May 20, 2005
First Unpublished Opinions, Now Unpublished ALRs
Kim L. Schwant, Reference Librarian at the Indiana Supreme Court Library, discovered an oddity with the ALRs. A patron retrieved the cite 2003 ALR 5th 3 from the print index to the ALRs. Kim ended up going to Westlaw since the citation didn't make sense. The corresponding ALR entry has the following note: "This annotation has not been released for publication in ALR and is subject to revision or withdrawal."
There would be no way for the patron to retrieve this article without access to Westlaw. Why is it in the print index if it's not in the print set? There are already unpublished court decisions, but now there are apparently unpublished ALR essays.
Westlaw's Explanation: The section of the ALR we were looking at is an Electronic Annotation, or E-Annos. It is an advanced publication loaded to Westlaw prior to the annotation being officially published. The disclaimer we discussed is carried on all E-Annos and puts the reader on notice that the content may not be in its final form, may not yet be published, or may never be published. The purpose of the E-Annos is to allow the editors to load yet-to-be published ALR annotations on Westlaw. In rare cases, the advanced or unpublished ALR annotation may never be published, which appears to be the case in this instance. Other reasons for not publishing an E-Annos could be contractual, author's decision or otherwise. Unfortunately, we do not know the exact reason for not publishing an annotation.
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