Dear Lyo, Conrad, and everyone else: At the risk of being peskily self-promoting, I will first beg your collective pardons, and then ask for your comments on a brief piece that I wrote for Mirela Roznovschi’s GlobaLex, wherein I attempt to bring my poorly articulated version of the very useful considerations that Lyo presents below to the scrutiny of databases that provide (or purport to provide) access to legal material from Spanish-language jurisdictions. You can find that piece here: http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Databases_Spanish-Speaking_Jurisdictions.htm#_B._Evaluation-related_Threshold_Iss In short, I agree with Conrad’s criticisms of LEXIS’ and WESTLAW’s offerings, but I am more critical of WESTLAW’s offerings because I know that they have copyright in much more useful material than they have made available online. LEXIS, at the least, does offer material from one of Henry Dahl’s English-Spanish dictionaries; a work that may not rise to meet all of Conrad’s reasonable expectations, but does, at least to me, seem to provide much better (and more context-aware) access than most competing products. But West’s inability to bring Vargas’ Mexican Law Dictionary to WESTLAW still baffles me. Apparently they (both) have better audiences to serve. Oh well. I kind of really like the vLex material (and their interface) as an alternative to LEXIS or WESTLAW, but I can’t honestly speak to their pricing structure. My guess is that at least someone from all of these vendors is on this list, but my experience has been that all vendors tend to hold pricing information rather close to the chest. To that end, we probably need someone on Int-Law to reproduce Ken Svengalis’ Legal Information Buyers’ Guide, tautly focused to the international practitioner and researcher. And I was going to put a cute little joke in here, but on third thought, I think I’ll leave that statement at that. But more seriously, to address Conrad’s excellent cost-benefit analysis question, it’s hard for me to think of something that tops GLIN. Not because it’s easier to use, and not because it provides the most access (because although they try very hard, it isn’t immediately easy to use, and it just can’t provide more access than is donated), but because it costs nothing, and is quite comprehensive given that cost. But that’s just me talking. And I know that both the little pinkie fingers of Lyo and Conrad know more about this subject than I’ve stored in vast, empty spaces of my brain. But I think these are excellent questions, and I hope these emails will spur the conversation that so many of us are clearly eager for, about databases and reference tools for providing access to the legal information of the world. Chau, dkp Dennis Kim-Prieto, J.D., M.S.L.I.S., M.F.A. Reference Librarian Rutgers School of Law -- Newark 123 Washington Street Newark, NJ 07102 (v)++973.353.3037 (f)++973.353.1574 ***************************************************** Member, Copyright Committee American Association of Law Libraries >>> Lyonette Louis-Jacques <[log in to unmask]> 2/7/2008 12:52 PM >>> There's a research article here, Coen, so I'll just point out some things I've thought of re this comparison over the years. First, agreed that LexisNexis does not equal WESTLAW (one of the many, many reasons why I had the term that has been used in discussion groups for more than a decade now and made its unfortunate way into the literature - it start with "We" and ends in "xis" - I hate seeing the term). But I digress... Here are some considerations when comparing the two databases: 1. User preference (this is huge - users might be more comfortable using Westlaw over LexisNexis and just never think to look in the other databases for FCIL materials, and even avoid the database if it has the resource they need. Users can decide they don't need the resource that badly; 2. Uniqueness of FCIL content; 3. Added value (e-mail alerts, blogs, saved searches for updating, etc.); 4. Volatility of FCIL content (foreign, comparative, and international law databases get added and removed); 5. Strength of FCIL content (is one database deeper and more comprehensive than the other in terms of foreign primary law, international tribunal decisions, treaties, and FCIL-related journals?); 6. Importance/relevance to user of database contents; 7. Alternative sources of content besides LexisNexis and WESTLAW; 8. Relative costs. And a general question as to whether or not the two databases are responsive to how today's user does international legal research. Good luck! MvG, Lyo. On Thu, 7 Feb 2008, Conrad van Laer wrote: > dear colleagues, > > Where it comes to foreign or comparative law research, IÆm in serious doubt > whether LexisNexis Total Research System or Westlaw International has to be > preferred. > > Both the LexisNexis Total Research System and Westlaw International provide > European Union cases and legislation. Apart from this, some differences may > be identified. Westlaw provides databases for fewer countries, but it seems > that the Westlaw interface is more user-friendly. Concerning Lexis, > precision and recall of search actions have been appreciated, as well as > its direct access to the full text of its e-journals. > > What is your cost-benefit-analysis? > Thanks in advance, > Conrad > > CJP van Laer PhD > Law librarian > > Maastricht University > University Library > PO Box 616 > 6200 MD Maastricht > the Netherlands > > Telephone + 31 43 3885110 > Telefax + 31 43 3884888 > e-mail [log in to unmask] > http://www.linkedin.com/pub/4/510/342 > > [log in to unmask]: Use this address for postings and replies - Email text body 'SIGNOFF int-law' to: [log in to unmask] > **DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this list are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CIESIN, its staff, or CIESIN's sponsors. > [log in to unmask]: Use this address for postings and replies - Email text body 'SIGNOFF int-law' to: [log in to unmask] **DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this list are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CIESIN, its staff, or CIESIN's sponsors. [log in to unmask]: Use this address for postings and replies - Email text body 'SIGNOFF int-law' to: [log in to unmask] **DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this list are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CIESIN, its staff, or CIESIN's sponsors.