Library Boy on Hiatus During Month of August
Back after Labour Day.
Legal research news from an Ottawa law librarian
It is sometimes assumed that a book that is being read on an electronic device does not need an index, as readers can use the search function instead. Although word search is a useful tool, it does not replace the index, since it fails to distinguish between irrelevant mentions of a word (e.g. “this chapter will not discuss SEARCHTERM”) and lengthy discussion of the subject (...)
There have been experiments in automated indexing, but these have not been as successful in producing indexes as those produced by humans. Human indexers are still better at understanding how readers look for information, and how the various terms used relate to each other.
A poor index (or no index at all) impedes the research process. Giving the increasing number of e-books out there, publishers may think that they can omit the index as it is no longer necessary, but, as has been mentioned above, this is not the case. The index remains a valuable tool for researchers no matter what the format of the publication.The blog on the SOQUIJ site (the public sector Société québécoise d'information juridique) noticed Tredwell's Slaw post, adding that the principles she outlines also apply to the classification plans, taxonomies or indexes of legal research databases:
"Les moteurs de recherche permettent certes de repérer tous les documents où le mot recherché est utilisé. Toutefois, un travail d’analyse, d’indexation et d’uniformisation par des juristes spécialisés garantit une recherche intelligente, qui couvre les documents où des synonymes et des concepts similaires sont utilisés et où les documents les plus pertinents sont mis en vedette."Ain't that the truth. Quality resources will always have some form of professional indexing.
"Foreclosure involves lengthy legal proceedings taken in the Court of Queen’s Bench and is governed by several statutes, including The Land Contracts (Actions) Act (the LCAA). The LCAA is consumer protection legislation intended to protect borrowers by requiring lenders to obtain leave of the court before starting foreclosure. The protection is provided as time: time to bring the mortgage up to date, refinance, or sell the property before foreclosure or judicial sale or, if that is not possible, time to find alternative accommodation. The LCAA is 70 year old legislation, having been enacted in 1943. This Final Report considers the steps required by the LCAA for non-farm land mortgages and recommends reforms to better protect borrowers in current conditions."The report looks at other Canadian jurisdictions, including B.C., Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador.
"The police-reported Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures the volume and severity of crime, declined 9% in 2013 compared with 2012. This was the 10th consecutive decline in the index. The CSI was 36% lower than 10 years earlier."
"The traditional crime rate also declined in 2013 compared with 2012, falling 8%. It continued its long-term downward trend that began in the early 1990s, reaching its lowest level since 1969. Since 1962, the traditional crime rate has measured the volume of crime, but does not take into account the severity of crimes (...)"
"Most offences were down in 2013. The decline in the CSI was specifically attributable to declines in breaking and entering and robbery. Decreases in some of the less serious but very frequent offences, such as theft of $5,000 or under and mischief, also contributed to the drop in the CSI."
"However, some offences were up in 2013. In particular, police services reported more incidents of extortion, child pornography, aggravated sexual assault (level 3), sexual violations against children and identity fraud."