May 3, 2011
LexisNexis 2010 Connecticut General Statutes Back Online
As you may recall Chris Graesser (Legislative Librarian, Connecticut Legislative Library) reported to LexisNexis that portions of the 2010 Connecticut General Statutes were missing from the Company's online database. On April 21, 2011, Chris alerted the law library community by way of AALL lists of the problem and urged users to use caution when using Connecticut statutes on lexis.com. She wrote, "just a good lesson to not take any source for granted." (Message republished April 27, 2011 on LLB.)
After conducting a review of the data, Lexis determined that a significant data conversion error had occurred and decided to remove the 2010 version of the Connecticut General Statutes from the lexis.com databases. The Company re-loaded its 2009 version of the statutes and users had access to that version of the statutes along with legislative alert links that continued to alert researchers to affected code sections. While some Lexis users may have caught the legislative alert links, my past experience is many researchers probably did not.
When the Company decided to remove the 2010 version of the Connecticut General Statutes to fix the data conversion error, some sort of statement warning and instructing researchers on the issue, the availability of the legislative alert links, and the expected re-upload date should have been prominently displayed on the database menu and on each and every affected page. I think I still remember how to grep that. I think researchers would have understood that the Company was addressing the issue and would have appreciated the heads-up because I believe we all know that glitches happen.
Over the past week, LN has completely re-converted the 2010 Connecticut General Statutes and has finished a quality review of the content set. As of yesterday afternoon, I am told that the Connecticut statutes available on lexis.com are fully updated with 2010 legislation. Users can see that statute text has been updated by reviewing the LexisNexis' currentness line that appears on each code section: “This document is current through the 2010 legislation".
A senior LN executive put it this way to me: "To be clear, our updating of the Connecticut General Statutes this year did not meet LexisNexis standards and we are working with our production teams to ensure that this does not happen again. In the meantime, LexisNexis has had teams working around the clock to get the corrected Connecticut statutes data on lexis.com as quickly as possible. LexisNexis appreciates the feedback from Christine Graesser of the Connecticut General Assembly and from other customers who brought the issue to our attention."
To which I will add, if users of the 2010 Connecticut General Statutes spot any errors, do what Chris did -- contact the Company and give the law library community a heads-up.
To its credit LN has taken the necessary action to promptly fix the problem Chis identified. Thanks Chris. [JH]