Not a plug for Lexis Web

Tried out the (US) Lexis Web beta search engine yet? It indexes “important, legal-oriented Web content selected and validated by the LexisNexis editorial staff”, including

  • Governmental agency information (federal, state, local)
  • Informal commentary on legal issues (e.g., blogs specifically for lawyers and legal professionals)
  • General Web information about legal topics

At first it seems quite natty, with good, relevant result sets. Of course its US bias means it’s not that much use to us here, though it does index many UK blawgs.

You can filter the result set using the widgets on the left by Legal Topic, Subject, Geography, Industry, Citations, Companies, People and Keywords. Sound good? Well, it doesn’t seem to work that well in practice: eg under people, Obama, Bush and Blair seem to pop up a lot for my searches, and under Keywords, Cialis and Viagra! So more work is definitely needed there.

A complete no-no for me is that the linked pages are framed within the site.

You’ll have to check out the User Guide (PDF) to understand what’s going on.

And will it be free to use? Ominously “During the beta offer, we encourage you to use Lexis Web when you’re conducting a search for information, and all search activities will be available to you free of charge.”

7 thoughts on “Not a plug for Lexis Web

  1. This is absolutely appalling, and I will be demanding the immediate removal of our blog’s content (and I will attempt to block their indexing bots).

    Is anyone happy for them to steal our content in this way?

  2. Hmm. I’m not taking quite such an instant negative response. As fas as I can see, the current use of my material falls within the non-commercial-attribution part of the creative commons licence that NL writers have adopted.

    However, I shall be writing to Lexis US asking them to make plain their intentions for the 1.0 version of this. If it is to be a paid service, or based on advertising income (or purchase of prime position for key terms), I will point out that this will be in breach of NL’s copyright unless they obtain permission.

  3. Actually, given the prominent links to paid for and premium Lexis Nexis content at the top of each page, I’m rethinking the current position.

    I’m consulting…

  4. This framing lark is bad practice and it’s stupid – it inconveniences users as well as pissing off the content providers. But what is the law on it?

  5. Deep linking / framing is dodgy – linking to original content should be encouraged.

    I often link to useful blog and other content on my blog and insitelaw – as most bloggers do. I do this to encourage people to read blog material specifically – often much better than traditional commercial coverage.

    If any blogger wishes me to stop doing this – I will, of course, oblige – and remove all references/links etc….

    I hope bloggers, particularly, get some benefit from links we all provide at times for each other.

  6. Just had another look at Lexis beta – initial click on “Charon” (I am pleased to be indexed) throws up a page without browser control – but it is possible to override this with lexis button to go to full browser – so, I have no problem with it.

    Not much point in writing content – serious or otherwise – if no-one knows about it.

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