Federated Searching on WestlawNext Canada


There’s a been a great new featured rolled out in WestlawNext Canada!

“Federated searching” is one of those fancy terms that I think librarians might use but isn’t necessarily clear to other people. What’s meant by federated searching is the ability to search for something across multiple platforms, instead of just one. In this case, you would be searching within WestlawNext, but it’s also searching in their ProView platform, which is where a lot of looseleaf titles are kept (and we talked about here and here). Your results will now show relevant hits from the WestlawNext database and hits from the ProView platform.

Here’s an example:

In this example, I’m running a simple search for wrongful dismissal within the same paragraph as pregnancy. I’m doing this from the homepage of WestlawNext Canada.

 

 

This brings back a results screen, where the default is to give you an overview of what WestlawNext has. You can see in the larger pane on the right hand side that your results are broken down into the categories for you to quickly glance at and get a sense of what is there, such as “Cases and Decisions” and “Canadian Encyclopedic Digest.”

 

The new category that’s been added to these search results is “eLooseleafs on ProView.” You can see that on the left side pane (and it would also be in the right side pane like above if you scroll down further). If you click on that heading in the left pane, it will bring up a full list of what hits come back from eLooseleafs on the ProView platform. If we don’t have a subscription to that title, it will say “Out of Plan” at the very far right. If we do have a subscription, however, you can click on the title and go straight to that book.

In this example, I’ve highlighted “Canadian Employment Law” by Ball, to which we do subscribe.

 

When you click through, this will open up the ProView platform, and go straight to the hits from the book that you pulled up in your search – no need to re-run the “wrongful dismissal /p pregnancy” search here.

 

We’ve been using this new feature for a couple of weeks now, and so far we really like it. Having to run a search only once is a great time saver, and this has been a nice way to bring the rich content of the ProView platform into the search results on the total separate but also very useful WestlawNext database.

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