Friday, September 15, 2006

Online Research Guides

Of course, you can always ask a Reference librarian for research help. But, when one is not available, you can also find really useful research guides online. My favorite legal research guide resource is . At, you can find guides on specific topics, as well as guides on researching in particular jurisdictions. Use either the links on the left, or use the search for a particular topic.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Citizen Access Project

According to its Web site, the goal of the Citizen Access Project is "to allow citizens and public officials to better understand public access to local government information in all 50 states. The project uses legal research to examine the individual statutory provisions controlling open meetings and open records in the 50 states, regardless of where the provisions are found in a state's statutory compilations. In addition, the project evaluates relevant state appellate court decisions and constitutional provisions". States are rated according to the degree of openness and access they provide.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Where Psychology Meets Law

Some of the most interesting legal topics are found at the intersection of law and human behavior--jury bias, criminal profiles, the credibility of witnesses, domestic violence, false confessions, and the dynamics of negotiation, to name a few. Finding authoritative articles on law-related topics in psychology is easy with PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES, research databases provided by the Axinn Library to all Hofstra students. Both are products of the American Psychological Association (APA). PsycINFO is broader in scope, offering over 2 million article summaries and citations with international coverage, from 1887 to the present. Search results are linked through Hofstra Libraries' “Journal Finder” feature to full-text databases and to print journal information for quick access to the complete articles. PsycARTICLES provides full-text PDF articles from 57 American Psychological Association and allied journals, with coverage from 1985 to the present. Links to both databases are found on the Axinn Library “Research Databases” page.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

21st Century Library Workshop

Crossing Borders: Basics of International legal research: So many issues and activities are global in scope with international legal components. If you are enrolled in The Use of Force & International Law, International Commercial Arbitration, International Law, Immigration, or Political Asylum, this workshop is for you. Diverse topics, but they all Cross Borders and some basic research tips on treaties and research strategy apply to all.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 19th - 11:10 to 12 noon; and
Thursday, Sept. 21st - 5:10 to 6 pm

The focus will be on basic international legal research; although "international law" is a very very big topic, there are basic resources and strategies that are applicable.

Handouts will be given.

Lower level computer lab

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Federal Register and the CFR

For an extremely thorough lesson and more than you ever thought there was to learn on the topic, see "A Research Guide to the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations" by Richard J. McKinney of the Federal Reserve Board. You will learn what they are, their history, how to find old issues, how to find them electronically and much more.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Further Thoughts on Paper Topics-JSTOR

Another source to consider when searching for a paper topic, or conducting research once you find one is JSTOR, the Scholarly Journal Archive.

The JSTOR database is an excellent resource for interdisciplinary legal scholarship. It includes journal articles in such areas as economics, finance, history, political science, sociology, and philosophy. JSTOR contains the full text of the articles from 340 scholarly paper journals. All articles are in PDF format (this is MOST excellent).

Please note that JSTOR's coverage of recent articles varies according to the "moving wall" set by each publisher. The "moving wall" represents the time period between the last issue available in JSTOR and the most recently published issue of a journal.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat