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Weekly News Digest

January 31, 2005 — 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 ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Westlaw Service Gains ‘Smart Tools’

Thomson West (http://west.thomson.com), a business of The Thomson Corp., has added "Smart Tools" to its Westlaw online research service. Smart Tools improve search results by offering synonyms and alternate spellings, suggesting a broader database search when the search result contains five or fewer documents, and detecting a variety of errors in a query. Smart Tools also recognize legal terms of art and suggest related legal terms—a feature the company says is not available on any other legal research service.

Smart Tools use artificial intelligence technology developed in-house by technologists, scientists, and attorneys solely focused on the legal industry. According to the company, Smart Tools are designed to make legal research more comprehensive, faster, and more powerful than ever before.

Westlaw already provides other "smart" features, including:

  • ResultsPlus (a proactive feature that makes it easier to get to the right answer faster by automatically suggesting additional information related to a search)
  • automatic searching of plurals and possessives
  • automatic irregular plurals (child/children)
  • automatic searching of compound words (a search for "whistle-blower" retrieves whistle-blower, whistleblower, and whistle blower)
  • automatic equivalents for common misspellings/alternate spellings (judgment/judgement)

Source: Thomson West



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