HeinOnline has rolled out several improvements to its interface and libraries in the past few months and has an exciting upgrade in the works. The popular database has a new interface designed to provide improved subject categories for publications, advanced searching capabilities, and improved site navigation. As of August 2015, Hein expanded the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals to include 30 years of indexing and linking to articles contained in the HeinOnline database. And in response to subscriber feedback, Hein has announced they have a plan in place to index all Session Laws at the chapter or act level in the Session Laws Library. Texas Session Laws for the years 2005-2013 have already been completed as part of the first seven states to be indexed in this ongoing project.
A few recent announcements from Westlaw:
Goodbye Classic For All Segments:
Westlaw Classic was officially sunsetted in all segments nationwide on July 31, 2015. Westlaw Classic was discontinued in the Academic segment on July 1, 2014.
Cloud Delivery Now Available With Dropbox
WestlawNext now allows you to save your files directly into your personal or business Dropbox accounts while researching. You will find Dropbox as an option when you use the document delivery at the top of the legal document you are viewing. Dropbox is a private, cloud storage service offering free and pay subscriptions. A separate subscription is required.
West Academic Online Study Aids
Effective July 1st, the first time a student clicks on the Online Study Aids (SAS) link they will be prompted to setup a West Academic account (example below) and sign in. The account creation process is quick and easy, and a wizard will guide them through the process. This is a one-time process, and when completed, a student will use their OnePass to log into http://www.lawschool.westlaw.com and seamlessly enter the SAS homepage as they have in the past.
It’s good news that Classic is gone for all segments. When it was discontinued for Academic accounts last summer but not for professional accounts, I worried that if an extern or recent graduate was sent to a firm, for example, that was still using Classic, it would be very hard to assist them with research help.
As to the Dropbox integration, I have been using Dropbox to deliver faculty research this spring, and it is a wonderful tool. I love that is has been integrated into Westlaw’s functionality.
West Academic recently split from Thomson Reuters, which is the cause of the additional account creation. It sounds like after students create the West Academic account, it should work seamlessly with their OnePass.
Robert Ambrogi over at LawSites just reported that Fastcase has acquired Loislaw.
LoisLaw subscribers began receiving notices over the weekend informing them of the news. The letter stated that WK will sunset the Loislaw product effective Nov. 30, and that “we are collaborating with Fastcase so they can offer comparable subscription plans on the Fastcase platform, including Loislaw treatise libraries, at the same or lower prices as your current Loislaw subscription.”
Reached by phone, Fastcase CEO Ed Walters confirmed the acquisition. He said that it was an assets-only purchase that includes the Loislaw brand and domain name and that will move Loislaw’s subscribers to Fastcase. He declined to disclose the purchase price.
Wolters Kluwer … is increasingly focusing its products on the larger-firm market and on highly regulated and specialized areas of law such as corporate finance, securities, tax, banking and health. Given that focus, it no longer makes much sense for the company to spend resources on a product such as Loislaw that does not fit with its market.
Subscribers will be migrated to the Fastcase service sometime before Nov. 30, when the current Loislaw site will be shut down. Existing subscriptions will be grandfathered at their current or better prices, Walters told me.
This seems like a great move by Fastcase to improve its platform by including the substantial resources available through Loislaw — after all, Loislaw was one of the first databases geared toward small firms with a lower price tag than WEXIS.