Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Coping with Water Damage in the Law Library

On the morning of Thursday, September 14, members of the Moritz Law Library staff came into work to discover exploded ceiling tiles and wet carpet on the third floor of the law library. The librarians, library staff, and staff from other departments in the Moritz College of Law sprang into action to identify and remove books in danger of being damaged by the water leaking from the roof.

Now and until the new roof has been tested, a small but significant portion of the law library’s physical collection will remain under plastic. Books on the third floor with call numbers between KF300 and KF3600 will be listed as “Not Available” in the library catalog. If you need a book from that part of the collection, please ask at the circulation desk.

Access to the physical collection is central to the law library’s mission. The Moritz Law Library holds the largest law library collection in the state of Ohio and one of the largest in the country, and the books in our collection are used by scholars, students, and lawyers from across the university, the state, and the country. In the 2016-17 year, 36,298 books from the law library’s collection were checked out, with 2,742 loaned to other libraries in Ohio and 1,921 loaned to libraries outside of Ohio.

The members of the Law Library administration and staff appreciate the patience and understanding of our patrons during this time, and we hope to see unrestricted access to the materials and space on the third floor restored in the very near future.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Request a Research Consultation with a Moritz Librarian

If you are writing a research paper for a seminar or a note for a law review or journal this semester, now might be a good time to schedule an in-office research consultation with a Moritz Law Library reference librarian. These individual meetings are scheduled in advance to give the librarians time to prepare useful research strategies and sources to help you get started researching your particular issue or topic.

To request a research consultation, go to http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/lib/research/request-a-research-consultation/ and fill out the online form with a description of your research project and the times you are available to meet. Reference librarians are available to meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, typically within 2-3 business days after your request is submitted. If you need research assistance sooner, please stop by the Reference Desk. Reference Desk hours and contact info can be found on the Ask a Librarian page.

Monday, September 11, 2017

BuckeyeBox and Microsoft Office: Free Software and Storage Solutions for OSU Students

Working on a group project for class? Sharing documents or images with others? All OSU students, faculty, and staff have access to BuckeyeBox, a cloud-based collaboration tool that allows users to conveniently store and share digital files. To set up a BuckeyeBox account, go to https://box.osu.edu and click on the red “Sign Up” box in the upper-right corner. Setting up the account is easy -- just enter your OSU username.# and password, which you’ll also use to log in. Files stored on your computer can be dragged and dropped into your BuckeyeBox account. Box apps are available for access from mobile devices. BuckeyeBox is designed as an easy way to share files and folders, but should not be used for restricted data. Storage space on BuckeyeBox is unlimited.

Also, as an Ohio State University student, you can install Microsoft Office 365 on your personal Mac or PC for no charge. Details are available at https://osuitsm.service-now.com/selfservice/kb_view.do?sysparm_article=kb04725.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

New Bookeye4 Scanner in Law Library

Welcome back, students! As some of you may have noticed, a new scanner now resides near the Law Library Administration Suite, next to the Congressional Record, Federal Register, and Federal Reporter. The KIC Bookeye4 scanner is designed to make copying and scanning materials fast and easy, with its automatic and adjustable book cradle, high speed processing, and clear, crisp, colorful images. Additionally, its ability to digitize and save scanned material to a USB or email makes it ideal for collecting sources for accuracy checks. The new scanner is also cost effective; printing scanned documents is only four cents per page compared to the previous copier’s rate of ten cents per page. Stop by the circulation desk for more information or assistance using the Bookeye4.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

More Free Study Aids!

The law library’s subscription to the online Wolters Kluwer Study Aids is now available to all Moritz students. To start using it, you will need to set up an account.
  • Your login info can be found on the Moritz intranet. If this doesn’t work, reach out to the library circulation or reference desks for help.
  • Once you’re logged in, you can personalize your experience (i.e., take notes, add bookmarks, and highlight text by creating an account or clicking on “To Personalize Login”)
Remember that the library also provides a collection of print study aids in the library’s reserve room and a subscription to CALI lessons, and West Academic Study Aids.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Get Answers Quickly by Chatting With a Moritz Reference Librarian

Where can I find state legislative history documents? How do I cite to an administrative decision? Get answers to research questions like these quickly and easily by chatting with a Moritz reference librarian. Just pull open your web browser and go to http://moritzlaw.osu.libguides.com/AskALibrarian to use the Moritz Law Library’s chat reference service.

