December Link Roundup

GPO Makes Documents Easy to Download and Repurpose in New XML Format A press release for the U.S. Government Printing Office (“GPO”) explains that a “. . . subset of enrolled bills, public and private laws, and the Statutes at Large” are now available in “. . . Beta United States Legislative Markup (USLM) XML, a format that makes documents easier to download and repurpose.” The GPO hopes that “[t]he conversion of legacy formats into Beta USLM XML will provide a uniform set of laws for the public to download.” Documents “. . . available in the Beta USLM XML format include enrolled bills and public laws beginning with the 113th Congress (2013) and the Statutes at Large beginning with the 108th Congress (2003).”


LexisNexis Relaunches Ravel Law as Context: Analytics on Judges and Expert Witnesses With Daubert Scorecard LexisNexis has moved forward with integrating Ravel into the LexisAdvance research platform; however, it will be re-branded as Context. “The Ravel citation analysis features will live on linked to Shepard’s citation data as a feature called ‘Ravel View.'” Be aware: “[c]urrent Ravel Subscribers will get access to the Judge’s analytics from Ravel in an enhanced form on the Lexis Advance platform,” and “Ravel’s Court and Firm analytics will remain available on the platform until they are completely transitioned to LexisAdvance in 2019.”


LinkedIn Asked 2,000 People What Makes Them Happiest at Work. 1 Answer Stood Out. It seems pretty simple when you see it spelled out for you: the number one way that people find true happiness is to make time to learn on the job. Click through this article on to find out more about what satisfied employees do, and the mindset they strive for, in order to stay so content!


Nearly a century of W&M scholarship now openly accessible online William & Mary’s university libraries began “. . . its project to digitize the entire print archive of W&M master’s theses and doctoral dissertations” nearly two years ago. “Although the university’s theses and dissertations have previously been available in ProQuest’s Dissertations Theses Global database, these materials were not freely accessible.”  Over 5,000 master’s theses and dissertations, from 1920 to 2015, are now available on W&M ScholarWorks.


The Library of Congress’ Policy and Standards Division (PSD) announces the cancellation of “multiple” subdivisions “Beginning December 2018, the Library of Congress’ PSD announced the cancellation of “multiple” subdivisions from Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).” For a full list and more information, please click here.


Thomson Reuters to Layoff 3,200 Staff Through 2020, Close Offices and Eliminate Products – Which Legal Products Might Die? In the wake of a recent Thomson Reuters statement indicating that layoffs are imminent for nearly 3,200 employees, legal experts are unsure of “. . . what this means for the legal market.” Some believe that “[c]lient support could decline,” while others suggest that “[p]roducts could shrink but costs will not.” Expect this story to become more noteworthy in 2019 and 2020.


9 Ways to Improve Employee Retention With ‘Stay Interviews’ As opposed to the “exit interview” (a brief survey conducted between an individual and a company, when the individual already has one foot out the door), a “stay interview” allows a company to “. . . pick the brains of those employees that are not leaving.” These interviews help companies become aware of employee interests and challenges, and learn more about what keeps employees engaged. The author, Dom Nicastro of CMS Wire, even suggests could be used in lieu of exit interviews as “[d]ata gathered through stay interviews is highly valuable and offers companies the opportunities to recognize patterns or themes that have emerged strongly within employee experience.”


New Digital Access Partnership with the Library of Congress The Federal Depository Library Program announced that a “. . . new partnership between the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Library of Congress ensures permanent public access to born digital and digitized publications within scope of the FDLP on the Library of Congress’s websites, including and”


In UC’s battle with the world’s largest scientific publisher, the future of information is at stake The University of California system is threatening to leave the entire Reed Elsevier system when its contact expires on 12/31/2018. Even though the cost seems minimal ($11 million per calendar year for access to 1,500 journals), it’s beginning to add up – and the University is fighting with the publisher over its reluctance to embrace “open access.” The subscription-based publisher is obviously balking – so who will win the negotiation as the hourglass empties?


UC Berkeley Law Migrates to TIND ILS UC Berkeley claims that its former ILS, Sierra, “. . . felt like a tank – a specialized but rigid vehicle well suited to doing our work.” Its new ILS, TIND, “. . . is more like a Toyota – light, flexible, and more fuel efficient.” It’s web-based and facilitates quick export of lists or records to Excel. Though there are some drawbacks (lack of a browse feature), things seem to be working well thus far!


In an email from WPLLA President Melanie Cline, a reminder that AALL is “. . . accepting nominations for the Emerging Leader Award.” Selection criteria include:
The nominee must be a member in good standing of AALL
The nominee must be in his/her first 10 years of law library experience
The nominee must not have previously received an Emerging Leader Award
The nominee must have made a significant contribution to the Association and/or the profession.
The nominee must have shown outstanding promise for continuing service and leadership. Specific examples of his/her continuing activities must be provided.
The nomination deadline is February 1, 2019. 
LSAT will be administered on Microsoft Surface Go tablets in 2019 From the Law School Admission Council (“LSAC”): “[w]hen the Law School Admission Test is given digitally starting in July 2019, it will be on a Microsoft Surface Go tablet, a device known for its smaller size and adjustable kickstand.” Accessibility is an issue, but the tablet comes with built-in assistive technology. Additionally, LSAC now offers free LSAT test prep via Khan Academy. Test security is still a concern among some, and the writing portion will be administered using an online platform than the rest of the exam – but “. . . repeat LSAT takers don’t have to complete the essay each time they take the exam.”


The United States Congressional Web Archive now includes content for the 113th and 114th Congresses. In a PR statement released on December 12, 2018, the Library of Congress noted that it released an update to the U.S. Congressional Web Archive. It now includes “. . . content for the 113th and 114th Congresses.”


Evisort’s New Document Analyzer Offers Out-of-the-Box AI to Mine All A Company’s Contracts Evisort might just be the hottest legal tech and AI company you’ve never heard of.” Its main product, called Document Analyzer, is a cloud-based AI and text-mining application that helps users (usually companies) mine contracts for data. “The idea behind Evisort is to automatically turn the unstructured text of a company’s contracts into structured data useful to the company’s legal, finance and business operations.”


Library of Congress pushing digitization over next 5 years Click through and listen to an 18 minute podcast explaining how the Library of Congress is pivoting for the digital age.


Why the US Needs a National AI Strategy and What It Should Look Like Joshua New, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation argues that “[t]he United States is the global leader in developing and using artificial intelligence (AI), but it may not be for long.” The U.S. needs a “healthy ecosystem” to allow AI to flourish, but the government refuses to take proactive steps.


Melanie Cline forwarded an email from AALL, announcing the following:
The AALL Government Relations Committee (GRC) is seeking nominations for the 2019 Robert L Oakley Advocacy Award and for the Public Access to Government Information (PAGI) Award. 
Melanie Cline forwarded an email from AALL, announcing the following:
The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Excellence in Community Engagement Jury is excited to announce a brand-new addition to the existing AALL awards: the Excellence in Community Engagement (ECE) Award! 
2018’s most important legal tech stories The biggest tech news in 2018 included “. . .  Facebook’s never-ending missteps, the creation of new data privacy standards and the destruction of federal net neutrality.” Check out this round-up for more cutting-edge news.


Top 10 most-read legal news stories of 2018 The ABA Journal notes that its most popular stories of 2018 “. . . tend toward water-cooler topics.” Click through for ten juicy, attention-grabbing stories.



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