Web Resources of the Month

Web Resources of the Month

Each month, the librarians of the Law Library will be highlighting a particular website or resource that we think might be of interest in an e-mail to the faculty. We are repeating the information here as a “running archive” of this information. The list below lists the non-academic sites.

Adam Smith, Esq.
via http://www.adamsmithesq.com/category/articles/

Adam Smith, Esq. provides insights on the business of large, sophisticated law firms. Since the site’s launch in late 2003, nearly 1,500 articles have appeared on “Adam Smith, Esq.” covering such topics as strategy, leadership, globalization, M&A, finance, compensation, cultural considerations and partnership structures. Bruce MacEwan — president — is a sought-after speaker and frequently appears at law firm retreats and legal industry conferences domestically and overseas. You may be familiar with his 2013 book Growth Is Dead: Now What? outlining the consequences for the legal industry of the great financial reset of 2008. Blog posts on law schools are part of the analysis of the cultural impact and fallout of the long recession. [January 2014]

The Legal Whiteboard
via http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwhiteboard/

The Legal Whiteboard is a blog that focuses on the empirical analysis of the legal profession and legal education. There are several editors of this blog, but the primary is William D. Henderson, professor of law and Val Nolan Faculty Fellow Director of the Center on the Global Legal Profession at Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington. [January 2014]

via http://beta.congress.gov/

The free legislative information website Congress.gov will be replacing Thomas.gov in the near future. The site is currently in beta but will be the permanent place for federal legislative information from the U.S. Congress and related agencies. The new site is designed for platform mobility and user-friendly presentation, and will provide expanded collections of the Congressional Record, committee reports, legislative process videos, committee profile pages and more. [February 2014]

Library Webcasts
via https://law.hofstra.edu/Academics/library/research/webcasts/index.html

The librarians have recorded a growing collection of video tutorials in various areas of research. Similar to the many YouTube videos you can find showing you how to do just about anything, these research guides show the process of online research using various databases and websites. Subjects range from basic techniques to specialized research videos we have recorded in some of your classes — with topics ranging from Municipal Law to International Environmental Law. Check out our list. [March 2014]

Whistleblower Insider
via http://www.whistleblower-insider.com/blog/

Whistleblower law and the litigation that results from whistleblower disclosures — in banking, health care, securities, consumer fraud, government or other areas — is the expert focus of Whistleblower Insider. A blog created by the law firm of Constantine Canon LLP, Whistleblower Insider is one of the best ways to keep up with breaking developments and issues. In addition to topical posts written by specialist attorneys at the firm, it features links to selected news items from respected sources and to relevant statutes and agency websites. An excellent way to stay current with whistleblower-related law is to sign up for email alerts as a free subscriber. [April 2014]

HeinOnline’s Women and the Law (Peggy)
via http://home.heinonline.org/content/list-of-libraries/?c=208&sn=peggy

HeinOnline’s new library, Peggy, contains almost 500,000 pages of books, biographies and periodicals on women and the law. “This unique collection of materials provides a platform to research the progression of women’s roles and rights in society over the past 200 years.” Read more. [May 2014]

Digital Public Library
via http://dp.la/

The Digital Public Library of America has over 2.5 million items from libraries, archives and museums. The site provides ways to search and scan through the entire collection by timeline, map, virtual bookshelfformat, subject and partner. [June 2014]

FDsys Tutorials
via http://www.gpo.gov/fdsysinfo/instructional_video.htm

FDsys, an acronym for the Federal Digital System (more information), offers free online access to official publications from all three branches of the federal government. The first link above leads to several excellent video tutorials that will introduce you to using the system to retrieve government information quickly and efficiently. [July 2014]

The World Top Incomes Database
via http://topincomes.g-mond.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/#Home

From the Introduction: There has been a marked revival of interest in the study of the distribution of top incomes using tax data. Beginning with the research by Thomas Piketty of the long-run distribution of top incomes in France, a succession of studies has constructed top income share time series over the long-run for more than twenty countries to date. These projects have generated a large volume of data, which are intended as a research resource for further analysis. The world top incomes database aims to provide convenient on line access to all the existent series. This is an ongoing endeavour, and we will progressively update the base with new observations, as authors extend the series forwards and backwards. Despite the database’s name, we will also add information on the distribution of earnings and the distribution of wealth. [August 2014]

HeinOnline State Reports: A Historical Archive
via http://0-www.heinonline.org.libweb.hofstra.edu/HOL/Welcome

HeinOnline recently published a new library entitled “State Reports: A Historical Archive.” This new library provides a digital version of Hein’s State Reports Checklist as well as links to the full text of historical state reports. It provides a convenient state-by-state bibliographic guide to published court reports and can be browsed by publication title or state/publication title. Learn more about this library. [September 2014]

Legal Apps Guide
via http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/mobilelegalapps

From the ABA Journal to WestlawNext and many in between, there is very likely an app for that legal research, practice and writing need. At the very least, check out what your students are using. [October 2014]

State legislative history research guides on the Web
via http://law.indiana.libguides.com/c.php?g=19813

This continually updated collection of legal research guides for the 50 states and the District of Columbia is a key that unlocks the challenging world of state legislative history. Created by Jennifer Morgan, government documents librarian at Indiana University Bloomington’s Maurer School of Law, this site is built on the premise that “the key to successfully locating a state’s legislative history documents is to understand the state’s legislative process and to identify the documents generated during that process.” With so much variance from state to state, the best place to start is often with state-specific legislative history research guides. Just click on a state and link to selected guides prepared by government and law school experts from that jurisdiction. [November 2014]