Online chat services are available during normal reference desk hours, Monday through Friday, 10am-5pm. Chat reference generally works best with relatively straightforward questions. For more complicated or in-depth research questions, it is still best to visit the reference desk or request a research consultation.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Welcome Back! Changes at the Moritz Law Library

The Moritz Law Library welcomes new and returning students for the fall semester. You may notice a few changes in the library such as:
  • New chairs for the carrels on the third floor, matching the more modern chairs on the main level and mezzanine
  • Re-painted and soon-to-be re-decorated study rooms on the third floor
  • A new book and document scanner on the main level providing more convenient scanning to email or flash drive Color and double-sided options for printing in the computer lab
Contact library staff if you encounter any problems using equipment, resources, or study space. Also, note the suggestion box at the circulation desk near the library entrance. Have a great semester!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Summer and Post-Graduation Access to Bloomberg, Lexis, and Westlaw

Over the summer months, students at the Moritz College of Law can continue to access their student accounts with the three major legal research platforms (Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, and Thomson Reuters Westlaw). For graduating students, access will be extended for a limited period after graduation. However, students should be aware that each platform sets different restrictions on summer and post-graduation use.

Bloomberg does not have any restrictions on summer use and will continue to be available to graduating students for six months after graduation. Lexis also does not have an “academic use only” policy and will continue to be available to graduates until the end of the year. Westlaw permits limited use for education-related or non-commercial purposes. Graduates can continue to access Westlaw for 18 months after graduation, but must first register with Westlaw's Grad Elite Program. For more details, see the Moritz Law Library’s Research Assistant Resources Guide or ask a reference librarian.

Fastcase is another legal research option for summer or post-graduation use. Fastcase provides a quick and easy way to search federal and state cases and statutes, state constitutions, administrative opinions, regulations, law reviews, and legal forms. The Columbus Bar Association offers members free access to Fastcase, and a number of firms and solo practitioners in town use it. Moritz has an institutional account, which you can access here.

UPDATE (4/17): Westlaw's prohibition against using your student account for commercial purposes during the summer applies only to current students, not to recent Moritz grads. The Grad Elite Program allows Moritz graduates to use Westlaw for 18 months after graduation for any purpose, commercial or otherwise.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Advanced Legal Research Course Offerings for Next Year

As you are selecting your courses for the 2017-18 academic year, consider registering for a one-credit Advanced Legal Research course taught by one of the Moritz College of Law’s reference librarians. Each ALR course is focused on a specialized practice area or jurisdiction, but all will help you to further develop the legal research skills you were introduced to in your LAWI & II courses. The following courses will be taught in next year’s spring semester:
  • Business and Tax Legal Research (taught by Matt Cooper) provides an introduction to business and tax related materials as well as advanced training on finding and effectively using these materials for legal research. Topics covered include business forms, company filings and SEC research, and foreign and international business research.
  • Advanced Legal Research: Litigation and ADR (taught by Paul Gatz) focuses on finding and using materials related to litigation or ADR practice, covering formbooks, court rules, trial technique, arbitration rules and decisions, as well as research strategies and resource evaluation.
Finally, for those of you staying in Columbus over the summer, consider taking Advanced Legal Research: Ohio (taught by Stephanie Ziegler), which covers a wide variety of Ohio-specific legal resources.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Resources on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Nomination to the Supreme Court

The Republican leadership in the United States Senate hopes to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court before the Senate’s April recess. Before that happens, you can take advantage of numerous resources available online to learn more about Judge Gorsuch and the Supreme Court nomination process. The Law Library of Congress, the Georgetown Law Library, and a collaborative project among law librarians have each curated collections of Judge Gorsuch’s 10th Circuit decisions, his scholarly writings, and other materials by or about him. The website of the Senate Judiciary Committee provides access to Judge Gorsuch’s responses to the Committee Questionnaire and related documents. The Moritz Law Library’s research guide on Justice Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court, and Supreme Court Nominations provides links to all these resources and more, including a number of Congressional Research Service Reports on Judge Gorsuch and video of his confirmation hearings on C-SPAN.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Survey on Moritz Law Library and Information Technology Still Open

Thanks to the approximately 150 Moritz students so far who have completed the Moritz Law Library and Information Technology survey. The survey will remain open for one more week, closing at the end of the day on Monday, March 27th. Please complete the anonymous survey and separately enter your email address for a chance to win a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card. Gathering input through this survey is very important to Library and IT planning, helping to identify the current needs and concerns of Moritz law students. If you are a returning student who completed the survey two years ago, some of the questions have changed so please submit new responses for another chance to win the gift card.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Take a Break with Legal Fiction

As Spring Break approaches, you might like to take a break from reading cases to…read stories about cases! The Moritz Law Library has a collection of legal fiction to help you take a mental break. The newest books are in the Reserve Room, older books are in the upper floor stacks.
As well, Reference Librarian Paul Gatz recommends A Confederacy of Dunces and Wolf Hall (recently made into a TV miniseries), and Reference Librarian Stephanie Ziegler is a fan of Lisa Scottoline’s Rosato & Associates series, which includes Mistaken Identity and Accused.

