Judy Janes and Marissa Andrea just published a good article on open access law journals. Their article, “One Journal at a Time,” includes a few paragraphs providing “a brief history of open access.” In addition, they comment upon how “the success of RSS feeds, SSRN alerts and SMARTCILP/CLJC email updates has further accelerated the transition to Open Access journals.”
This movement will benefit us all, as Janes and Andrea state it:
. . . As more journals become available on the Internet through an initiative called Open Access, published legal scholarship — once only available in print form from law libraries, or online through proprietary databases — will reach a wider audience. This is a movement not only benefiting practicing attorneys, but historians, scholars and members of the public with legal research interests, who will be able to access legal scholarship by simply googling a topic.
Today I received SmartCILP June 27, 2008, which included notice of this article:
Cavicchi, Jon R., “Lexis v. Westlaw for research–better, different, or same and the qwerty effect?,” 47 IDEA 363-406 (2007).
The author presents his own poll of LexisNexis versus Westlaw preferences. The author sent email to the IPPROFS listerv, third year law students at Pierce Law Center, and graduate students in his school’s Master of Intellectual Property, Commerce and Technology (M.I.P.) and Master of Laws in Intellectual Property, Commerce and Technology (LL.M.) programs asking which service they prefer and why. He received comments from nineteen IP law professors and ten students.
The article concludes:
This article could easily be double in size to cover all the bases. As I was concluding this article, an IDEA editor came to my office to check some footnotes. I told her that this article was coming to a close, and she immediately said, “So, what’s your conclusion; which is better for IP research?” Alas, we end where we start. There is no one answer. Only you can define which service best meets your information needs. I hope this article has informed you on some content and features to consider in helping you define your needs. I use Lexis and Westlaw liberally, which gives me the advantage to compare and contrast on an ongoing basis. We also return to the ongoing themes of this series. Lexis and Westlaw are doing battle with a host of no cost and low cost information providers. The smart IP researcher faced with having to pay for Wexis access will craft a package that includes those features and databases that may be beyond cost effective alternatives.