Category Archives: Technology

Resource Review: HeinOnline, ORCID, & U.S. News Redux

by guest author Dan Brackmann

Emblems for ORCID; William S. Hein, Inc.; and U.S. News and World Report

Most of legal academia has heard by now that U.S. News is going to start publishing scholarly productivity rankings based on data imported from W.S. Hein. Previous editions of this publication have encouraged faculty members to set up HeinOnline Author Profiles and to get (and use) ORCID ID numbers. In the last few months, we have seen announcements that make it worthwhile to re-visit those topics.

ORCID is a unique identifying number for a scholar, basically a scholarship social security number. Associating this number with your scholarship helps ensure that you get credit for it

In August, Hein completed its integration with ORCID. That means Hein data on legal scholarship associated with ORCID IDs is exported to ORCID. It also means that Hein is importing data about an author’s works from ORCID!  This integration provides Hein with more data on non-journal legal scholarship by ORCID ID holders to pass on to U.S. News when the latter pulls data for its scholarly impact rankings.

Hein’s Author Profiles and ORCID were both low-hanging fruit before the integration, but now they are even better for making sure that both you and the law school get credit for your scholarship. The faculty administrative support staff can help you get them set up too.

Here is Hein’s announcement: https://home.heinonline.org/blog/2020/08/phase-ii-complete-orcid-records-appear-in-heinonline/

Here is a Wisconsin Law Blog on the topic in more detail: https://bit.ly/34fESwG

 

Resource Review: PlumX Metrics Come to Scholar Commons

by guest author Dan Brackmann

Scholar Commons is the University of South Carolina’s digital institutional repository, and many of our faculty have agreed to let us post copies of their scholarship in the law school’s portion of the repository.  Over the summer, a new tool called PlumX was integrated into Scholar Commons. PlumX was developed by Plum Analytics as an aggregation tool for impact metrics that tries to look beyond just citation counts published in journals to measure impact. Below is a snapshot of the PlumX report for our faculty publications page.

The PlumX Snapshot bar showing the five PlumX categories: Usage, Citations, Captures, Mentions, and Social Media

As you can see, among the things that PlumX tries to capture are statistics on how many times repository scholarship is mentioned on social media and if an article is cited by a policy document, both of which are impact measures often overlooked by more conventional impact metrics. PlumX also provides more detailed information for anyone wanting to drill down into the data a bit.

Here is information about PlumX metrics on Scholar Commons: https://bepress.com/reference_guide_dc/measuring-impact-plumx-metrics-digital-commons/

Moreover, authors can gain access to their “author dashboard,” allowing them to access their PlumX (and other) metrics for their articles.  To have an author dashboard you only need to have one article posted in Scholar Commons and linked to your official USC email address.

The vertical icon directory from the Scholar Commons Dashboard highlighting the third option which is the PlumX iconHere is a video telling you more about the Author Dashboard at USC: https://guides.library.sc.edu/scholarcommons/impact.  The video pre-dates PlumX, but to see your PlumX statistics, you only need to select the “plum” icon in the left-hand column as shown in the image to the left.

 

Free 5-Part Legal Research Webinar Series for Librarians

Law librarians at the University of South Carolina School of Law have presented a five-part webinar series designed to provide public librarians and academic librarians the knowledge and skills to help their patrons with basic legal research.

screenshot of https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCES4xRifDCfuNX9W6GbV01w

In partnership with the South Carolina Library Association (SCLA), law librarians recorded each webinar. The series is now available for free on SCLA’s YouTube channel.

screenshot of https://guides.law.sc.edu/CircuitRiders/UofSC Law Library’s Circuit Riders: Basic Legal Research Training guide includes additional context for the webinars.

