What’s in the Black Box?: An Inside Look at the Algorithms for Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Fastcase (I1)

Date/Time: Tuesday, July 17, 2018: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Speakers: Ed Walters, Fastcase; Susan Nevelow Mart, University of Colorado Law School Wm. A. Wise Law Library; Tito Sierra, LexisNexis Legal & Professional

Most law librarians and lawyers use legal research services, but rarely question how results are generated and ordered. Many researchers stop reading after a few pages of search results, assuming that the most germane documents will be at the top of the list. However, recent research has shown great variability in the top results among research services. This session builds on one of 2016’s most popular sessions, and will feature an inside look at the algorithms that rank results in Westlaw, Fastcase, and LexisNexis, to show why results vary, what choices determine what gets on the first page of search results, and how to teach and use these services most effectively.

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