Monday, February 27, 2017

New Legislation Display Outside the Law Library

As you swipe your BuckID to enter the law library, look to your left at the legislation display we’ve created. The law librarians have highlighted three legislation-related matters that affect your professional life.

The first set of panels provides a visual representation of the legislative process and some online sources you can consult for research. When a professor or supervising attorney or judge asks you to provide “the legislative history” for the Affordable Care Act, consider this display a starting point for your research. If you need a bit more help, stop by the reference desk (or call, email, or chat) for some quick tips to get your research moving in the right direction and completed accurately and efficiently.

Second, our law school community is comprised of professors who have testified before the U.S. and Ohio Congresses. Not only are they exceptional teachers and scholars, they are often on the front lines of legislative decision-making. Professors Dakota Rudesill, Stephanie Hoffer, Margot Kaminski, and Marc Spindelman are just a sampling of the faculty who have travelled to the State House or D.C. to speak in favor of or against legislation. For your own firsthand experience with the legislative process, register for the Legislation Clinic.

Finally, it should come as no surprise that Moritz College of Law alumni are remarkable leaders in all that they do, but Moritz is particularly fortunate to have a number of alumni who have gone on to serve as legislators in Ohio or to represent Ohio in Washington D.C. The display includes notables like John Bricker and William Saxbe and some less familiar names like Jolynn Boster and Mary Jo Kilroy. On your way into or out of the library, stop to read some about the ways Moritz alum have represented the people of the state of Ohio.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Law Library Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism

Whether you are writing a brief or a seminar paper, take care to avoid plagiarism. Your legal readers, from judges to fellow scholars, expect to be able to identify which words and ideas are yours and which come from others, in part to evaluate the evidence underlying your arguments.

The Moritz Law Library offers resources on identifying and avoiding plagiarism in the guide to Legal Writing and Research Success. Here are a few tips:
  • Keep track of your research. Use a research log to note useful resources, identify proper citations for each source, and trace your process.
  • Put quotation marks around quoted language as you work. It is too easy to copy and paste and forget to cite later.  
  • Do not worry about overciting. In both practical and academic legal writing, because all nonoriginal content must be credited, you will see more citation than often appears in the work of other disciplines.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Research Tip: What is “Permanent” Online?

Websites “disappear” for any number of reasons. Presidential transitions, general link rot, or site design errors can all contribute to Internet content vanishing. What’s a researcher to do? Consider whether you can find a permanent url (also referred to as a “purl”) for the website; adding them to citations is becoming an increasingly common practice for authors who cite online content. In fact, the Moritz Law Library provides access to perma.cc, a tool for creating an archived document with a permanent url. If you are reading a law review article, for example, and it links to content that seems to no longer exist, consider searching Lexis Advance, Westlaw, or HeinOnline for the source/URL to see whether another scholar used perma.cc to preserve the web page’s content. If you are curious about using perma.cc for your own scholarship, please speak with one of the law librarians.

Here is an example of the use of perma.cc (a “purl”) in a law review citation:
  • See Kathleen Short, U.S. Census Bureau, The Research Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2010, at 12 tbl.5 (2011), available at http:// www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-241.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/DU4W-8R7H (finding the supplemental poverty measures for Latinos at 28.2%, blacks at 25.4%, and whites at 14.3%).
Second, you can also use the Internet Archive to find content that is no longer available. For example, here is a document that formerly appeared on whitehouse.gov: “A Historic Commitment to Protecting the Environment and Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change.” Though now gone, the document was archived a number of times, including on January 20, 2017. Copy and paste the url in question into the search bar to see available archive dates. If you’d like to explore archived government websites, see the End of Term Web Archive.

Finally, if you’ve had your fill of the Internet’s ephemerality altogether and just want good old fashioned news (but still can’t quite take subscribing to a print newspaper), consider consulting Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, a digital archive of U.S. newspapers from 1789-1924, and the product of a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. Of particular local interest, you can consult a variety of old Ohio newspapers including The Organ of the Temperance Reform, The Toiler, or Spirit of the Times.