Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cheap Airfare

Whether you're flying for work (D.C. Summer Program anyone?) or recreation this summer, check out the New York Times' recent article on How to Choose an Air Travel Search Site. The article not only offers helpful tips for getting the "best" price, it offers an excellent example of how to find the "best" legal research database as well. The author's conclusion for travel sites is the very same conclusion I hope researchers reach when considering online databases: "The real solution is finding the sites that best fit your specific [] needs — all the more true for the heavily budget-conscious."

Different legal research databases and websites offer different benefits and have different drawbacks. For example, ProQuest Congressional and FDSys both offer federal legislative history, but they have different coverage dates. (You can't always get material more than a couple of decades old on FDSys.) But FDSys is free.  Similarly, Casemaker (available through the Ohio State Bar Association) offers case law research and cite checking for a fraction of the cost you'd pay for Lexis or Westlaw, but Casemaker doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of Westlaw or Lexis. That might be a perfectly reasonable tradeoff depending on what you need and what you can afford.

Confused about your legal research options? Read the New York Times article and conduct your own test, or stop by the reference desk for a quick primer from a law librarian. We're available six days a week to assist.