Reminder for Call for Papers

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Deadline Friday 5th October - BIALL Conference Call for Papers Reminder

Just a quick reminder that the deadline the Call for Papers is fast
approaching. Please submit your proposals by Friday 5th October.

Posted by Sally Peat at 09:32 0 comments  

Guest Blog ... From The IPKat

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

As a law librarian you might have come across the brilliant IPKat weblog which has "intellectual property news and fun for everyone".  The Kat tells us about the blog below...
Launched in June 2003 as a supplement to out-of-date London LLB and LLM Intellectual Property Law reading lists, the IPKat is now the most widely-read English language IP blog in the world. The blog’s function was simple: to draw the attention of students to recent legal cases, law reform proposals and commercial developments as viewed by a fictional cat, the IPKat. This Kat was later joined by a second fictional feline, Merpel. The two-cat team fulfilled a didactic function: while the IPKat’s comments and questions were simple and often verged on the na├»ve, Merpel’s were frequently sharply critical of judicial rulings, reform proposals or even decisions made by parties or the tactics employed by their legal advisors.
Since intellectual property law has been shaped by international treaties for more than a century and a quarter, and is substantially harmonised in Europe and through the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Agreement, it was easy for the IPKat to reach out to an international readership. The addition of bloggers from Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Israel, Switzerland and the United States has helped spread its scope of coverage. The blog also often commissions guest posts from professional colleagues, academics or fellow bloggers in other jurisdictions. 
The permanent team of IPKat bloggers stands at six, this squad being supplemented by three guest Kats each of whom serves for a period of six months. Between them, the team generally post between 12 and 20 items a week. The IPKat’s searchable archive now contains over 7,000 items: case notes, analyses, opinion pieces, news items and reviews.
At present the IPKat serves 7,288 email subscribers, some 3,200 RSS feeders and getting on for 4,600 followers on Twitter. In addition, some 3,000 or so visitors come to the site each day of the working week. Earlier this year the IPKat welcomed its 4 millionth site visitor.
Various rules govern the blog posts. All sources must be given, ideally by hyperlink to an original information source or by hosting original documents themselves. Any member of the blog team may amend another team member’s blog if he or she thinks he can improve upon it, or take it down if it appears wrong. Where there is consensus between the team members, this is expressed by the phrase “The IPKat says …” whereas, if an expression of opinion belongs to one author alone, he or she writes “This Kat says …”. Every post must be written on the assumption that the reader is encountering intellectual property law for the first time, so should never assume too much knowledge —and, wherever possible, a cat theme should be employed. Also, all the blog team take the view that IP law is basically good, though one should not shrink from criticising its faults and arguing for its improvement.
The IPKat is an interactive blog which receives many comments and emails from readers. These comments are greatly appreciated and have done a great deal to keep the IPKat on its toes. Without the interaction, the authors would have no idea if their didactic ideals were having any effect.

Posted by Philip Cable at 22:11 0 comments  

Call for Papers

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The 44th Annual Conference and Exhibition will take place at the

Hilton Hotel, Glasgow from 13 to 15 June 2013.

The BIALL Conference Committee Call for Papers is out now.

Our 2013 Programme focus 'Law as a Business' reflects our
acknowledgement of the changing legal marketplace, innovation and via
direct feedback on the 2012 Conference.

Do you have an innovative project you can share?
Perhaps you can provide some useful advice to demonstrate changing
best practice?
Or maybe reflect on successful techniques adopted?

Potential first time speaker? We want to hear from you.
We know it can be daunting but you're in amongst friends! New
speakers are key to the longevity, variety and vibrancy of our
Programme. Please tell us your ideas...and then you can tell everyone
else during one of the sessions!