Legal Research Series Part 1:
The Law and Legal Reference Interview
Terrye Conroy
Legal Research Series Part 2:
Secondary Sources & Topical Research Guides
Aaron Glenn
Legal Research Series Part 3:
Local, State, and Federal Codes
Eve Ross
Legal Research Series Part 4:
State and Federal Regulations
Rebekah Maxwell
Legal Research Series Part 5:
State & Federal Cases, Court Rules & Forms
Dan Brackmann

Professor Terrye Conroy pioneered the concept of law librarians training public librarians and academic librarians on legal research in order to compensate for gaps in legal information services to the public. Her work on the Circuit Riders Outreach Program began in 2007 with in-person workshops throughout the state of South Carolina, was sustained through many iterations including these five webinars in 2020, and continues in the Circuit Riders: Basic Legal Research Training guide on the UofSC Law Library website. Much gratitude goes to Professor Conroy, who retired June 30, 2020, for this tremendous legacy of education and service.

Resource Review: The (New) Library Catalog

by guest author Dan Brackmann

Recently we, along with a very large chunk of the other colleges and universities in South Carolina, made a major switch in the software that we use to manage and search our library holdings. You may think of it as our “catalog program.” This software includes a lot of new features and quirks, so this issue will be dedicated to highlighting some of them.

screenshot of Advanced Search view of the catalog (image is linked to the page shown)

Things to note include:

  • Always sign-in using your university login credentials and the light blue link in the upper-right corner. Signing-in allows you to request items (including from partner libraries), save searches, and more easily access electronic resources.

 

  • Search filters appear in a column to the left of results. The filter under Availability called “Held by Library” filters to show you only items in our print collection.

 

  • Unless you know the Library of Congress subject heading for your topic, browsing by subject is best done through the “New Search” tab in the top ribbon using keywords. Author and title browsing can be done through the “Browse” tab.

 

  • “UofSC Databases” in the top row of tabs means the databases supplied by the main campus library. Law Library-supplied databases are under “Law Databases.”

 

  • Boolean search operators must be placed in all-caps.

If you have any trouble with the new catalog, please reach out to our reference librarians for assistance. You can reach us at lawref@law.sc.edu, M-F 9AM-5PM.

If you have ideas for future Resource Reviews, please email Dan Brackmann.

Remotely Prepare for the Bar with UofSC Law Library

by guest author Melanie Griffin

Bar exam season is in full swing, but there’s no need to panic. We miss not hosting studiers in the library because it’s closed, but since South Carolina has not rescheduled its summer dates so far, we’re here online to help you find the perfect remote learning solutions for preparing.

Check out our Bar Prep library guide to start, and if you have any questions about bar prep, Alex Ruskell and the Academic Success office are set up to help you achieve!

  • Practice exams and questions: One way to study for a structured test such as the bar exam is to practice answering in its exact format. Fortunately, troves of old questions (and detailed answers) are available for free on the web. Academic publishers Quimbee, Barbri, Bar Prep Hero, and Kaplan all give you free access to practice questions (check out the Free Practice Questions for the Bar Exam tab in our Study Aids LibGuide). Both the Minnesota State Bar and the National Conference of Bar Examiners have free access to past questions and scored answers as well. Kaplan has a “start small” free access plan with a bar question of the day to ease into your studies.

 

  • Electronic study aids: Along with practice questions, UofSC law students can take advantage of several bigger-picture electronic bar exam study systems. Alex Ruskell of the Academic Success office is instrumental in helping with this. He’s given law students access to The Bar Prep TWEN bar prep web series to walk you through what to expect when taking the exam. And the 2020 Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements is now online as a PDF in the same layout as its physical study guide. In addition to its daily bar question, Kaplan gives you free access to 1L and 2L topic study guides for subjects you’d like to review from those years. Our Remote Services guide has all the details on which study guides are available in electronic form.

 

  • Financial help with prep courses: If you’re going into or are already working in public service law, Barbri offers a scholarship for its full bar exam prep package. It’s worth $1,995, and the deadline is June 15 for the summer exam. Read the application’s fine print to see if you qualify.

 

  • Specifics about South Carolina: The Course of Study on SC Law is not a suggestion but a requirement as part of your SC bar exam process. Fortunately, these eleven videos are excellent study aids as well. They discuss the details of how South Carolina law differs from regional or federal law in certain areas. They’re free, available on any computer with internet access, and you can go through them in any order you wish, as long as you correctly answer the three questions at the end of each video. Plus, the South Carolina Courts website has a section dedicated to the state bar and bar exam, which you should keep an eye on in the event that any details change for the July 2020 session.