NOAA Fishwatch
via http://www.fishwatch.gov/

Fishwatch is a government website providing science-based facts about seafood, written in easy to understand language, which will assist consumers in making sustainable food choices. “FishWatch is maintained by NOAA Fisheries, the leading science authority for managing the nation’s marine fisheries.” (About available at http://www.fishwatch.gov/about/index.htm.) [December 2014]

Astronomy Picture of the Day
Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. View the APOD’s calendar. [January 2014]

Boomerang for Gmail
Boomerang allows you to write an email now and schedule it to be sent automatically at a later time. It also provides reminders for follow-up, tracking features and a calendar feature. Boomerang also works with Outlook for a small fee. [February 2014]

Google Advanced Technique
This is more of a technique than a website. To search a particular website or part of a website, Google provides an advanced search technique. Simply append the Web address you want to search after site: and then add your search terms. For example, to search the archives of these Web resources emails for “video”, do the following search site:http://law.hofstra.edu/academics/library/faculty/monthly video (emphasis added). This will come in very handy when a website does not provide a search box or you want to search just a subset of Web pages on a particular site. For more Google tips, check out our Googlerific webcast (listed as Library Workshop — #279 in the iTunes list) and website at https://sites.google.com/site/researchlifelineallthings/home. [March 2014]

Dialect Survey Maps
Exploring regional dialects of American English — and where we fit in — can be fascinating and fun. This site, created by Joshua Katz as a graduate student in the Department of Statistics at North Carolina State University, draws upon Harvard Dialect Survey data to create vocabulary/pronunciation maps for each of the survey’s 122 questions, and “Aggregate Dialect Difference” maps for specific cities in the United States. For more fun, use the direct link on the site’s home page to connect to a 25-question dialect quiz using mainly Harvard Dialect Survey questions, but with maps based on a new dialect survey conducted in 2013 by Joshua Katz (now a graphics editor at The New York Times) and published in the Times last December. Complete the quiz to see your personal dialect map. [April 2014]

Search Engine Showdown
Searchengineshowdown.com is everything you ever wanted to know about the inner workings of search engines, with a practical approach and useful comparisons. “Search Engine Showdown, the users’ guide to Web searching, compares and evaluates Internet search engines from the searcher’s perspective” Read more. [May 2014]

Google Web History
It probably comes as no surprise that Google keeps a record of your searches. You can look at your search history and search trends at Google Web History. Google Web History saves information about your searches along with details about your browser including:

  • Searches on Google from both browsers and apps, including where the search originated
  • Results that are returned, including results from on-device data and private results from Google products like Google+, Gmail and Google Calendar
  • Your activity with search results, including results that you click
  • Ads you respond to by clicking the ad itself or completing a transaction on the advertiser’s site
  • Your IP address
  • Your browser type and language
  • Your searches and other activity on Google Maps, including maps around the Web

When you create a Google Account, Google Web History is automatically turned on. The feature allows you to save, edit or delete your search history. [June 2014]

How to Identify That Light in the Sky
Are you planning to do some star-gazing this summer and wondering how to identify the different lights in the night sky? See this humorous but handy flow chart to help you to distinguish stars from other nocturnal heavenly objects. [July 2014]

Emily Dickinson Archive
This site is not a new edition of Dickinson’s poems. It is an archive that seeks to make available in one virtual place those resources that seem central to the study of Dickinson’s work: images of her manuscripts; a selection of editions of those manuscripts; and selected print and electronic resources that serve as a starting point for the study of Dickinson’s manuscripts. It should be viewed as a resource from which scholarship can be produced, rather than a work of scholarship itself. [August 2014]

NutshellMail is a social media message organizer that supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, MySpace, YouTube, Foursquare and Citysearch. It allows you to monitor and manage your social media presence and eliminates wasted time logging in to all your accounts. This free service provides copies of all your latest updates from your social media accounts and places them in a snapshot email. The snapshot email is sent to your primary email address and on your own schedule. [September 2014]

Windows Shortcuts
For those of us who use Windows, here are a few tips for keyboard shortcuts to make our lives a little easier. My favorite — view two windows side-by-side for comparison. This can be used not only for browser windows, but also documents, email or whatever you have open in a window.

  • While pressing the Windows logo key, click the Right Arrow key or the Left Arrow key and your browser will slide over to one side. Select another window (such as a Word document) and use the shortcut only with the opposite arrow.
  • Worthy of mention — Zoom In, Zoom Out. This is like the Ctrl + or Ctrl - in your browser. Windows logo key + Plus Sign or Minus Sign; the Plus Sign key (+) zooms you in, the Minus Sign key (-) zooms you out. This lets you see small text on a Web page or allows you to check out the pixels in a photo. [October 2014]

NYC Open Data
This is both a source of serious data about New York City and a way to explore and have fun with that data. If you want to know almost anything from test scores at charter schools to the inspection rating of your favorite restaurant, you can probably find it here. The main page of the site offers a selection of major categories — from recreation to public safety — to search and explore. It also has some fascinating presentations below the category icons, including an interactive showing the city’s most common street trees, by borough. By clicking the link to the “official list of NYC datasets,” you can learn about the city’s Open Data Plan and search all of the available datasets for any term (try “restaurant” to check out the restaurant ratings). [November 2014]

Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a nonprofit organization engaged in the defense of digital civil liberties. “Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development.” (About available at https://www.eff.org/about.) [December 2014]