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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 92531 Find in a Library
Title: Survey of Computerized Information for Lawyers - LEXIS, JURIS, WESTLAW, and FLITE
Journal: Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:(1983)  Pages:295-314
Author(s): J T Soma; A R Stern
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 19
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines four currently used computer-assisted legal research (CALR) systems in terms of hardware, software, and 'user friendliness,' with a view toward each system's cost-effectiveness; suggestions are offered for an ideal CALR system.
Abstract: LEXIS became operational as a computerized legal research system in 1973, and in 1979, WESTLAW began providing full texts of searchable material instead of the headnotes-only format with which it began. Although WESTLAW provides services at a slightly lower cost, particularly with reference to its public terminal system, its product quality (in terms of data base content and the accessibility of the information in the data bases) and system friendliness are not as high as those of LEXIS. JURIS is an on-line-interactive terminal system, while FLITE has retained the batch system of operation. JURIS and FLITE are similar in searching methods and in the overall structure of their systems. The possibility of public availability of either system is presently unknown and the probability is low. JURIS has a superior query language and structure compared to either WESTLAW or LEXIS. FLITE's complexities appear to be more than offset by the competent staff that runs the system. The ideal CALR system is described in terms of hardware (need for larger and more readable video screens), query language, and system support by the supplier. Twenty-six footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Computer aided operations; Legal reference services
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