More F Words

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Mar 28 01:16:22 UTC 2001

On Tue, 27 Mar 2001, Baker, John wrote:

>         It's odd to see the evident disparities between the printed books
> and the online Westlaw versions of these older cases.  The language Fred
> quotes below isn't in the Westlaw version of this case at all.  I guess it
> shows that online services may be useful search tools, but you ultimately
> have to go back to the original text.

As a former consultant to Westlaw, I should stick up for it.  Westlaw is
quite faithful to the original text, but the question is which text it's
faithful to.  Westlaw takes its texts where possible from the West
Publishing Company publication of the case.  Lexis, on the other hand,
often takes its texts from official reporters.  Each database can have
material lacking from the other where the source reporter has material
lacking in the other printed version.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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