Friday, February 26, 2010

Clarification on Spectrum Article

Dear OOTJ Readers,
Betsy has an article that just came out the the AALL Spectrum, Tracking Research Scents in the Wilderness. The article may inadvertently have caused some confusion, and this blog post is meant to clarify. I mention that Westlaw modified their tabs in response to an article by Julie Jones in AALL Law Library Journal, Not Just Key Numbers and Keywords Anymore: How User Interface Design Affects Legal Research. My article came out so close in time to the WestlawNext presentations that it may mislead readers into thinking that I am referring to bigger changes than I really meant. Julie asked me to clarify, in an e-mail:

As far as I know, the only changes made in response to my paper were the additions within the tabs to links to indexes and tables of contents where available, and this may have been limited to the law school tab which bore the brunt of my criticism in my paper. Really, in the scheme of things, these were fairly minor edits. But I do know that those changes were made in response to my paper because a person at West told me that.

I think with Westlaw rolling out WLNext right at the time this article was published, and Betsy's expansive language, there may be a good deal of confusion on this issue. I absolutely do not want unwarranted credit.
So, I hope that this makes it clear that the changes to the tabs that Westlaw made in response to Julie's article were very specific, and were somewhat back in time. My efforts were last summer and spring, trying to replicate Julie's research using Massachusetts databases. Part of the point of my article, alas, is that things to KAFLOOIE! Because that's what they did. I hope you enjoy both my article and Julie's original, which I found very exciting.

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