September 24, 2010
What Can Be Done to Lessen the Anxiety that Legal Researchers Suffer During the Research Process?
Ted Tjaden is soliciting comments on this topic in his Reducing Research Anxiety in the Legal Research Process on Slaw. He writes
I have several hypotheses I would want to test through further study:
1) Hypothesis #1: Legal researchers suffer less anxiety at the initiation stage of their research if they consult a trained law librarian to discuss the issue and identify a research strategy, including recommended sources.
2) Hypothesis #2: Follow-up and easy access in person and by email/phone to a law librarian will reduce anxiety in the legal research process.
3) Hypothesis #3: The use of legal research checklists will reduce legal research anxiety and improve the quality of research.
I also have several questions, the answers to which remain uncertain to me:
1) Do generational or age differences affect the level of research anxiety? (i.e., do millenials react differently to research anxiety than baby boomers? Does their anxiety differ depending on whether print or online resources are being used?).
2) How do you best test the effectiveness of using print versus using online resources? How do you measure the effectiveness of online user interface design?
3) What resources do legal researchers prefer using and why?
4) What factors inhibit legal researchers from seeking help? What are the greatest challenges researchers perceive? (e.g., lack of time, cost of resources, lack of knowledge of the law or research techniques, etc.).
See also Tjaden's selected bibliography for further study of the information-seeking behaviors of lawyers. [JH]
I think even in the process we've sometimes made the material and the strategies seem more complicated and dense than they really are. It is very important in the beginning to use the KISS method.
Posted by: Billie Jo Kaufman | Sep 25, 2010 3:50:25 AM
Also, is at least a bit of anxiety a helpful thing? Too much complacency is never a good thing in research...
Posted by: Jill Smith | Sep 24, 2010 6:15:13 AM