11/16/10

Westlaw's Down… Quick, What's Your Backup Plan??

Well, it doesn't happen often, but it does happen… Seems that Westlaw is down this morning. A system-wide failure that apparently effected Westlaw, WestlawNext, Saegis, Monitor Suite, Quickview and MyAccount. Hmmm… maybe the "bunker" in Eagan doesn't work as promised??

What does one do when Westlaw goes down? I imagine the first response is to log in to Lexis. So, after you call the library and ask them to re-send you your Lexis ID (and hope that in the meantime Westlaw comes back up) you jump right back into the premium research products.
Perhaps this is one of those "teachable moments" where researchers can be pointed to resources like Google Scholar, or to the state bar association's sites for Fastcase or Casemaker? Perhaps it is even a chance to show an associate how a book works?? (What?? You say you threw away those reporters because you needed to turn the shelving space into offices??) 
There's no need to waste a chance like this!! Share with us what your backup plan is when the almighty Westlaw product goes down? Please tell us it is something besides "roam the halls until it comes back up!!"



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6 comments:

Shaunna said...

I love it when I get to remind people that links to cases are in the footnotes of texts written by experts.

This little problem rippled up to Westlaw Canada too.

Anonymous said...

Other than those who called and were told it was a technical issue, did anyone from Westlaw actually contact you to let you know? Was there something listed on their website about the outage?

I haven't seen anything from West about it at all.

Sam said...

Maybe their email is down too!!

Roger said...

Several years ago (prior to Fastcase & Google Scholar legal opinions), I heard of an interview question from a major legal vendor that was something like "How would you search cases if Westlaw was down but every other online source was available?"

The technologist in me might have said "try to use core terms in Lexis" but the librarian in me would have (hopefully) said "DIGESTS!".

Sarah M said...

I had to cite check using actual books today, and I survived. However, I was unable to Keycite or Shepardize becuase I was finally able to cancel my print Shepards.

Tottie said...

The tremors spread...add Delphion to the list...also a Thomson Reuters product. Reminds me of that great scene in the movie "Airplane" when just as the disabled plane is finally over the runway, the guy in the tower pulls the plug for all the landing lights, turns to the camera, and giggles "Just kidding" and replugs the lights.

 

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