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:
The Latest on Legal Research
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NTIS Launches New Site
The National Technical Information Service has released its new “One Search. One Source. One Solution” site at http://www.ntis.gov. Users will now be able to freely search a database with items from 1990 until present. Documents
with twenty pages or less can be downloaded for free, while the cost for those with more than twenty pages will be $8.95 each.
There’s a simple search from the front page (which unfortunately I could not get to work – I kept getting a “server could not reach IP address” error. However, the advanced search, at http://www.ntis.gov/search/advanced.asp, worked fine; from the advanced search you can browse by topic (from Administration & Management to Urban & Regional Technology) and/or keyword, and you can limit your results by date (from 1990, last two years, or last five years.)
Get more information on this new search service from the press release at
Thomas Plans Updates
The folks at the Thomas government site (http://thomas.loc.gov) are planning to revise some of the site’s pages in time for the 108th Congressional Session.
And you are invited to view the updates at http://thomas.loc.gov/home/c108/index.html. Of course, they will appreciate your feedback.
The pages being revised are Bill Text, Bill Summary and Status, Congressional Record and Committee Reports. The goal is to make the pages easier to use and increase readability. I opened Congressional Record and found a page
of query options.
The Congressional Record can be searched by word or phrase use exact wording or word variants. Additional options can be searched separately or used to target the keyword or phrase query. Select from the drop down list of House or Senate members, or click on a block to indicate which
Congressional section. Other options include narrowing the search by date or selecting from a list of words in the Congressional Record Index. Should you have a question, each search option title has a link to click for Help. The other
pages work similarly with various options.
Note that the searches described by these pages are not live yet; these are “dummy” pages that are more for getting feedback on the user interface.
Twenty-three new programs have been added to the online database of benefit programs at http://www.govbenefits.gov/. The new additions bring the total number on Federal programs in the database to 133, including 26 from the
Department of Health and Human Services and 24 from the Department of Agriculture.
From the site’s front page, select from the categories that apply to the person for whom you are looking benefits. Categories include An Education Professional, A Victim (of disaster, violence, etc.) and Unemployed/Looking for a Job.
From there you can go directly to a category list of programs or a set of questions that will help you more closely identify eligibility for the programs. Once you’ve answered all the questions you’ll get a list of programs for which you might qualify based on your answers to the questions. Useful
Report Shows Local Elected Officials Using E-Mail
The Pew Internet & American Life Project has partnered with the National League of Cities to release a report which finds more locally elected officials are using the Internet to communicate with constituents.
According to the report entitled “Digital Town Hall”, 2000 locally elected mayors, city council members and other officials were randomly selected to respond to the survey. Eighty-two percent said they used the Internet to communicate with citizens on a weekly or daily basis. Seventy-three percent feel the communication helps them better understand the public’s opinion and more than 50 percent feel that e-mail has strengthened their understanding of public opinion. See the whole article from FCW.com at
Search for Career Sites In Your Area
I had no idea what One-Stop Career Centers were, but then I visited http://www.careeronestop.org and became enlightened. There are several types of searches you can do here — for employment, education information, and so on — but the things I found interesting were the state gateways and the zip code lookups for Career Centers.
I couldn’t get the state gateways to work in Opera — they worked in IE fine, though. From the main page, use the dropdown menu on the right to choose a state (or Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.) You’ll get a map of the state with
career- and employment-related sites marked with small dots. Click on the Info button in the menu above the map, then click on a dot. You’ll get an address of the center and its operating hours. Click on the Detailed Info button for more
information, including parking availability.
The “Find a Local One-Stop Career Center” works fine in Opera. Put in a zip code and the site returns a list of career sites in the area. The zip code 90210 found 37 career centers. Information on the results page includes address,
phone number, and the date of the last update. From the results page you can get a map or driving directions for each center, or you can get detailed information on each center. Detailed information in this case includes public
transit access, a description of the site, and a long list of services offered divided into categories including site resources, youth services, and services for workers.
New Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography
Version 45 of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography has hit the scene. The bibliography now contains details on over 1,700 articles, books, and other sources related to scholarly electronic publishing online. It’s available in HTML and PDF format: