Cardiff Index: My Candidate for AALL’s “Best New Product” Award
Nominated for the AALL “Best New Product” Award by: Jean Davis, Reference Librarian and Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations is a highly useful free database that includes 14,800 abbreviations of legal materials and 8,800 titles of legal publications. Currently, Cardiff Index focuses on English-language sources from the United Kingdom, Commonwealth jurisdictions, and the United States. This valuable database includes international and comparative law sources. Cardiff Index also provides references to some key non-English legal publications. It is exciting that the project developers, led by Dr. Peter Clinch (who spoke at our AALL annual meeting in Minneapolis), are working hard to expand coverage to include more foreign jurisdictions’ legal sources. The project developers plan to update Cardiff Index at least four times per year. In each update, the developers incorporate comments received through the e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. From e-mail correspondence with Dr. Clinch, I know that people in fifty countries have used Cardiff Index, and that the database averages 750 user requests per day.
One can search Cardiff Index either by abbreviation (to obtain a title) or by title/words in a title (to obtain an abbreviation). When preparing entries, the developers of Cardiff Index consulted the following noted manuals: Manual of Legal Citations (Part I: British Isles and Part II: The British Commonwealth); The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation; Australian Legal Citation – A Guide; and Australian Guide to Legal Citation.
I highlight this database in research classes at Brooklyn Law School—students are thrilled to have home access to a free web dictionary of legal abbreviations. If a law library catalogs internet resources, I recommend adding Cardiff Index as an entry. Cardiff Index is a unique resource. This free, evolving, global legal abbreviations dictionary deserves the AALL “Best New Product” Award.