Science, Technology, and the Law

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The NCSTL.org project is a program of the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. United States Department of Justice located at Stetson University College of Law.  It provides a single access point for information about science, technology, and legal topics. The information has been compiled by professionals in order to provide comprehensive data on a broad range of topics.  The clearinghouse provides access to books, journals, cases, dissertations, and websites, as well as various other materials that cover topics from Accident Investigation to Voice Analysis.

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Other resources that NCSTL provides include Special Collections for specific user groups, as well as Education and Training resources.

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For more information, visit the web site or contact NCSTL.org directly at:

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More information can also be located at:

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For assistance with this or any other topic, please contact the Texas Tech Law Library at (806) 742-7155 or reference.law@ttu.edu.

Flare Index to Treaties

The Flare Index is the creation of the IALS (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies) and the School of Advanced Study University of London, with support and encouragement of the FLARE Group of major UK law libraries (Cambridge, IALS, Oxford, SOAS and the British Library) among other international law collections.

The database contains significant, but select, multilateral treaties from 1352 to more recent times.  Also included are bilateral treaties from 1353 to 1815.  There are clear guidelines as to what is included and what is not included in this collection, with emphasis placed on particular select resources. Their goal is to provide “a research tool aiding scholars and students, lawyers and librarians in researching the international law of treaties – whether they are new or experienced in the field.”

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Queries and suggestions should be directed to Steven Whittle at steven.whittle@sas.ac.uk.

Databases to Help Jumpstart Your Legal Research Quest

Welcome back!  This is one of the most exciting times of the semester.  All possibilities are open and everything is new.  Soon, you will need to start researching; whether it’s for class, papers, or journal comments, the search for information will begin.  Here are some resources to help get you started on your research quest!

One of our favorite go-to databases is HeinOnline.  This database is a collection of primary and secondary legal resources.  If you are looking for current federal law, historical state statutes, federal administrative law, U.S. Supreme Court cases, and especially law journals, then HeinOnline is a great place to start your search.  One fairly unique feature of HeinOnline is that all of the material is available as PDF files.  This means that each document is a scan of the actual physical item and not just an electronic copy of the data that may differ in content and appearance from the original print copy.  It’s easy to get to from the Texas Tech University Law Library’s main web page, just scroll down to “Research and Reference” and click on “HeinOnline.”

databasesAnother resource we have to help you locate difficult-to-find government documents is ProQuest Congressional.  This database has an extensive collection of legislative histories, committee hearings, prints, reports, and bill texts and tracking.  This database is also easily located from the Texas Tech University Law Library’s main web page (see image above).

As a reminder, don’t forget that there are many interdisciplinary databases and materials available to you from the main University Library’s webpage. While the Law Library’s collection of books and materials is focused on law and legal research and is the best place to start when doing legal research, the main University Library has material covering many other topics that can help you with interdisciplinary research.

mainThe main University Library database collection includes Academic Search Complete and EBSCO.  They also have access to JSTOR, which is a collaborative collection of digitized journals and books.  If you have the name of a journal and want to know if articles from it are available, start your search in E-Journals A-Z.

The main University Library is also the place to get materials through ILL (Interlibrary Loan).  If there is something you need and we don’t have it in our collection, use “Document Delivery” and get the item sent to you from another library.  It is free of charge and easy to use.

This is just a quick peek at some of the materials that are available to you to help with your research projects. As always, if you need help with your research, ask a librarian!  It’s what we’re here to do.

If you’re a student, contact Alyson Drake (alyson.drake@ttu.edu) with questions. If you’re a faculty member, contact Jamie Baker (jamie.baker@ttu.edu) or your faculty liaison for assistance.

During regular business hours, there is also an on-call librarian who can help. Stop by the Circulation Desk to ask for the on-call librarian.

Legislative Insight Featured Spotlight: Legislative Process

This is the second post in a three-part series spotlighting Legislative Insight database features. For this post, we’re looking at the “Legislative Process” tab, available off the menu bar (shown below).

