Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Comparing costs of WestlawNext and Westlaw Classic

Wow! Emily Marcum, at Lightfoot, Franklin, White, LLC in Birmingham, Alabama, has just published a really interesting and useful paper. I am sorry that it must be paid for, since it's behind a paywall at Taylor and Francis. It costs $37 to buy the article.  However, it's a great piece of research.   Good for you, Emily!   She compares the cost to the client of research on both platforms. Here is the abstract which appears for free at the site, and summarizes both her methods and her conclusions:

The cost to the client of Westlaw versus WestlawNext was assessed using two research methodologies. One methodology reflected realworld questions over time across categories. The other methodology had artificially generated questions broken down by category and evenly numbered across platforms. In both experiments, WestlawNext cost the client roughly double the cost of Westlaw Classic. Simplified pricing plans were cheaper for primary law and expert materials but were more expensive for other categories.
Thank you, Emily for doing the work to test out the costs.  I am sure West folks will have comments, and perhaps other folks might have other comments as well. But it is research like this, which is useful to librarians in the field and tests based on real-world research scenarios that I am so glad to see.

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