/ July 27, 2011

Tip: Using Forecite for Smarter Results

Fastcase just unveiled a brand new citation analysis tool called Forecite that helps you get even more out of your keyword searches.  Now, every time you perform a keyword search, Forecite will analyze the citation structure of the cases in your search results and suggest additional cases to you.  These suggested cases will not be in your ordinary search results because they may not contain all of your search terms.  However, they are cases that are cited frequently by other cases in your search results, and are therefore likely to be highly relevant to your research topic.

Here’s an example to help flesh out how Forecite works.

Research Topic: Desegregation and busing laws

If you were researching desegregation and busing laws, your research certainly would not be complete without considering the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).  However, if you search using those terms – desegregation and busing – Brown will not be in your search results because it does not contain either of those terms.

No need to worry though, Forecite has you covered.

When you perform this search in all jurisdictions on Fastcase, you will see a light orange colored banner at the top of your search results screen that indicates that in addition to your regular search results, Fastcase Forecite has identified additional decisions that may be relevant to your topic.  Click the arrow at the right to expand those results. Those decisions include the seminal and relevant cases  – Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) and the follow up decision, Swann v. Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971).

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