Amicus Briefs - News from the Alexander Campbell King Law Library  
November 2009
 


In This Issue

Ann Smith memorial tree outside library annex


Collaborative Research Tools
by James Donovan

Want to share documents with co-authors or admirers? Want to have ready access to a file no matter where you are? A variety of web-based tools exist to fill those needs. These platforms externally host the file, and allow the owner to designate who can view or edit it.

Google Docs
Perhaps the easiest to start using is Google Docs, an option available to anyone who has registered with a gmail account. The user can either upload an existing file to edit, or create a new one.

The convenient feature of this type of platform is the ability to grant access to these documents to any other user, allowing them to either view or edit the document. Multiple users at the same time can work on the document, or input data into a spreadsheet, which can be very efficient for some projects. When completed, the document can be exported into either PDF or Word format files, for any finishing formatting touches. While Google Docs does allow for the insertion of footnotes – something law writing enjoys perhaps a bit too much! – this functionality is here a bit remedial.

Zoho
A more advanced suite of tools is offered by Zoho.com, also available after free registration. Drawbacks of Zoho as compared to Google Docs is that Zoho does not have an autosave feature that regularly saves the file being edited, which can prevent annoying data loss. Perhaps more frustrating is that Zoho will not share documents with non-Zoho subscribers. So if you choose this tool, make sure that everyone you might want to share with already has a Zoho account.

Despite these limitations, Zoho has many things to recommend it. It has a much better footnoting capability, and can export into a greater variety of document formats, including .docx. (Interestingly, no collaborative tools I looked at allowed exporting into WordPerfect.) While the main attraction for this approach is the group editing that it allows, Zoho does allow for offline editing as well.

Wiggio
Both Zoho and Google Docs convert a file into their own versions of word processing or spreadsheet software (Zoho even has a version of Powerpoint-like slides). If you prefer that the file stay in Word format, or any format for that matter, you may be satisfied with a service like Wiggio that uploads the file as it is without converting it. This same ability exists for UGA members through mydrive.uga.edu, but Wiggio allows sharing the file with others who can work on the file (but not simultaneously as is the case with the other platforms).

These tools only scratch the surface of what has become available in recent years. As everyone’s needs will be different, not everyone will be drawn to the same choice. Look around to find which collaborative research tool best suits your purpose.


Lunch-n-Learn: Exam Preparation
Student Services Librarian Maureen Cahill will share resources and strategies for preparing for exams.

Friday, November 6, 2009
12:30pm
Classroom B

We'll provide the pizza - you bring a beverage!

Holiday and Exam Hours

With the holidays and exams fast approaching, the Law Library's usual hours will change as follows:

Wednesday, 11/25 - closed for furlough
Thursday, 11/26 - closed for Thanksgiving holiday
Friday, 11/27 - 8am - 9pm
Saturday, 11/28 - 8am - 9pm

Extended hours apply from 11/29 - 12/15 as follows:

Saturdays & Sundays 8am - 2am
Mondays - Fridays 7am - 2am

Intersession hours will be in effect from December 16 - December 23.

The Law Library will be closed on December 24 for a furlough day.

Our hours are posted in detail at http://www.law.uga.edu/library-hours-operation

The hours for UGA's Main and Science Libraries are posted at http://www.libs.uga.edu/access_services/hours.html

The hours for the Miller Learning Center are posted at http://www.slc.uga.edu/hours/index.html


Law Dawg of the Month




The Law Dawg of the month for November is the handsome Apollo, who claims 2L Walter Moore as owner and companion.

Please keep on sending your Law Dawg submissions to aburnett@uga.edu.

Law Dawg of the Month: Apollo Moore
Crossword Puzzle
created by James Donovan

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Thanksgiving Tidbits

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