[Previous] [Next] [Up] [Title]

5.6. Other aspects of DIAL Index

5.6.1. Searching the DIAL and World Law Indexes

The index of links can be searched from a search window which appears at the bottom of each page of DIAL Index. Searches result in a display of both all of the index categories that include the search terms, and each specific link in the index that uses the search terms. Searches are over both the DIAL Index and the broader World Law Index.

Searches can be made using boolean connectors (`and', `or' and `not'), proximity connectors (eg `w/5 for `within 5 words' or `near' for `within 50 words'). Search terms may be truncated with `*' (eg `bankrupt*').

It is important to realise the limitations of these searches. The only information that can be searched from this window is (i) the titles of the categories of the index ('Law Reform', 'Telecommunications' etc); and (ii) the titles of every specific web site listed in the index, and the brief description of it included in the index. It is just a search of titles in a catalogue, nothing more. Searches of the index do not search the title of every piece of legislation found on the web sites listed in the index, nor do they search every word found in that legislation. This can only be done by DIAL Search searches.

Despite these limitations, searches over the index can be valuable. They can find incidental references in the index (including the broader World Law Index, not just the DIAL Index) to subject matter for which there is not yet any special Development Law Subject page. For example, a search for 'crim*' will find a considerable range of criminal law or criminology resources.

See the Guided Tour `Searching the DIAL Index'[128]http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/dial/tour.html#Heading18] for further details.


For example, a search over the index for entries relating to `environmen*' (for `environment', `environmental' etc, includes the following in its list of search results:


Two extracts from the results of a search of the index for `environmen*'

Each of the underlined items is a link to an index category or a resource elsewhere on the web.

5.6.2. A `multi- threaded' index - DIAL Index in the context of the World Law Index

As explained in the previous Chapter, the DIAL Index prototype has been constructed as an integral part of a broader World Law Index, the front page of which is shown below. Pages which are part of Project DIAL have a distinctive appearance, being `badged' with the Bank's logo and having a different set of `buttons' along the top of the page, so DIAL users know when they are in DIAL resources and when they are in the broader World Law Index.

The front page of AustLII's `World' index - a `multi-threaded' approach

For example, from the front page of World Law Index, a number of resources are identified as being part of Project DIAL, one is the World Courts Index Project, and the others are just parts of the general (`unbadged') World Law Index. Other project-specific threads are to be added, such as an `Indigenous Law' thread as part of the Reconciliation and Social Justice Library that are being creating as part of its work with the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.

The benefits of this are, first, that the DIAL Index resources are being created within an existing and growing international index to legal materials, where a lot of the hard work in identifying and indexing basic sources of materials has been and is being done for other purposes, and, second, that users of the DIAL Index also obtain the benefit of all the other types of legal indexes (eg to case law or to specialised subject collections) that are being created as part of this large cooperative indexing project.

The challenge is to enable DIAL index users to gain a clear sense of when they are within the specific DIAL resources, and when they have moved out into the broader index, and for there to be ease of navigation between one and the other.

See the Guided Tour `Accessing other information about a country'[129]http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/dial/tour.html#Heading11] for more information.

Example - Information about Indonesian law

As an example of the inter-relationship between the DIAL Index and the World Law Index, the example of Indonesia is typical. From the DIAL `Indonesia: Legislation' page a user may go to the general `Indonesia' page (part of the World Law Index) simply by selecting `Indonesia' from the top line of directory information.

The `Indonesia: Legislation' page in DIAL Index

The `Indonesia' page has a variety of useful links including a stored search of World Law Search (the `All Libraries' option for DIAL Search) for `Indones*' which finds 165 items, including numerous indexes to Indonesian law on the Internet.

Most country pages in the World Law Index have such a stored search for variants of the name of that country, providing a convenient way to find diverse legal information about any country.

The `Indonesia' page in World Law Index - http://www.austlii.edu.au/links/Indonesia/Legislation/



[Previous] [Next] [Up] [Title]