Good luck with your exams

student-in-library-with-laptop

© CollegeDegrees360. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

As law exams start from today, we would like to wish you all the best. We hope you are well and well prepared for the exams. During revision time, quite a few of you asked about online resources. You know very well how to access e-books and electronic journals through Primo, but not everybody is aware of the fact that more and more publishers give us free access to their academic collections. This means that there are more law resources available online than before. This post will highlight a few notable collections:

Bloomsbury Professional

The publisher, Bloomsbury Professional, has given us free access to the following law textbooks:

  • Gretton & Steven: Property Trusts & Succession
  • MacQueen & Thomson: Contract law in Scotland
  • Thomson: Family Law in Scotland
  • Dewart & MacQueen; Studying Scots Law
  • Himsworth & O’Neill: Scotland’s Constitution Law & Practice
  • Guthrie: Social Work Law in Scotland

Please email us at lawlib@abdn.ac.uk for the link to the collection and for username and password.

Oxford Law Trove

Another important resource is Oxford Law Trove, which is Oxford University Press’s online platform for law textbooks. You can get temporary access to more than 190 titles there.

To access this collection, follow this link to the Library’s web page at:
  1. On the library page, go to the Temporary Access to Additional E-Resources section.
  2. Scroll down to Oxford Law Trove, and click on the arrow next to the title.
  3. Follow the link provided in that section to log in to the collection.
  4. On the publishers’ login page, check the left hand side of the screen under the Law Trove logo, and in the pale blue login box, click on Sign in via your Institution.
  5. On the next page, find and select University of Aberdeen.
  6. An authentication box will appear, and you will need to enter your university IT username and password to log in to Law Trove.

Within the collection:
– You can click on the Subject tab (on the top left of the screen, under the Law Trove logo) to see the different categories there,
– or, you can use the Search box in the top right corner of the screen.

Westlaw UK

Finally, do not forget that there are law textbooks available on Westlaw UK. The route to the Westlaw UK database is the same as it was: through Primo.  Once you have logged in, click on the arrow next to the Westlaw logo (on the top left corner of the screen), and select Books from the drop-down menu. On the Westlaw Books page, browse through the 336 book titles available to you.

Starting today, you will have a few days to finish your law exam questions online. If you need further help with accessing or using databases or the above mentioned collections, please contact us at lawlib@abdn.ac.uk.

Taylor Library Team 

 

Tips for new postgraduate law students

IT problems

© CollegeDegrees360. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Are you a new postgraduate law student at the University of Aberdeen?  Do you have assignments to submit?

Here are some practical advice before submission:

Good luck with your assignments.

Taylor Library Team
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

 

Understanding citations – CASES

  1. INTERPRETING CASE CITATIONS

GENERAL RULES

What does case citation mean?

Case citation is a system of referencing by which legal professionals can identify a legal case heard and decided by one of the courts in the UK.
A full case citation starts with the Case name in italics followed by the neutral citation (where available) and/or the reference for  law report series where the case was published. The citation tells you where to find the case (in paper or online) if you need it.
For cases from Scottish and English courts, the citation usually has 3 distinct parts:

  • year
  • abbreviation (for the law report series in which the case was published)
  • page number.

Parallel citations

You may see more than one citation following the party names. These are parallel citations, and refer you to the case in different law report series. You do not need to find all the law reports which published the case to read it. You should use the most authoritative citation which is the first one right after the party names. Parallel citations offer an opportunity to find a case in different law reports if the library does not have the most authoritative source.

Neutral citations (case identifiers)

The neutral citations were introduced in the UK in 2001, and in Scotland in 2005. This system means that decisions of the superior courts in both Scotland and England are issued with unique judgement numbers. So, the last number after the abbreviation is not a page number but the identifier of the case.

courts-1

ANATOMY OF A CASE CITATION

scottish-cases

english-cases

neutral-citation

*Law reports are usually cited by abbreviation rather than the full title. Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations can help you understand the meaning of abbreviations for the titles of English language legal publications.

2. TRACKING DOWN CASES ON PAPER AND ONLINE

Law reports are available on paper in Block C and Block D of the Taylor Library. They are shelved by title in alphabetical order running down the right hand side of the lower level of the Library. The current parts of law reports are on the display stand near the entrance. All law reports are for reference use only.

For electronic versions of the law reports you have to consult the legal databases (Westlaw, Lexis Library, HeinOnline). Alternatively, you might want to check Primo, our resource discovery tool, for individual law report titles. (Do a ‘title search’ instead of a search by citation.) Please note that not all years are available for all law reports.
For more information on accessing and using legal databases, please read our library guides.

