Checkpoint by RIA Featured Spotlight: Form/Line Finder

This is the second post in a four-part series spotlighting Checkpoint by RIA.

Checkpoint’s form/fine finder is a practice aid with line-by-line summaries for individual, corporate, partnership, estate, gift, trust, and exempt organization returns. It is a quick and easy-to-use resource to find information on Internal Revenue Services’ forms and lines.

To access the form/line finder, click the “Home” tab on the top bar. Under the section “My Quick Links” click the link “Form/Line Finder.” This will take you to the Form/Line Finder resource. From here, enter the tax year, the form number, and optionally you may enter a form or schedule line number or schedule.

For example, if we wanted to find Form 8863 from 2015—Education Credits for qualifying education expenses—we simply enter “2015” into the “Tax Year” field, “8863” into the “Form Number” field, and click “go.”RIA Checkpoint 4

From the search results we can see the Education Credits form. Click the result to access the resource.

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Checkpoint provides information of the education credits including “choosing which credit to take; choosing not to take either credit,” and cross-references to other Checkpoint resources.

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Access to Checkpoint by RIA database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.


Texas Statutes by Date

Have you ever needed to see how a statute read on a particular date in time?  You also probably know how difficult it can be to locate this information!  While the Law Library and fee databases have this information sometimes its useful to be able to go to the internet and check a free source, like Texas Statutes by Date.

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The Texas Constitution and Statutes site now has a feature, Statutes by Date, that allows users to see how a statute looks on a particular date; anytime from today back through 2004.

To do this go to their webpage, enter the date you’re interested in viewing in the calendar, select the code you need (code, article/chapter, and article/section) and click the “reset” button.

This is a great free resource that can be used by anyone to find those sometimes difficult to locate older statutes!




Federal Register Sources

Federal Register Sources


fedregThe Library of Congress (LC) reports that its Federal Register online collection provides access to 14,586 issues of the Federal Register, covering the years 1936-1993. The LC is not the only site to host free access to the Federal Register. FDSys (or the GPO’s Federal DFigital System) picks up the coverage of the Federal Register starting with 1994 to current. The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) is another excellent source for current or more recent issues visit their site.


The Law Library has multiple sources and formats for accessing the Federal Register including:

Law Library Holdings of the Federal Register fedreg table



Checkpoint by RIA: What is it?

This is the first post in a four-part series spotlighting Checkpoint by RIA.

Thomson Reuter’s Checkpoint by RIA is a tax research system. It includes primary sources such as the Internal Revenue Code, federal tax cases, and Internal Revenue Code rulings and releases.

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Checkpoint also provides editorial materials from RIA, including a variety of helpful resources such as form/line finder, a federal tax handbook, and annotations and explanations for the United States Tax reporter.

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Checkpoint offers current awareness materials such as WG&L Journals and the Federal Taxes Weekly Alert Newsletter.

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Finally, Checkpoint gives the user the ability to make notes, save folders, and flag pages using the icons at the top of the screen.

Access to Checkpoint by RIA database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.



Managing and Sharing Files Across Multiple Devices

These days, it’s not uncommon for one person to use two, three, or even four devices in a day for doing work, accessing the internet, reading, playing games, or whatever else. I am a rather extreme example, but over the course of a typical day, I will generally use my work PC, my Android smartphone, my iPad, and my home PC for any or all of these tasks. If I’m traveling, I may also use my laptop, or occasionally a PC at a hotel business center, a conference center, or some other device that I don’t even own. When writing, I may work on a document at work, then more at home, and then on my iPad while out for dinner. Likewise, I may download an article or case to read on my work PC, then open it on my phone to finish while I’m waiting somewhere else.

While external drives (like flash drives or pocket hard drives) can be used to transfer large files between computers, they do have limitations. They can be easily lost or fail at inopportune times. Moreover, mobile devices rarely allow for easy connection to such devices (most don’t have full-size USB ports, for example). Cloud storage services offer a solution that is generally platform-neutral, and often have basic services available for no cost to you.

Continue reading “Managing and Sharing Files Across Multiple Devices”

Statistical Insight Featured Spotlight: Lib Guide

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

From syntax searches to a source list of all agencies and organizations listed in Statistical Insight, the LibGuide is the one-stop feature for questions about Statistical Insight. The link to the LibGuide is located on the front page of Statistical Insighton the left-hand column, under “Search Types” (shown below).

statistical insight7The LibGuide comprises of five tabs: About, Searching, Search Syntax, Additional Materials, and Webinars. Under Searching, users can learn how the database’s basic search bar is not equip for full text keyword searches, rendering Boolean commands in the advanced search bar particularly useful (shown below under the Search Syntax tab).

statistical insight8Meanwhile, the Additional Materials tab contains three indexes: American Statistics Index, Statistics Reference Index, and Index to International Statistics. Each index categories are supplemented with source lists, containing the names of agencies and organizations indexed in Statistical Insight; an accession number list, referencing publication types found when searching particular agencies; and a user guide, explaining the organization of abstracts and how to maneuver through particularly voluminous statistical data (shown below).

statistical insight9Access to ProQuest’s Statistical Insight database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

Statistical Insight Featured Spotlight: Result Filters

This is the second post in a three-part series spotlighting Statistical Insight database features. Results that populate in Statistical Insight may be further filtered during the left-hand corner filter box (shown below).

statistical insight5Here, the topic “Firearms” was selected from the Statistics in the News menu bar, yielding over 1,000 results. Results may be broken down by the following:

  • Relevance and Date (most recent or least)
  • Date covered or published
  • Source, including federal, state, and international agencies
  • Countries or Regions, including Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America
  • Local area, by city or county
  • Data break down by age, sex, ethnic group, or income (among others)
  • Subject (which, using Firearms as the example, includes sentences, homicides, accidental deaths, suicides, and infant mortality).

Selecting one filter can also result in additional filter options populating. For example, using the same “Firearms” topic, after narrowing the Country to United States and then Texas, additional subject filters appear (shown below).

statistical insight6Although not exhaustive, the search filter on Statistical Insights is comprehensive.

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