Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Google Scholar Now With Legal Opinions

Some of you outside of the academia might not know what Google Scholar if you don't don't feel bad but you should. Google Scholar is one of those essential tools that could possibly help you save some time, money and numerous trips to the library. And now it might help you learn a little about the laws that affect you on a daily basis.

Google Scholar is a free service that helps users search scholarly literature such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports and starting today it allows users to find laws that govern us.

With today's announcement from Google, online users can now use Scholar to find and read full text legal opinions from U.S. federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts. Meaning you can now use a friendly Google type interface to find legal opinions by either by searching for cases (like Planned Parenthood v. Casey), or by topics (like desegregation) or other queries that you are interested in.

Google Scholar is as easy to use as the normal Google web search interface especially with the helpfulness of the "advanced search" options, which can automatically narrow search results to a specific journal or article, specific years or specific states or one of several subject matters. This is very handy for doing research projects, homework or for you geeks out there that just need to know.

The most relevant results will be listed first, in order of the authors ranking, the amount of references that are linked to it and their relevance to other scholarly literature, and the ranking of the publication that the journal appears in. No need to weed through bad pages as all the Web pages that are going to be "scholarly."

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