Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Case Closed: Shutdown Limits Legal Research Options

October 1 typically marks the beginning of a new federal fiscal year.  This year, however, it marks the beginning of a federal government shutdown.  Many websites offer lists of impacts in light of the shutdown (see the Washington Post, for example). 

The shutdown is already affecting legal research.  The website of the Library of Congress are not accessible, except for legislative information on Thomas.gov and its successor site congress.gov.  Researchers cannot access the research guides, digital collections, or the library catalog, for example, removing a free, authoritative information source from their repertories. 

This internet glitch underscores potential instabilities in the world of online research.  One more reason to learn a bit about print research!  As we have discussed before, print still matters!