Clean Up Your Inbox by Reducing Bulk Email

One way to clean up your inbox is to reduce your bulk email, such as newsletters and other recurring emails. Commercial email senders are required by law to give you a way to unsubscribe. 15 U.S.C. §7704(3)(a)(i). Sometimes email recipients benefit from more granular tools as well.

Gmail

In Gmail, you don’t have to look through a whole message to find the unsubscribe link buried in it. Gmail includes the “unsubscribe” link up top, next to the sender’s address. How to block or unsubscribe in Gmail.

Outlook

In Outlook, you can create a rule that automatically deletes email from particular senders. Alternatively, you may want to read certain newsletters at your leisure, but you don’t want them cluttering your inbox in the meantime. In that case, you can create a rule that sends those newsletters directly to a particular folder, not to the inbox. How to manage email with rules in Outlook.

Other Services and Confidentiality

Alternatively, various services are available that will let you unsubscribe from each commercial sender that you don’t want to receive email from, or view all your newsletters that you want to review at your leisure, in one place.

Be aware that, according to the New York Times, these services may locate data in your email about your purchasing habits, package that data, and sell it back to the companies you’re unsubscribing from, or their competitors.

Last month the Federal Register published analysis of a proposed consent agreement between the Federal Trade Commission and one such service. Unrollme Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 84 Fed. Reg. 43132 (Aug. 20, 2019).

For email accounts that are used for client communications, analyze whether it’s possible to meet a lawyer’s obligation of confidentiality while allowing an outside service to access the contents of the email account.

Malware, Big Fish, and Law School Gatherings

Q: What do malware, big fish, and law school gatherings have in common?
A: Cybersecurity.
Malware: Wolters Kluwer / CCH Outage
Wolters Kluwer Maintenance - We are currently undergoing unscheduled maintenance. Our technical teams are working as quickly as possible to restore systems. We appreciate your patience during this time.

Error message received from Wolters Kluwer

Customers of Wolters Kluwer (WK) have been notified that malware was discovered on the WK network. The law library subscribes to more than 800 searchable databases through WK, primarily in the area of tax law, and has experienced an outage in this service.

According to an email sent by WK and received by the law library this morning, WK is “in the process of scanning, testing, and restoring each service and application. . . . In short, the service interruptions you have experienced are primarily the result of [WK’s] aggressive, precautionary efforts to ensure the safety of your data. This is why at this time [WK is] confident that [they] see no indication of data loss or other effects, nor any potential risk to [their] customers’ data.”

The cybersecurity blog Krebs on Security has published and updated a post entitled What’s Behind the Wolters Kluwer Tax Outage? The law firm librarian blog Dewey B. Strategic has published several posts on the outage and the process of bringing the service back online, including Wolters Kluwer Responds …  and Wolters Kluwer … Posts Online Guide to Track Restored Features.

Big Fish: Aaron Glenn Publishes Phishing Update for SC Lawyers
BAR BYTES - Phishing Update - "A Whale of a Tale" By Aaron Glenn, JD, MLIS

Aaron Glenn’s anti-phishing article

Reference librarian Aaron Glenn has written a guest “Bar Bytes” column on page 14 in the May 2019 issue of South Carolina Lawyer magazine, entitled Phishing Update – “A Whale of a Tale.” The article’s goal is to enable lawyers and all employees of law offices to spot email messages that are designed to “trick recipients into revealing secrets and clicking on links or attached files that contain malware.”

The article is available free online. Also, the law library has several hard copies of the magazine near the circulation desk and at tables on the 3rd floor.

CYBERSECURITY - tabs Recent Books on Cybersecurity, Academic Journals, Practitioner Newsletters, Government reports, Task Forces and Institutes, How to Get These Books - book covers "The ABA Cybersecurity Handbook" and "Cybersecurity for the Home and Office"

UofSC Law Library’s cybersecurity guide – https://guides.law.sc.edu/cybersecurity

In the article, Professor Glenn encourages readers to explore the information and resources on the UofSC Law Library’s cybersecurity guide. This research guide provides curated links to recent books, articles, and more, to suit the needs of practicing lawyers or of academic legal researchers who recognize the need to learn more about cybersecurity.

