Fact or fiction—Is your legal research legit?

Fact or fiction—Is your legal research legit?

When I wanted to find out the history of Google, I Googled it.

It might sound crazy, but it is an apt reflection of the world we are living in. For many of us researching information no longer comes down to picking up an encyclopaedia or consulting a dictionary, but doing a quick online search. As the world becomes more tech savvy, information becomes quicker to source and newspaper circulation declines, we have come to rely on information from the internet. Whether you are an avid subscriber to BBC news bulletins or take to twitter to get the inside scoop, it is easy to overlook where the information you digest is coming from and whether it is factually correct.

With the ease of access to content the digital revolution has presented, we have become complacent with our trust. This could be, as I experienced when trying to track down the true source of Google’s history, because it takes so much time trawling though multiple websites to personally fact check what you are reading—and we are no longer patient. Technology has created a greater demand for the ‘I want it now’ attitude, whereby it is so quick and easy to search for the specific information you need, the moment you need it.

Not only do we lack patience to fact check, but the rise of social media platforms has dramatically changed the way we receive our news. Having personalised feeds where we follow the people and pages we like sucks us into a ‘news bubble’. If, for instance, those people or pages are pushing out ‘deliberate lies’ or ‘inaccurate facts’, we may just believe them  as they are sources, we ultimately ‘trust’ or ‘agree with’.

This seems like an amateur excuse for not spotting fact verses fake. In the legal profession being factually correct is not just a job, but a lifestyle. Understanding the source of legal resea

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About the author:

Hannah is one of the Future of Law blog’s digital and technical editors. She graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in History and Politics and previously freelanced for News UK, before working as a senior news editor for LexisNexis.