Fun: Recent Finds from GPO and LOC

Government websites can be a boon of (free!) information for legal research. For today’s post, I thought I’d highlight a few news items and a few fun finds from the Library of Congress and the GPO.

New: GPO Director

Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed Hugh Halpern as the new Director of the Government Publishing Office. Halpern has held a variety of positions on Capitol Hill over the past 30 years, including Director of Floor Operations for the Speaker of the House. You can read more about Halpern in the GPO’s press release.

Congress.gov Enhancements

In November, Congress.gov added two new enhancements: First, for Senate amendments to bills, you can now see a list of any withdrawn co-sponsors. Second, in an effort to increase accessibility, Congress.gov has made improvements to their search results to make them easier to read for screen readers. You can see all the latest Congress.gov enhancements here.

Notable: CRS Reports on Congress.gov

We reported on this feature in September 2018, but in case you missed it, you can now access a large collection of Congressional Research Service reports through Congress.gov ( https://crsreports.congress.gov/). My favorite way to access the CRS reports on this site is to hit the search button without entering any search terms. This brings you to the index of CRS reports, so you can see the variety of subjects covered. Did you know the Law Library of Congress also creates research reports for Congress? You can access their reports as well, from the Law Library of Congress website.

Just for Fun: Library of Congress’ Free to Use and Reuse Collection

The Library of Congress has digitized large numbers of items in their collections, and have created a Free to Use and Reuse page, where you can browse these digitizations by category. Some collections, such as Veterans, Presidential Inaugurations, or Women’s History Month, might be more relevant to law libraries; myself, I’m partial to the Dogs collection (don’t worry – there’s a Cats one too). Perhaps the best collection here is the Not an Ostrich collection, named after this photo:

“Not an Ostrich” – https://www.loc.gov/resource/ppmsca.40935/

These are just a few of the new and notable finds from the GPO and the Library of Congress. Do you have your own favorite features? Please share!

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.

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.

Library of Congress Launches Website to Search CRS Reports

The Library of Congress (LOC) has launched their new website to search Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports. This website was developed after the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which directed the LOC to make CRS Reports publicly available online. Before this, researchers would have to look in several different places in order to try and find the reports that are developed for Congress. The initial release of materials will include all R-series “active” reports that have been published since the passage of the Appropriations Act. A full migration of reports is estimated for completion in the Spring of 2019. More information can be found on the site’s FAQ page.

HathiTrust Digitizes Historic California Legislative Materials

As part of a project between HathiTrust, California Office of Legislative Counsel, University of California, Stanford University, and the California State Library, almost 4,000 California Assembly and Senate publications are now available digitally. HathiTrust members will be able to download complete documents, while the library itself allows browsing, single page downloads, and sharing. More information about the collection can be viewed on HathiTrust’s blog.

Thomson Reuters New Law School Landing Page

Just before some of us began classes in August, Thomson Reuters changed their landing page. As opposed to the old lawschool.westlaw.com, you will be redirected to lawschool.tr.com. There were a few teething troubles with this at the beginning, but it seems to be working as of now (although I sometimes still see the old page with some of my saved links). This is part of a branding attempt to make students more aware of the fact that Thomson Reuters owns Westlaw. The new page is more streamlined, with less text. Those who want to access Westlaw need to click on the orange “log in now” button towards the middle of the screen.

Economics and the Periodicals Price Survey of 2018

Flat budgets, price increases, and a reliance on status journals for tenure and promotion keep familiar pressures on the serials marketplace. Sound familiar? Here is a Library Journal blog post about spending on and by some libraries.

New Ways to Search Congress.gov

Have you been wishing for some better ways to search on Congress.gov? Well your prayers have been answered.  Check out their recent blog post about the new ways to search on Congress.gov.

Oh No! Not MORE Amazon!

It looks like Amazon is getting into the peer-review business and they will even use AI to make sure the reviews are authentic.  Take a look.

The Other Side of the Coin?

Publishers Weekly has an interesting story about some big publishers and how 2017 treated them.  I admit I have never given much thought to how slow and/or flat sales might impact publishers.  Luckily someone can make me with just a blog post.

Congress.gov upgrades and the April Tip

More great enhancements from Congress.gov this month!

Check out this blog post describing how they have improved the sorting of search results and the continuing work on committee authority records.  This month’s tip is about printing a list of search results from Congress.gov. All this hard work on the website is probably why my students love it so much.

Fastcase enters alliance with Wolters Kluwer to add Treatises

Fastcase has been busy lately.  They announced their acquisition of Docket Alarm on January 10th, and last week they announced a partnership with Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory US to provide an expanded collection of treatises, handbooks, and other secondary sources to legal researchers through the Fastcase platform.  This includes more than 150 titles from a broad array of legal specialties such as bankruptcy, consumer finance, elder law, employment, litigation, health law, insurance, pension and benefits, and real estate.  These titles will be fully integrated and searchable within the Fastcase system and available now to lawyers in firms smaller than 10 lawyers.  Firms of 10 or more will still purchase access through Wolters Kluwer.  Current Fastcase users will see the new treatises in search libraries immediately.  Click here to read the Fastcase press release.

Elsevier’s acquisition of Bepress

Did you miss the big news this past August? This is certainly going to be interesting for many librarians.  Elsevier has acquired bepress.

Casetext releases enhancements to CARA

Casetext has just announced some new enhancements to its product CARA.  CARA allows you to securely upload any brief or memo, and then it searches the universe of federal and state law to find relevant cases you may have missed.

Here is what’s new:

  • Search within results to narrow down your CARA recommendations to those specific to your search terms
  • Jurisdiction filters make sure your results are all in the jurisdictions you care about
  • CARA is getting smarter, so you should expect to see even more relevant CARA result

Check out their website for more information.