skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 69203 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: WHEN SHOULD ONE CONSIDER USING COMPUTER-ASSISTED LEGAL RESEARCH
Author(s): ANON
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE APPROPRIATENESS OF USING COMPUTER-ASSISTED LEGAL RESEARCH FOR PARTICULAR RESEARCH PROBLEMS IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract: ALL LEGAL RESEARCH INVOLVES CERTAIN FIXED STEPS: (1) EXTRACTING FROM THE INFORMATION IN THE RESEARCHER'S MIND THE KEY WORDS, PHRASES, AND NUMBERS WHICH CHARACTERIZE THE PROBLEM AND WHICH APPEAR IN PUBLISHED INDEXES, (2) GROUPING THE RETRIEVAL KEYS TO REDUCE THE VOLUME OF STATUTES WHICH MUST BE SCANNED, (3) RETRIEVING MATERIALS FROM THE LIBRARY AND BROWSING THROUGH THEM, (4) SEPARATING RELEVANT FROM IRRELEVANT MATERIAL, AND (5) ANALYZING THE DIFFERENT MATERIALS. A VARIETY OF HYPOTHESES MUST THEN BE CHECKED OUT. ALL RESEARCH TOOLS ARE CHARACTERIZED BY THE RETRIEVAL KEYS THAT THEY MAKE AVAILABLE, THE WAYS IN WHICH RETRIEVAL KEYS CAN BE GROUPED, AND THE MATERIALS WITHIN THE LIBRARY TO WHICH THE RETRIEVAL KEYS ARE LINKED. THE ADVANTAGE OF A DIGITAL COMPUTER AS A RESEARCH TOOL IS THAT EVERY WORD, PHRASE, OR NUMBER IN A CASE OR STATUTE CAN BE USED AS A RETRIEVAL KEY; THE COMPUTER ALSO FUNCTIONS AS AN EXCELLENT SUBSTITUTE FOR AN ANNOTATED STATUTORY COLLECTION. EVIDENTIARY DATA PLACED IN SUCH A COMPUTER CAN BE SEARCHED IN THE SAME WAY AS TEXTS OF CASES. PRATICAL LIMITS ARE IMPOSED ON COMPUTERS BY ABSENCE OF CERTAIN MATERIALS FROM DATA BASES; E.G., VERY OLD CASES, BY UNAVAILABILITY OF SOME MANUAL RESEARCH TOOLS IN MACHINE-READABLE FORM, AND BY THE COMPUTER'S INABILITY TO SUGGEST WHICH RETRIEVAL KEYS A RESEARCHER SHOULD CONSIDER. COMPUTERS ARE BEST USED FOR RESEARCH TASKS WHICH CAN BE PERFORMED QUICKLY BY COMPUTER BUT ARE TIMECONSUMING MANUALLY, FOR CASES EMPLOYING STANDARDIZED LANGUAGE, AND FOR CASES CONTAINING WORDS SUCH AS 'CONDOMINIUM.' COMPUTERS ARE ALSO USEFUL FOR CHECKING THE COMPLETENESS OF ONE'S RESEARCH. TABLES ARE SUPPLIED.
Index Term(s): Automated legal research; Computer aided operations; Information Systems and Technology; Research methods
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69203

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.