Target Audience: Teachers of legal research
1) Participants will be able to explain the differences in the relevance of results generated in the citator and digest functions in Lexis and Westlaw.
2) Participants will be able to create classroom demonstrations and exercises that illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of intermediated searching and purely computer-generated searching.
This program will discuss empirical research into the differences in the results obtained from database searches using primarily intermediated systems (West's headnotes and key numbers) or primarily computer-generated systems (Lexis's Topics and More Like This Headnote). The program will also examine the search results from using Shepard's and Keycite, where each system utilizes a different algorithm. The visible difference in results can be used to illustrate how variable search results are in different databases. Recommended teaching methods for using this data to assist students in understanding the benefits and limitations of computer-assisted and human-assisted searches will be shared.