Wednesday, December 22, 2021

A Database by Any Other Name

Rebranding has been a hot trend over the last year or two. Facebook? Recently rechristened its parent corporation to Meta. Washington's football team? Officially now the…Washington Football Team. Legal research databases are no exception -- particularly at Wolters Kluwer, which has renamed several of its research products in late 2021.

First was VitalLaw (formerly known as Cheetah), which at Duke provides access to a number of Wolters Kluwer treatises on various topics, particularly in intellectual property, securities law, and tax law. Some key resources include:

  • Hazard et al, The Law of Lawyering: a core treatise on law practice and professional responsibility topics
  • Federal Securities Law Reporter: reproduces the key securities acts and collects cases, regulations, releases, no-action letters, and editorial commentary, all arranged by the act to which they relate
  • Epstein on Intellectual Property: treatise covering various aspects of IP law, including patent, trademark, and copyright.

As noted by legal blogger Bob Ambrogi, the rebranding effort also includes free public access to the top stories on legal news pages, as well as associated primary law for that story. Any user not affiliated with a subscribing institution may also access up to three "locked" stories on VitalLaw per month.

Coming soon is the Aspen Learning Library, which our students currently know better as the Wolters Kluwer Study Aids Library. This database contains nearly 200 study aids from Aspen Publishing, including the series Examples & Explanations, Glannon Guides, Emanuel Law Outlines, and more. Users may search or read online, or create an individual account that allows for offline reading and annotation. The company will also launch a new Aspen Learning Library app early in 2022. 

The Library will be working to update its references to both VitalLaw and the Aspen Learning Library on the library website and research guides. Right now, the Legal Databases & Links page has pointers under both the new and former names to help users get accustomed to the changes, and if you ever have trouble remembering what to call that resource, be sure to Ask a Librarian.