advice you can use — short and to the point — every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 technology  research  practice

A Research Tip

  • Research & Writing

This tip was inspired after answering a question from memory that I should have documented back in 2009.

As legal researchers, we find nuggets of useful information from sources that are both transparent and obscure.  Transparent because they are the logical source of the information we seek and obscure in that if we hadn’t connected with exactly the right person at the exactly right time we would not necessarily have found the information in the form or with the context that we did.

Document your sources in detail. Don’t trust that your memory will be available (or working properly) in the moment that the details about past research need to be unearthed. There is nothing wrong with a memo to file (or to your general research tips file that you share with colleagues) about how you found something.

A snippet of Ani DiFranco song lyric “Each breath is recycled from someone else’s lungs” could be rescripted for legal research this way, “Each question’s recycled at some point or another”.  Make your future work easier by documenting today’s details.

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