Monday, June 29, 2015

New Research Guide to Health Law

The Goodson Law Library has recently added a brand-new research guide to Health Law. Reference Librarian Jane Bahnson, who also teaches the advanced research course Health & Medical Research for Lawyers, curated this list of primary and secondary resources on health and medical law topics.

Looking for a treatise or hornbook to explain health care-related legal concepts? Want a medical dictionary to illustrate complex terminology? Need statistics about a particular health care issue? It’s all in the guide. The "Primary Sources" section also describes and lists background and legislative history resources for nine major federal health statutes. These include the Americans with Disabilities Act (which marks its 25th anniversary next month), Medicare/Medicaid, and the recent Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, whose health care tax subsidies were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last week (see SCOTUSblog info page for King v. Burwell).

Color diagram of a human heart
Color diagram of a human heart,
which many attorneys have been
accused of not possessing.
From Attorney's Textbook of Medicine,
available on Lexis Advance.

Although some resources, such as Bloomberg BNA's Health Law Resource Center, are available only to current members of the Duke Law community, the guide also includes free Internet resources as well as books and e-books which are available to the Duke University community and library visitors.

For more assistance with locating library resources on health law topics, check out the guide’s tips for Searching the Duke Catalog or Ask a Librarian.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


The U.S. Supreme Court will close its October Term 2014 at the end of this month. With several blockbuster decisions still pending (including same-sex marriage, and the Affordable Care Act exchanges), the Court has scheduled opinion announcements at 10 a.m. each day on Thursday, Friday, and Monday.

SCOTUSblog will live-blog each announcement, and post opinions and commentary to each case page on its website. The OYEZ Project at Chicago-Kent Law School will also feature live coverage of opinion announcements.

Opinions will also be loaded to the Supreme Court's "Latest Slip Opinions" shortly after their announcement each day. Commentary and analysis of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions can also be found in United States Law Week, available via Bloomberg BNA or Bloomberg Law.

For more resources devoted to the activities of our highest court, check out the Goodson Law Library research guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, or Ask a Librarian.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tools for Language Learning

Whether you're planning a summer vacation or hoping to land a legal job abroad, it never hurts to become familiar with a foreign language. The Duke University Libraries offer access to two subscription databases for language learning, which are available to current students, faculty, and staff. Both use an audiovisual "flash card" style to reinforce lessons.

Transparent Language Learning, formerly known as Byki, has been available to the Duke community for several years. Transparent Language Learning features more than 50 foreign-language modules (from Afrikaans to Zulu) as well as English-language learning modules designed specifically for native speakers of more than two dozen languages. Lessons reinforce all four major skills required to truly learn a language: reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

Pronunciator is a newer addition to the Duke Libraries' collection. Offering 80 language choices, as well as 50 customized ESL modules, Pronunciator provides flash card instruction as well as interactive quizzes. Individual languages are broken into sub-modules such as a condensed "travel prep" lesson. Lessons may also be downloaded for offline instruction.

Both Transparent and Pronunciator require the setup of individual usernames and passwords in order to save your personal learning progress. Access both databases for the first time through the Duke University Libraries' website in order to authenticate as a valid subscriber. After your username and password has been created, you can access the sites without authenticating through Duke first. Both services also offer mobile apps to take your language learning on the go.

Not a Duke community member? Pronunciator is also available to North Carolina residents through the NC Live consortium. NC Live offers access to hundreds of subscription databases through a user's "home" public or academic library. Access Pronunciator via your library at

For help with accessing Duke databases, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Bluebook 20th Edition: What's New?

Last week, the long-awaited 20th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation hit bookshelves. While the Goodson Law Library's copies have yet to arrive, the 20th edition will replace its 2010 predecessor on Reserve after arrival and processing. Bluebook users with subscription access to the electronic version at can already view the new edition online. (Purchasers of the print edition will also receive a code for a 30-day free trial of the online version; or the book can be purchased as a bundle with online access for up to 3 years.)

In the meantime, legal researchers have already begun noting the latest rule changes. Law librarian Janelle Beitz compiled a list of differences between the 19th and 20th editions on Google Drive. The new edition clarifies rules regarding quotations within a quotation, adds sources and terms to various tables, and includes some new material in Rule 18, which governs the citation of electronic resources. Although the Bluebook continues to privilege print editions for some citations, such as the date of a statutory code volume, the new edition does allow for the use of online newspapers as a substitute for print, and no longer requires pagination.

The Bluebook has come a long way since its development in 1925, when it was a mere 28 pages long! If you'd like to track changes even further back in time, the Bluebook publishers have posted PDFs of the 1st through 15th editions on their website:
For help with legal citation questions, be sure to Ask a Librarian...although we are still waiting for our new copies, too!