Bloomberg Law is getting a new look

Bloomberg Law is probably going to look different to you f you haven’t logged in for a while.  They recently announced a series of changes to their navigation and search features.  This might be of particular interest if you use videos to teach your users about Bloomberg Law in something like a flipped-classroom.  You can learn more by watching this video.

The 2016-17 law firm initiatives initiatives

Check out this very interesting summary of some of the process initiatives identified by readers of the Dewey B Strategic Blog.  It looks like a lot of these initiatives deal with information products and services. Does anyone see anything that surprises them? Anything you want to try at your firm?

The Wisdom of Colleagues: A Plea for Print– KM, Curation, Outreach and ROI Top Process Initiatives in Start Stop Process Survey

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

HeinOnline – spiffier and even more intuitive!

As featured today on the HeinOnline blog, the vendor has just rolled out their new Knowledge Base help and guidance tool, providing searchable and browsable assistance on all aspects of search, access, export, and personalization.  These screen shots are courtesy of the HeinOnline blog.

kbblog2

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Training videos are also being rolled out as part of this upgrade.

Both the HeinOnline blog and the database launch page have also been given a sleek new redesign.  Check it out today!

Check out the list of events celebrating Sunshine Week 2017!

Sunshine Week is an annual week-long event celebrating open access to governmental information, sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.  The Sunshine Week site is a wealth of FOIA information, and aggregates a list of activities and events celebrating open information access.  Find an event in your city!

Suggested free reference sites from Library Journal

Check out this recent post from Library Journal that recommends free research websites and apps.  Some stand-outs for law librarians and legal information professionals:

  • EveryCRSReport.com – bipartisan support keeps this library of all CRS reports stretching back over 20 years available to the public.  Search full text or browse by topic; an RSS feed is also available so you never miss the posting of a new report.
  • GovTrack – take the pain out of updating legislative histories by tracking bills of interest on GovTrack.  You can also follow specific policy areas and receive alerts when new bills are introduced that fit your parameters.
  • Wayback Machine Archive Feature – we all use and love the Wayback Machine, but did you know you can also use the site to archive pages of your choice? Back up your research by archiving pages as you view them.