"Nota Bene" means "note this well" or "take particular notice." We at the O'Quinn Law Library will be posting tips on legal research techniques and resources, developments in the world of legal information, happenings at the Law Library, and legal news reports that deserve your particular attention. We look forward to sharing our thoughts and findings and to hearing from you.

N.B: Make a note to visit "Nota Bene" regularly.

-Spencer L. Simons, former Director, O'Quinn Law Library and Associate Professor of Law



Monday, August 8, 2011

The Main Library Can Help —Useful databases available through the M.D. Anderson Library

As followers of dame Law we tend to get locked into a narrow universe of legal research sources -- Lexis, Westlaw, Hein, and perhaps a specialty source that applies to our specific area of expertise or study (e.g., Kluwer Arbitration). You would think that given how encompassing law as a subject has become that our research tools would be equally broad. They aren’t and we rarely think beyond those services we are comfortable with. One of the greatest enjoyments of being a law librarian is introducing an unfamiliar database to a student or faculty member and seeing them light up (like the veritable kid on Christmas morning) when they realize how much easier their lives will be once they begin using this new database. Invariably these databases are those that the library subscribes to through the University’s main library – the M.D. Anderson Library.

The often overlooked, but always helpful, complimentary databases Reader’s Guide and Reader’s Guide Retrospective from H.W. Wilson are guaranteed to make a researcher smile. These databases are based upon the venerable Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature. Reader’s Guide and Retrospective index articles that have appeared in general interest, special interest, and scholarly publications. Reader’s Guide Full Text has full-text articles published from 1983 to date. The Retrospective has citations to articles published from 1890 to 1982. Think about that for a moment-- these products allow you to find out what popular magazines were writing about since the 19th Century (and back to the Reagan era in full-text!). Together these indexes represent very powerful resources for historical research, and present the opportunity to see how historical issues were treated in both the scholarly and popular press. If you are a student on one of the law school’s journals, you will find these indexes very helpful in the cite-checking process.

A wealth of informational goodness is at your fingertips if you just take the opportunity to check out the databases the M.D. Anderson Library makes available to you.

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