Leg Proc 3.1The legislative process is broken down into seven steps:

  1. A bill is drafted and introduced (either through the House or Senate)
  2. A bill is referred to a committee and subject to hearings and markup
  3. A committee votes to report a bill
  4. A bill goes to the floor
  5. The bill goes to conference
  6. The bill goes to the president to sign or veto
  7. The enacted law is printed and codified

Each step is explained in detail by clicking the orange information tab (shown below). In the example below, the Legislative Process page breaks down the intricacies of when a bill is referred to a committee.

Leg Proc 3.3 The Legislative Process page on Legislative Insight demystifies the law making process by providing a step-by-step guide in simplified language.

Access to ProQuest’s Legislative Insight database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

Legislative Insight Featured Spotlight: Quick Search & Search by Number

This is the final post in a three-part series spotlighting Legislative Insight database features.

Aside from the basic search bar available on the home page and the Guided Search tab (which is an extension of the basic search bar), there are two other ways to conduct a search: (1) Quick Search and (2) Search by Number.

Quick Search

Leg Insight 4.1Quick Search is fairly intuitive. You can either type in what law you’re searching, or utilize the “Popular Names of Laws List,” located directly under the search bar (shown above). In the example below, we selected the “Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987” and narrowed our search to only Hearings, under Publication Types.

Leg Insight 4.2After results populate, the left menu bar prompts the user to narrow the results even more–by subject term, start and end date, and source.

Search By Number

The Search by Number form is the quickest way to search for legislative information when you already have the–as the name implies–numbers associated with the piece of legislation. Users can search by bill number, public law number, public resolution number, statutes at large, publication number, bibliographic number, and serial set volume number (shown below).

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Access to ProQuest’s Legislative Insight database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

 

Death Penalty Worldwide

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The database was created in April 2011 by Professor Sandra Babcock, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at Cornell University Law School, in partnership with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, this resource attempts to fill the research and advocacy gaps that exist with regards to the death penalty.  Its intended audience includes judges, policymakers, scholars, lawyers, journalists, and human rights advocates.

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According to the website’s FAQ (http://www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org/faq.cfm), the database provides data such as:

  • General country information
  • Basic death penalty information
  • List of crimes punishable by the death penalty
  • Information about death penalty conditions, such as prison conditions, quality of legal representation, etc.
  • Information from international human rights organizations

DPW will NOT include certain information:

  • Descriptions of individual cases
  • A news feed on death penalty topics

 

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You can also find links to other international legal issues in this resource.  Some of these include information on extraditions to retentionist countries, how mental illness is dealt with, as well as information on juvenile offenders and women.

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The Resources section will provide even further information, such as a bibliography, news resources, international legal research guidelines, and links to death penalty organizations to name a few.

There are other resources also available on the site, such as an FAQ and even a Blog that you can subscribe to.  If you would like more information about this database, please contact:

Death Penalty Worldwide                                                               
info@deathpenaltyworldwide.org

Sandra Babcock
Clinical Professor of Law
Director, International Human Rights Clinic
Cornell University Law School
slb348@cornell.edu

Delphine Lourtau
Research Director, Death Penalty Worldwide
dml348@cornell.edu

Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL)

This digital resource is available through the Federal Depository Library Program to faculty, staff and students (and on-site library users) of Texas Tech University.  The HSDL (https://www.hsdl.org) is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

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Materials available in the HSDL include resources on policy and strategy, various special collections like CRS Reports as well as theses and research reports.  Also included are various research tools that provide users guidance to locating materials outside of the materials housed within the digital library.

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Another useful section is the Featured Topics section.  They have provided access to selected resources on various topics of current importance or of particular significance to homeland security.  These topics currently range from Border Security to Wildfires, including topics dealing with terrorism, gangs and cyber security.

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Other useful resources that are available in the Homeland Security Digital Library include an Ask a Librarian feature and the On the Homefront blog.  The Ask a Librarian function allows users to ask research questions any time of day or night, while the blog will let researchers stay up to date on current events.  There is even a calendar of upcoming events.

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Visit the Homeland Security Digital Library (https://www.hsdl.org) and explore all of the numerous resources at your disposal. Just remember that you need to be connected to the university network to have full access.