Research Tip Of The Day: Getting More Out Of Wikipedia

As much as I rail against it, Wikipedia still seems to be a mandatory stop on the Web for lots of web researchers. If you want to get more out of the massive wiki, check out this tool offered up by Lifehacker called The Full Wiki. The web app organizes the information on the page and will even help you pull cites for highlighted sections – not bad if you are thinking of citing to a Wikipedia page, as you might as well go right to the source. The app is in beta right now and has only mined a small subsection of the vast universe of articles for citation purposes. Even so, you can use some of the other tools to map and tree your topic and find other, better sources of content for your research. It is a great idea and a means of leveraging Wikipedia’s content in a more meaningful way.


Bringing Granular Search to Scholar

Cool new functionality available now in Google Scholar – you can  search within citations to an article! This is particularly helpful for sorting and sifting through the citations to particularly popular piece, like the example in the Google Scholar Blog article announcing the feature: Einstein’s famous paper Can quantum-mechanical description of physical reality be considered complete?. When you see the “Cited By ##”  in the search results in your Scholar search, click on it and you will get a new search box:

This allows you to actually search within the articles listed in the citation results so that you can get to the subsequent treatment you are looking for.

What does this mean for lawyers? After pulling up the U.S. Supreme Court Opinion in Meritor Savings Bank, FSB  v. Vinson (link here), I searched within the citations to find “same gender discrimination” and cut my list of citations from 7,258 to 30.

Take THAT, Westlaw and Lexis! Read more on this awesome research tool at the Google Scholar Blog (link here).