3. PRINCIPAL SERIES OF LAW REPORTS

SCOTLAND (this is not a comprehensive list of resources)

  • Session Cases (SC)
  • Scots Law Times (SLT)
  • Scottish Civil Law Reports (SCLR)
  • Scottish Criminal Case Reports (SCCR)
  • Scottish Criminal Law (SCL)
  • Green’s Weekly Digest (GWD)

ENGLAND (this is not a comprehensive list of resources)

  • The Law Reports

4 subseries within The Law Reports:

Appeal Cases (AC)
Chancery Division (CH)
Family (Fam)
Queen’s Bench (QB)*

  • Weekly Law Reports (WLR)
  • All England Law Reports (All ER)

*It can be King’s Bench (KB) – it changes with the monarch.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please visit the library or email us.

Taylor Library & EDC
 lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

 

 

 

New Look Westlaw UK is live

Westlaw UK has recently undergone some major interface changes, refining many features and bringing the general look and feel in line with Westlaw International.

As before you should access Westlaw UK via Primo, our resource discovery tool. Users familiar with the previous Westlaw UK interface will have no trouble locating cases, legislation and articles etc, as the content header tabs are similarly displayed at the top of the page in the collections navigation bar. Clicking on any of the main content tabs opens up a second layer of tabs, providing in depth searching and browsing options. You can also search across all collections or browse by topic right from the home page. The Options button allows you to select specific collections to search across.

Westlaw UK new look homepage:

Westlaw UK new look homepage: The collections Navigation Bar, Options button and Browse by Topic highlighted

Cases

The Cases tab opens up to Cases Home in the second layer of tabs giving you the option to search for specific cases by Free Text, Subject/Keyword, Party Names or Citation. The next two tabs in the second layer provide browsing options, so you can browse by court or by law report series title.  The fourth tab allows you to search for Quantum Reports. This one is a new addition, stay tuned for updates.

WLaw2

Westlaw UK Cases Home page: Second layer of tabs highlighted at the top, and More Options for advanced searching

Legislation

Clicking the Legislation tab takes you to Legislation Home and allows access to a complete collection of consolidated UK, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Acts and Statutory Instruments which you can browse or search directly. Clicking More Options at the bottom of the search box enables you to search across historical and prospective legislation. The rest of the second layer of tabs provides options to browse organized lists of:

  • UK Primary & Secondary legislation
  • UK Bills & Drafts
  • Policy & Guidance
  • Latest Legislation
  • Key Legal Concepts

Journals

The Journals tab is where you can find full text UK legal journal articles from major publishers such as Sweet & Maxwell, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.  You can also link to over half a million article abstracts from UK and EU legal journals.

Within any collection search page you can open up collection-specific advanced searching facilities by clicking on More Options at the bottom of the search box. This way you can refine your search to show only the most relevant results.

Westlaw UK’s document display pages include smartly organised links to a variety of supporting materials in the menu bar to the left of the display window. To the right of the display window are various Delivery options that allow you to email, print, download, you will also find options to organize documents using the Personalisation Tools:

Personalisation Tools

At the top of the Westlaw UK interface there are some features that allow you to personalise your research experience, such as: Favourites, Folders, History and Alerts. To make the most of the personalisation tools click on User Guides in the grey footer at the bottom of Westlaw UK and click Personalisations in the menu on the left side of the page for step by step instructions.

For more information and help using the database, Westlaw UK has a comprehensive User Guides section which you can access from within Westlaw via the link in the grey footer at the bottom of the page.

Our detailed library guides on Westlaw UK will be going live on the University Website later this week. And once term starts there will be regular library workshops on how to make the most of this resource.

Law databases

Are you searching for dissertation topics? Or,  just need some legal resources? Before you begin your research and get lost in the rising sea of information, let us help you with a few useful links.

Check out what the law electronic databases can offer to you. These are excellent tools, and no matter what stage your studies are at, you can rely on them.
Please, find the mainstream legal databases and their training materials here:

Westlaw UK Westlaw logo

Westlaw International

Lexis®LibraryLexisNexis logo

HeinOnline                                                       HOL_fullcolor

 

Taylor Library Team
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

Library workshops for Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (LS551T)

We would like to remind our new LLM students that the library workshops for Critical Legal Thinking are happening next week (w/c 30th of January).

Please check which slot you have been allocated to and come along to the 2-hour workshop to sharpen your information retrieval skills!

Location: PC classrooms 1+2, Floor 2, The Sir Duncan Rice Library

pc_classroom_ul_fl2

Thomson Reuters Westlaw: the platform for US and International legal materials – main features

Thomson Reuters replaced their Westlaw International service with a more user-friendly platform which contains all material previously accessible through Westlaw International.

There are two libraries on this platform; one containing United States material, one containing international material.  You can navigate between the two libraries.

