Yellow Flag Fever Sweeps the Tiny Part of the Nation That Cares About These Things

Here is some exciting news:

My master’s paper and an article-length derivation from it have been getting a lot of attention from folks in academe.

First, and most recently, the paper has won the AALL/LexisNexis Call For Papers Award in the Student Division. My new employers at the Katherine R. Everett Law Library released the news yesterday.

Second, a few weeks ago, the paper won the Dean’s Achievement Award from the School of Information and Library Science at UNC. The award “is presented annually to one information science student and one library science student who produce the highest quality masters’ papers each year.”

Here is an abstract:

This paper analyzes the accuracy with which descriptions of subsequent negative treatment are applied by an online citator system that employs a hierarchical controlled vocabulary—Shepard’s Citations—as opposed to one that does not—KeyCite. After a contextual review of the citator’s history, a framework for assessment is proposed and employed to test the hypothesis that a citator employing a hierarchical controlled vocabulary would produce more accurate descriptions. The study’s results suggest that a system making use of a hierarchical controlled vocabulary does apply descriptions of subsequent negative treatment in a marginally more accurate way. A discussion of the citator’s place in legal research follows, including the suggestion that legal research instructors and researchers themselves, namely lawyers, should reconceptualize the role citators occupy in the legal research process.