Please read The
Rules for the class discussion lists, before sending answers to any of these
questions to the list.
Questions 1 - 5
The following websites in Q1 - Q5 should be evaluated (briefly) according to:
(i) The hypertext and search facilities they offer; and
(ii) Whether they employ good principles of hypertext design. You should consider
the criteria suggested by Nielsen and by Chung in their articles, but you are
welcome to use your own criteria as well.
1 Evaluation - Cornell LII
The Legal Information Institute (LII)
2 Evaluation - Scale+
3 Evaluation - Gilbert + Tobin
Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers
4 Evaluation - Tasmanian legislation
5 Evaluation - Law 4 U
Law 4 U
6 Web design and commercial factors
If you were designing a web site for a law firm, would you take a different view
than Nielsen of some of the factors he discusses in his articles in mistakes in
If I have a retrieval system that creates a concordance of a set of documents
so that it records (for each word) the document in which the word occurs, the
location of the sentence in which the word occurs, and the location of each word
within the sentence, which of the following search operators (connectors) could
be created in that retrieval system?:
If the retrieval system was changed so that it no longer recorded the location
of the sentence in which the word occurs, or the location of each word within
the sentence, but instead only recorded the location of the paragraph in which
the word occurs, how would your answer change (if at all)?
- Two words within 5 words of each other.
- Two words in the same paragraph.
- Two words within fifty words of each other, whether or not they are in
the same sentence.
- A phrase consisting of three words.
- Two words in the same document.
8 Differences between search engines
Search Engine Watch's Major
Search Engines page lists and describes the top 24 web-wide search engines.
From this page (and by looking at some of the search engines), list 10 things
that differentiate some major search engines from others. Give at least one example
of a search engine that has the feature you mention.
Example: "Relevance ranking based in part on 'link popularity' or number
of sites linking to a page (eg Google)"
9 Precision, recall, and relevance ranking
One of the problems of retrieval systems was supposed to be that there was an
inverse relationship between precision and recall. What effect does the use of
relevance ranking to display search results have on this 'problem'?
Are 'precision' and 'recall' still relevant to measure the performance of systems
that use relevance ranking?
10 Integration of hypertext with text retrieval
By combining hypertext and text retrieval, what advantages can you get from
the combination that is not found in either of the technologies when used in
a 'stand alone' way?
11 Public legal information institutes
From his recent papers on the future of free access to legal information, does
Tom Bruce think there is a future for 'legal information institutes' like AustLII
and Cornell? What is it? Do you think he is correct?
12 Point-in-time legislation
Why is it important to have 'point in time' legislation, and to whom is it important?
Do you have any criticisms of how it has been implemented by the Tasmanian
government (see Tasmanian legislation)?
13 Improvements to case-law systems
Taking as a starting point how case-law is presented in AustLII and SCALEplus,
what improvements are needed? How feasible is it that these improvements will
14 Internet-wide search engines
What more do we need to know to evaluate the effectiveness of internet-wide search
engines? Is it important to legal research that we can evaluate their effectiveness?
15 Directories and search engines for law
What are the principal points of difference between AustLII's World Law and the
SOSIG Law Gateway?
Are developments like these likely to provide any significant long-term
benefits over internet-wide search engines?
16 Contributing editors
The Open Directory Project says it 'provides the opportunity for everyone to contribute'.
After examining the Law sub-directories of ODP, and ODPs editorial policies, comment
on whether this approach is working effectively for law. What alternative approaches
Are developments like ODP likely to provide any significant long-term
benefits over internet-wide search engines?
A distributed free access World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) is under
development. Some brief details are available at <http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~graham/Slides/Dublin/worldlii.html>
To what extent (if at all) would a development like this provide any
alternative to the emerging global legal publishing empires of which Lexis,
WestLaw and Kluwer are part?