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Studying Lawyers’ Information Seeking Behaviour to Inform the Design of Digital Law Libraries

Makri, S; Blandford, A; Cox, AL; (2006) Studying Lawyers’ Information Seeking Behaviour to Inform the Design of Digital Law Libraries. UNSPECIFIED Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper, we describe our ongoing work which involves examining the information seeking behaviour of legal professionals. This work involves studying the behaviour of both academic and practicing lawyers with the long-term aim of integrating user-centred legal information seeking support into digital law libraries. We report preliminary findings from the initial phase of the study, which comprised a series of semistructured interviews and naturalistic observations of academic law students looking for information that they require for their work. This group of academic lawyers often found it difficult to find the information that they were looking for when using digital law libraries. A potential symptom of this difficulty was that hazy and incorrect knowledge of the digital library system and information sources within the system were rife. This suggests the need for students to understand more about the digital library systems that they use (within-systems knowledge). We also found that although this group of academic lawyers often used several electronic resources in a complementary fashion to conduct legal information seeking, they often chose to rely primarily on one of either the LexisNexis or Westlaw digital law library platforms. Their preference was often based upon vague or sometimes flawed rationale and suggests the need for students to appreciate the situations in which different electronic resources might be useful (between-systems knowledge).

Type:Other
Title:Studying Lawyers’ Information Seeking Behaviour to Inform the Design of Digital Law Libraries
Location:Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Dates:2006-06-15
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > UCL Interaction Centre
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Computer Science

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