David Watson My Favourite Tipples from a Legal Research Specialist
Jinfo Blog

Wednesday, 29th January 2014

By David Watson


David Watson is a researcher at the Information and Research Dept of Watson Farley & Williams, an international law firm specialising in international finance and investment, maritime and energy law. He shares his favourite tipples.


Working in a commercial law firm I often use publicly available resources that fill the gaps between subscription services. As truly mobile computing becomes a reality, I increasingly use cloud services, and these are now indispensable to the way I work.

  • Twitter: Twitter is undoubtedly the single information source I use the most throughout the day. I make sure to follow many interesting accounts to keep up on relevant information - for instance @tradewindsnews or @IHS4Maritime for shipping industry news, or the @londonist for interesting things to do in London.

    I also increasingly search on a term of interest and see what people are saying about it – you need to keep aware of personal bias, but I’ve found this can often lead to interesting articles and viewpoints I would not have seen otherwise.
  • Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations: Working in a commercial law firm dealing with international cases you'll often be approached to find items with citations you've never heard of - fortunately the University of Cardiff has compiled these into the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations.
  • Worldlii: Many legal resources, law reports and journals are understandably behind paywalls or often just not available online, but there are publicly available resources as well. The problem, of course, is finding these.

    This is where Worldlii comes in, a database of databases comprising many publicly available resources from many countries. Whilst by no means comprehensive, I have often found that with a bit of browsing I can find a case report or piece of relevant information for the requester.
  • Box: I had always been somewhat dubious about the need for cloud storage services - until a computer problem lost several months worth of work. Now I use Box and can save and access documents from anywhere, and if something bad should happen to one device then no work is lost.

    I also found it very useful when I was trying to transfer several dozen photos to a friend in America, a task beyond email. Simply create a Box Account, upload the photos, and then invite people to view.
  • Evernote: Another cloud solution that I am increasingly using is Evernote, which allows you to create and edit short notes – but also add attachments, pictures, sort the notes into folders, tag and comment on them and more.

    You can even tweet a "note" to your Evernote account. Great if you have an ongoing project and inspiration strikes – and I imagine would be perfect for collaborative work as well.

 An article in FreePint that I found interesting:

  • EThOS: A New Start for Doctoral Theses in the UK: Ever since my LIS dissertation on the preservation of new media and video games I have been interested in digitisation, preservation and access, and this is an aspect of librarianship that is only going to grow in prominence and importance. Also, anything that can make Theses more accessible is a great benefit.

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