This article discusses some of the lesser known complexities of LEXIS and WESTLAW and the necessity for evaluating these systems critically. Sample searches highlight the major differences between WESTLAW's and LEXIS's search protocols. Comparable features of each system are examined to show how users can improve the quality of their search results and to warn of unintended consequences when users misapply them. Strategies for formulating searches that retrieve relevant cases and prevent the exclusion of potentially relevant cases are considered, along with the economics of online searching. Although the searches presented are limited to Ohio case law, they are adaptable for exploring the nuances of online searching in other state and federal jurisdictions.
Randy J. Diamond,
Turning Online Time into Quality Time: Searching Ohio Case Law on LEXIS and WESTLAW, 12 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 77
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/facpubs/877