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

About the Association

The British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) was formed
in 1969. It is an independent and self-supporting body which was
established to represent the interests of legal information
professionals, and other suppliers of legal literature and reference
materials, in the United Kingdom and Ireland. There are over 700
members of BIALL, both personal and institutional. Almost every legal
information unit is represented - academic legal research libraries,
units in commercial, technical and industrial concerns, the courts and
government departments. The diversity of the membership is one of
BIALL's strengths as the members form a close network and share
specialist knowledge and concerns, learning from the experience of

Broad themes for the conference

In 2013 BIALL plans to offer a programme to reflect the changing
nature of the legal landscape and the changing skills we need to
consider within our profession. Those who have knowledge, skills and
expertise can share some of their 'best practice toolkit'. The
ultimate aim of 'Law as a Business' is to develop 'continuous
improvement' models for delegates.

Common to all in the legal information profession is the requirement
to keep abreast of:

• Trends in the provision and delivery of legal information both
in-house and outsourced
• Training requirements of our users
• Priorities in collection development
• Emerging technologies
• Trends in the legal information publishing environment
• Increasing the visibility of our information units
• Trends in knowledge management
• Management skills and personal development

Under the umbrella of the various headings listed above, the
Association would specifically like to cover the following topics
during the 2013 Conference. Some practical, participative sessions are
• Understanding Scots Law.
• How to enhance presentation skills.
• Proving value and impact.
• Copyright law changes - what you need to know, it's importance for research and
information services.
• Changing law firm practice.
• Innovative methods of training such as online courses and new technologies.
• How to manage a project, large or small.
• Emerging technologies - how to leverage them for practical library use.
• Managing change - how to do it successfully.
• Marketing - effectively market yourself, your information service and 'managing your brand'.
• Developing current awareness services.
• Business skills for survival.
• New to management - what are the skills needed?

This list is by no means exhaustive and submissions for alternative
presentations are most welcome.

Brief for speaker presentations

We are inviting speakers from within the legal and information world
to submit proposals for papers which fit within this brief. The
conference programme is a blend of plenary sessions lasting 45 minutes
and delivered to approximately 250 delegates, and parallel sessions
lasting 60 minutes and delivered to between 30 and 80 delegates.

Actual presentations should last between 25 and 30 minutes in the
plenary sessions, and between 35 and 40 minutes in the parallel

Although the emphasis of the Conference should be on the broad themes
set out above, we encourage all submissions for sessions so long as
they are on topics of current interest to the membership.

Parallel sessions are usually streamed, and due to its success in 2012
we are keen to run again a stream of sessions of particular relevance
to senior level legal information professionals. We will aim to
continue to stream according to sector (eg academic, law firm, general
interest) as well.

As already outlined, the Association's members and Conference
delegates hail from many jurisdictions, principally England and Wales,
Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Ireland. In addition the Conference
will comprise delegates from the academic, corporate, professional
societies and court/government sectors with a mix of senior and junior
staff. Not all subjects lend themselves to a multi-jurisdictional
multi-sector approach, but these aspects of the audience should be
borne in mind, especially for plenary sessions.

Although a professional association not run for profit but for the
benefit of its members, BIALL can offer speakers a package which
normally includes a contribution to travel expenses, overnight
accommodation, attendance at the conference on the day of the
presentation, and a modest honorarium.

Speakers' abstracts

The BIALL Conference Committee will consider proposals for papers on
the basis of abstracts. An abstract should be between 250 and 500
words long, providing a clear idea of the content of the presentation,
an indication of its target audience, and an opinion as to whether it
is best suited to a plenary or parallel session.

The abstract should be accompanied by a short biography, ideally
between 150 and 200 words long, outlining relevant professional
experience, publications, and papers delivered at previous
conferences, seminars or training events. Submissions for plenary
sessions should specifically include details of previous speaking
experience at similar conferences.

Enquiries and contacts

Informal enquiries can be made to the Programme Co-ordinators:
Gillian Watt at
Beverley Oliver at
Sarah Wheeler at
or the Chair of the Conference Committee, John Furlong at

Examples of previous programmes, speaker biographies and session
synopses can be viewed at under 'Events,
Training & Conferences', BIALL Conferences, Previous Conferences.

Abstracts should be submitted by email to
and, no later than Friday 5th October

Contributed by: Gillian Watt on behalf of the BIALL Conference Committee.

Posted by Sally Peat at 10:25 0 comments