Tara Calishain is the co-author of Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research, 2nd Edition, and author or co-author of four other books. She is the owner of CopperSky Writing & Research.
In This Issue:
LLRXBu zz Research Tip Archives
Click here to subscribe to the weekly LLRXBuzz Email Update.
Directory of Expert Witnesses Available
Law.com has introduced its Online Expert Witness Directory. This is a free, comprehensive directory of expert witnesses nationwide. The directory provides direct e-mail access and information on each expert including curriculum vitae, specific trial experience by area of expertise or region, and related information. The directory is available at http://experts.law.com/
This page gives you two search forms — one for area of expertise and one for expert names. You can also browse one of a dozen or so categories –from accident & injury to vehicle & equipment. Browsing the “medical” category located 398 areas. This first page listed only acupuncture to blood alcohol content. I browsed to the two listings under “amnesia” and chose one of the two experts. The experts’ page provided an incredible amount of information, including name, organization, contact info, background, areas of expertise, honors, and case experience. A lot of information here.
Free Wireless Trademark Search
Mr. Trademark.com is now offering free trademark searches using the Palm Pilot VII hand held device. This service is designed to allow access to the US Patent and Trademark Office’s database of 1.3 million records. The Palm VII application can be downloaded at mrtrademark.com, panambancorp.com, and palm.com. Read the press release at http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/000504/nj_mr_trad_1.html
Easily Find Local Information Online With StateConnect
http://www.stateconnect.com is a neat twist on local information online. The home page asks you for a city and state, or a zip code. By entering a zip code at random — 22122 — I found myself looking at a Yahooesque directory for Newington, Virginia. The Yahooesque part of the directory is in the middle of the screen. There are localized headlines to the left, with a link to a weather forecast below it (it would be a little easier if the weather was on the page, but never mind) and a calendar on the right. If you’d rather browse than just plug in random zip codes, you can search by city and state, or just browse through different regions. And it’s not just metro areas, either — I found information on Hoosick Falls, New York, and China Grove, North Carolina.
Whaddawe Want? Online Library Catalogs! When Do We Want ‘Em? Now!
If you’re looking for library catalogs, look at lib-web-cats ( http://staffweb.library.vanderbilt.edu/breeding/libwebcats.html ) . This is a searchable directory of over 4,500 library catalogs. The simple search, which you can find on the front page, allows you to do either a keyword search or to search by library type (college, public, school, etc) or location. Using the keyword search to look for “Boise” found two libraries. Searching for “legal” found no results but searching for “law” found 140 results.
The advanced search allows you to do more specific searching, including searching by library affiliation and automation. Searching is a default “Boolean and” but you can change each condition to “or” or even “not.” Of course, if you want a quick shortcut to some good stuff, there’s a quick link to Association of Research Libraries members.
Want Faster No Fuss Searching? Use the Thingy
If you’re tired of slow-loading portal pages when you want to use a search engine, forget ’em and use the Daniel’s No Overhead Search Thingy. ( http://www.danielc.com/thingy.html ). The thingy is a very plain page of search engine input forms, starting with Google and ending with Apple mirrors. In addition to standard search engines like Google and Altavista, you’ll also find FedEx tracking form, phone lookup, file search, and more.
If you like the search thingy, try the Consumer Thingy. You’ll find search forms for a variety of stores, including Amazon.com and CNET Price Comparisons. And of course when you want to take a little break, try the Fun Thingy, which gives you, among other things, a search form for the Fish Finder and a little lava lamp for you to stare at. If you just can’t get enough of fast loading search forms, you may also want to check out http://libr.org/search/ .
A New Look at Northern Light
Have you been to Northern Light lately ( http://www.northernlight.com )? If you haven’t, why not go take a look? Northern Light is an anomaly among search engines. It’s never been very portal-oriented, but made its mark by providing a “pay-per-view Special Collection” of documents that one can search in conjunction with a regular Web search.
If you haven’t gone to Northern Light lately, give it a whirl. And skip the Web search. Northern Light’s good stuff includes their news search at http://www.northernlight.com/news.html , which allows you to do some thorough searching of two weeks worth of news and wire reports. There are also the special editions at http://special.northernlight.com/ , which are single-page resource roundups of various things. They seem to topically have no rhyme or reason (they cover everything from racing to Congress to Linux to electronic commerce) but they’re usually pretty well done.
And in my “I’m stunned nobody’s ripped off this idea yet” department, check out the Search Alerts at http://www.northernlight.com/docs/alerts_help_about.html. After a free registration, Northern Light will run searches for you and send you an alert whenever there are new resources. Perhaps you wouldn’t want to use something like this for a Web search, but it this search alert feature comes in really handy when used in conjunction with Northern Light’s News Search. Good stuff.