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Comparative analysis of online legal information sources in Indian environment

Raj Kumar Bhardwaj (Library , Nalanda University, Rajgir, India)
Margam Madhusudhan (Department of Library and Information Science, University of Delhi, Delhi, India.)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 14 March 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the online legal information sources available in law libraries in India.

Design/methodology/approach

Evaluation method followed with the help of specially designed checklist for e-resources in the field of law in India. The structured checklist was designed keeping in view of the objectives and e-resources/databases existing in Indian libraries, comprising 189 dichotomous questions and categorized into 12 broad categories.

Findings

The study revealed that the study legal information sources are lagging behind in exploiting the full potential of Web 2.0 features. No study legal information source has integrated Web 2.0 tools with contents and provision to contribute the contents by user any time, irrespective of location, except online legal information system (OLIS). Majority of e-resources are lacking search features, general features, Web 2.0 tools, better help features and provision to contribute contents by the users. Besides this, a mobile-based view is not available in majority of sources, and open access resources are lacking user-friendly features. Of the 16 legal information resources, only five have all the four citations search parameters. The study reveals that the OLIS has the maximum features and ranked “excellent”, followed by Manupatra ranked “average”. Half of study online legal information sources are ranked “needs improvement” and 37.5 per cent ranked “below average”.

Practical implications

The findings of the study will not only guide the law librarians to subscribe/renew legal databases in their libraries but also improve the legal information literacy among the users for effective use of online legal information sources. It is hoped that the evaluation of online legal information sources will enhance the user’s awareness and increase the use.

Originality/value

The findings of the study will not only guide the legal libraries to improve their online legal information sources, particularly, better help features and integrated content with Web 2.0 tools, but also provide guidelines for newly established legal libraries in India.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This is an extended version of the paper presented at the Fourth International Conference of Asia Special Libraries (ICoASL2015), held at National Assembly Library, Seoul, Korea, April 22-24, 2015.

Citation

Bhardwaj, R.K. and Madhusudhan, M. (2016), "Comparative analysis of online legal information sources in Indian environment", New Library World, Vol. 117 No. 3/4, pp. 251-278. https://doi.org/10.1108/NLW-07-2015-0050

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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