Access to Thomson Reuters Westlaw is still from Westlaw UK via Primo:

  1. Go to Primo and type Westlaw into the search box.
  2. Click on the blue link or on View Online, then log in to Westlaw UK with your university username and password.
  3. Click on the Services tab at the top of the Westlaw UK screen.
  4. Select International Materials – you will be taken to the International Materials Collection.

Search rules

You can search Thomson Reuters Westlaw in the same way as you search Westlaw UK:

  • Use AND (or &) and OR to link your search terms.
  • Enclose phrases in quotation marks “  ”.
  • Use the root expander ! to retrieve all possible endings to a root, eg. pollut! will look for pollution, pollutants, polluted.
  • Use connectors to specify the relationship between your search terms: you can ask Westlaw to look for your search terms to be in the same paragraph /p or sentence /s.  For example “environmental protection” /s regulat! will look for the phrase ‘environmental protection’ in the same sentence as regulation (or regulations or regulate).

Your searches during a session will be under History at the top right of the screen. History will display all documents opened and searches made.

US material

To access material from the US click on Thomson Reuters Westlaw at the top left or on the Home link. Use the browse option to navigate to different types of content from a number of collections.  The search option at the top of the screen searches across all collections of US material.

 

US Westlaw

For cases:

  • From the All Content menu open Cases. From there you can search for All Federal or All State Cases, search for Federal Cases by Court or Circuit, or search by State or other Jurisdictions. You can also search by Topic.
  • Open the advanced search option next to the search bar to perform a search with specific terms and/or to provide a date range, party names or citation. Notice the useful list of connectors and expanders on the right hand side.

For journals:

  • From the All content menu open Secondary Sources. From the Publication Type menu you can refine your search to Law Reviews and Journals. 
  • To better search Law Reviews and Journals click on advanced and enter your search terms in the search boxes like you do when you search Westlaw UK. For even better results, use connectors and phrase marks.

Note: Notice how the search box tab changes names depending on the collection your search is in.

International material

To search the international materials collection (includes Canada, EU, UK, Commonwealth, other jurisdictions) click on International Materials on the right hand side of the Thomson Reuters Westlaw home page.

Important links here: International Materials Index and World Journals (right hand side of screen).  Click on International Materials Index to browse individual titles and jurisdictions.

International Westlaw

For legislation and treaties:

  1. Go to the International Materials Index then click on International Legal Materials.
  2. Within the collection enter search terms in quotation marks.
  3. Search within results to narrow your search further

For all journals:

  1. Click on World Journals to see titles of all journals. This will include US.
  2. Click on a jurisdiction to see all journals listed for the country.

Document management

  • Click on the title to open a document and move around in it by using the arrows in the control panel.
  • You can change the font size, go to a specific section in the document, change the screen mode or click on the download arrow for email/print/download/send to Kindle options.
  • For more options and features and to increase your skills in using this new platform see Thomson Reuters’ own video: Introduction to Thomson Reuters Westlaw or read their user guides.

Remember to Sign Off!

If you have trouble using this database, please come and see us at the Taylor Library or contact:

Janet MacKay
T: 01224 273892
E: j.i.mackay@abdn.ac.uk

*******

Eleni Borompoka
Taylor Library

 

Maintenance: Lexis Library on Sunday 24 April

We have been advised that Lexis Library will be unavailable LexisNexis logo
between 02:00 am and approximately 10:00 am on Sunday 24 April, 2016 for maintenance.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Elaine Shallcross
e.shallcross@abdn.ac.uk

HeinOnline Introduces New Author Ranking Metric

HOL_fullcolorLook out for Author Profile Pages on HeinOnline that provide access to an author’s list of articles and ScholarCheck rankings. Metrics used to calculate an author’s overall ScholarCheck ranking include:

  • the number of times an author’s articles have been cited by other articles
  • by articles written only in the past 10 years
  • the number of times the articles have been accessed by other HeinOnline users within a rolling 12-month period.

A new metric has been added which counts the number of times an author’s articles have been cited by articles written only within the past 12-24 months. HeinOnline  believe “this new currency factor enhances the rankings by considering what’s most relevant today in addition to the other metrics, which account for quantitative author influence.”

Read more on the HeinOnline Help and Support page.

Elaine Shallcross
e.shallcross@abdn.ac.uk

 

Tip of the Day: Lexis®Library revamped

LexisNexis logo

One of the most important legal databases, Lexis®Library has recently undergone a major redesign. LexisNexis, the database provider introduced changes at the end of 2015.

With the new service enhancement, Lexis®Library has a clearer display, a more sophisticated Home Page and more intuitive search facilities. The users have the option to search across ALL subscribed legal content, including Lexis®Library and LexisPSL.

The new Academic User Guide, provided by LexisNexis could help you learn more about
the changes.
To find out more about the database, please read our updated library guides:

Staff at the Help Desk in the Taylor Library are happy to provide further assistance.

Zita Szabo
Information Assistant
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk