AM08 2008 START Conference Manager    

Legal discovery: Does domain expertise matter?

Efthimis Efthimiadis and Mary Hotchkiss

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


The study investigates whether legal expertise matters to find more relevant documents during the discovery phase of a request for information.

The sixteen study participants are all graduate students studying towards a Masters degree. Six groups were formed based on general search experience as well as familiarity with legal documents or litigation research. Two groups were consisted of law librarianship students and all had a JD degree as well as professional experience as lawyers, or legal search professionals. Four groups were all first year MLIS students without much legal search experience.

The groups searched three topics using the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (LTDL) and the Tobacco Documents Online (TDO) databases. The search results from each group were evaluated by individual query as well as averaged over all queries. Differences between groups and the whether domain knowledge matters are reported.

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