Law School Gatherings: UofSCLaw Cybersecurity Institute
bookshelf containing books on cybersecurity

Cybersecurity book display at UofSC Law Library that was timed to coincide with the April 2019 Cybersecurity Institute

Highlights of South Carolina Law’s first Cybersecurity Institute appear in the newsletter Cyberinsecurity News. The first Institute was held April 4, 2019 at the School of Law in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The write-up concludes with an assurance that South Carolina Law has already begun planning for the 2020 Cybersecurity Institute, which will again provide helpful, updated insights from government and private security experts.

Pop-Up Tech Talks

Law librarian Aaron Glenn describes new features of Westlaw Edge to 1Ls Angelica Padgett and Destinee Wilson

What Are Pop-Up Tech Talks?

Tech Talks are 5-minutes-or-less quick demonstrations of tips and tricks that law students can use both now, and in practice.

The purpose of the Pop-Up Tech Talks is to provide the most relevant tech skills law students need, in as little time as possible.

Don’t Have Time?

Law librarian Eve Ross provides a handout to 1L Andrew Wood about Boolean searching with the NOT operator

There is no need to set aside a full hour or miss other great lunch-hour presentations in order to get the information from a Tech Talk. You can glean quick tips and tricks if you stop by a Tech Talk for just a minute or two.

If you don’t have even one minute, it takes no time at all to grab a handout and keep walking to your destination. You can wait to read the handout until a more convenient time. That’s why every Tech Talk takes place in a high-foot-traffic area, and includes a hard copy handout.

Missed a Tech Talk? Lost the Handout?

You can always go to law.sc.edu/techtalks to find the schedule and handouts for the Tech Talks.

Here is the list of Tech Talk topics from Spring 2019, with links to the handouts:

January 2019:
February 2019:
March 2019:
How Did Pop-Up Tech Talks Start?

Law librarian Dan Brackmann demonstrates how to save time by automating repetitive documents at a Pop-Up Tech Talk

In 2018-19, the University of South Carolina Law Library took the lead in organizing a Pop-Up Tech Talks series at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

The format was adapted from AJ Blechner’s and Heather Joy’s “Lightning Lessons,” but the topics were expanded beyond legal research to include contributors from academic technology, career services, legal writing, and pro bono.

Gary Moore of Academic Technology gave the first Tech Talk in Fall 2018, entitled “Backing Up Your Computer.” In Spring 2019, 15 more tech talks were given by eight different contributors, some in the Student Commons and some in the Perrin Family Lobby.

Legal Research Takes Off!

We’re excited for our 1Ls who are doing the research for their first open memo this week. This is how it feels when your legal research takes off!

Highlights: 2017 ABA Journal Web 100

Click the image to access the 2017 Web 100 at ABAJournal.com

As recently as last year, ABA Journal used to list the top 100 law-related blogs (also known as blawgs). Now they list 50 blogs, 25 podcasts, and 25 Twitter accounts in the ABA Journal Web 100.

We’ve selected a few of this year’s Web 100 that may be of particular interest to USC School of Law students. We include a brief note as to why students might be interested, and links to recent posts. Check out our picks from 2016, too.

Blogs

Education Law Prof Blog

Professor Derek Black is an editor.

Evidence Prof Blog

Dean Colin Miller is an editor.

Financial Panther

A millennial lawyer shares his techniques, including side hustles, for paying off significant law school loans in less than 3 years.

The Last Gen-X American

A lawyer and data scientist (Matt Leichter) analyzes data on law student debt, in a blog formerly known as the Law School Tuition Bubble.

Podcasts

Digital Edge

Sharon Nelson (a recent speaker in the Legal IT Seminar series) and Jim Calloway talk about how lawyers can best use new technology.

Law School Toolbox

This podcast and its accompanying blog provide advice on law school, bar exams, and starting out in the legal profession. The team is Lee Burgess and Alison Monaghan.

Undisclosed

Dean Colin Miller is one of three team members. First, Undisclosed looked into State v. Adnan Syed, going beyond what was covered in the Serial podcast. Later episodes delve into details of other cases.

Thanks to ABA Journal for spotlighting so much great material. Browse the complete Web 100 here.