|Weekly News Digest
July 25, 2017 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.
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Free Summer Access to Wolters Kluwer's Federal Developments Knowledge Center
Wolters Kluwer is offering free access through the summer (and possibly longer) to a beta version of its Federal Developments Knowledge Center. This web-based platform tracks and summarizes congressional bills, executive orders, and proposed and final regulations, with editors providing analysis in 14 broad areas: antitrust, banking and finance, employee benefits, government contracts, global trade, healthcare, immigration, intellectual property, labor and employment, life sciences, pension, products liability, securities, and tax. In coming months, users can expect content to be added in the areas of environment and energy. Over time, subscribers likely will see material from the publisher’s new Cybersecurity & Privacy Law Suite appear here as well.
The Federal Developments Knowledge Centerpermits browsing of each topic. In addition:
- Advanced search options include Boolean connectors, exact phrases, or synonyms (from the site thesaurus). Searches also can be limited by jurisdiction and/or date.
- Use the Smart Chart to select a practice area(s) and document type (Enacted law, Executive order, Final rule, Presidential memorandum, Proposed legislation, Proposed rule). Each result presented includes commentary provided by an editorial staff comprised primarily of lawyers. The legal analysis provided by Wolters Kluwer editors is part of the value proposition for targeted subscribers for the service: legal law firms, corporate counsel, law libraries.
- In addition to indicating the effective date/status, each synopsis highlights the most important aspects of the bill/regulation, assesses the likelihood that proposed bills/regulations will become law, and indicates the impact a law or regulation is likely to have, including the reasoning behind the assessment. A third pane on the results page offers links to the original text of the legislation/regulation as well related expert analysis (e.g., Wolters Kluwer white paper or Federal Developments News articles).
- Users can set up research folders and alerts for searches and annotate documents, even highlight sections to be shared with others, be it inside their organizations or externally, for example, to clients. The ability to share the legal analysis provided by Wolters Kluwer editors is an attractive aspect of the product for its target audience of legal professionals eager to share with co-workers and clients, though it should have wider appeal, for example, among advocacy groups eager to share these insights with “members.”
A curated daily news feed—designed to keep users updated on federal legislation, regulation, oversight, and investigation—can be browsed, searched, or provided as an RSS feed. (A curated raw feed for “breaking news” with links to primary source documents should be available by year’s end, giving subscribers an advance look at the material editors will be reviewing and analyzing in the coming days.)
Only around 5% of the about 10,000 bills proposed in each 2-year congressional session are enacted. Editors must carefully consider which bills deserve the greatest scrutiny and analysis. Wolters Kluwer plans to employ predictive analytics for proposed legislation, supplementing the judgment of editors with a numeric value to indicate likelihood that a bill will become law.
The beta site features a link to Wolters Kluwer’s Health Reform KnowlEDGE Center and other links, including to Congress.gov and the Federal Register. The publisher is interested in feedback for what else should be included in the links pane. Sign up for free access, and weigh in on links that would be helpful to you. govinfo or upcoming livestreaming committee hearings, anyone?
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