Friday, May 31, 2019

HeinOnline Introduces Venn Diagram Visualization

When you were introduced to searching, someone probably drew a couple of circles to show that searching for one term AND another term gives you the intersection of two sets. Now HeinOnline has introduced (in beta) a way to generate those circles (Venn diagrams) in actual searches in its databases.  Just go to Advanced Search and select Venn Diagram Search.

Suppose I'm interested in articles about potential Rule 11 sanctions for sloppy legal research. Searching for "rule 11" AND "legal research" AND shepard* AND keycite give me a list of articles (as always) but also shows me the comparative frequency of the terms in the database. "Legal research" and "rule 11" have big circles that intersect in a sliver. "Keycite" has just a little circle; "shepard*" has a bigger circle, both because Shepard's is a much older product and because "Shepard" is a fairly common name. The intersection is the result of the search.

intersecting colored circles labeled "legal research" etc. (as in text)

Just for fun I tried "star wars" AND "bob dylan" AND elvis (again, in the Law Journal  Library) and got this:

intersecting circles labeled "bob dylan" (small circle), "star wars", and "elvis"

You can use Venn Diagram Searching across all HeinOnline databases or within one. For instance, in U.S. Congressional Documents Library, I searched for obamacare and "pre-existing condition."

In the U.S. Supreme Court Library, I searched for "burger king" AND "international shoe" AND penoyer AND "personal jurisdiction" and got this nice diagram:

colored circles - largest is labeled "personal jurisdiction"

You can click any of the circles or intersections to see the documents that have those terms. 

Try this out: it's fun!

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