Keeping Up With the Law: Investigating Lawyers’ Monitoring Behaviour

Ellis, S., Makri, S. & Attfield, S. (2014). Keeping Up With the Law: Investigating Lawyers’ Monitoring Behaviour. New Library World, 115(7/8),

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Abstract

Purpose - We wanted to provide an enriched understanding of how lawyers keep up-to-date with legal developments. Maintaining awareness of developments in an area (known as ‘monitoring’) is an important aspect of professional’s information work. This is particularly true for lawyers, who are expected to keep up-to-date with legal developments on an on-going basis.

Design/methodology/approach - We wanted to provide an enriched understanding of how lawyers keep up-to-date with legal developments. Maintaining awareness of developments in an area (known as ‘monitoring’) is an important aspect of professional’s information work. This is particularly true for lawyers, who are expected to keep up-to-date with legal developments on an on-going basis.

Findings - The lawyers mostly used electronic resources (particularly e-mail alerts and an electronic tool that alerted them to changes in website content), alongside interpersonal sources such as colleagues, customers and professional contacts. Printed media such as journals and newspapers were used more rarely and usually to complement electronic and person-based resources. A number of factors were found to influence choice. These included situational relevance, presentation, utility and trustworthiness, the speed of content acquisition, and interpretation facilitated by the resource.

Originality/value - Our findings enrich our understanding of lawyers’ monitoring behaviour, which has so far received little direct research attention. Our design suggestions have the potential to feed into the design of new and improvement of existing digital current awareness resources. Our findings have the potential to act as ‘success criteria’ by which these resources can be evaluated from a user-centred perspective.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/3855. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited. - See more at: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/authors/writing/author_rights.htm?PHPSESSID=03aup92jjsvp6sc0a49k30gr60#sthash.v50Yfpl8.dpuf. Article in press.
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Divisions: School of Informatics > Department of Computing
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/3855

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