Attorneys Blog

Drug Information Resources: Researching Medications

When investigating a claim for injury related to a pharmaceutical product there are many resources available via the Internet. A general search engine such as Google (www.google.com) will provide general information concerning litigation involving these products. By selecting the advanced Google search option for news services you can find information provided by popular newswire services. When performing a general search for the drug or product by name you can find lawfirm websites, medical information and a variety of resources that are valuable in researching your client’s claim. Some of the professional and peer reviewed resources available online are discussed below.

International and National Pharmacopoeias

In the so-called pharmacopoeias the respective governments of a state issue obligatory regulations for the quality of the active ingredients and also the excipients of a medicine. Consequently pharmacopoeias represent important prescriptions for a chemist in his pharmacy and the researching pharmaceutical industry, but also for universities and regulatory authorities all over the world.

Caused by the rapidly increasing globalization we seeourselves again and again confronted with the need for pharmaceutical regulations of other countries and other parts of the world. However, once in this situation we often do not know where we can obtain these information. One place found on the web where information on purchasing pharmacopeias from European, middle eastern, and oriental countries is found.

The United States Pharmacopeia

What is the U.S. Pharmacopeia?

The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) is a non-government organization that promotes the public health by establishing state-of-the-art standards to ensure the quality of medicines and other health care technologies. These standards are developed by a unique process of public involvement and are accepted worldwide. In addition to standards development, USP’s other public health programs focus on promoting optimal health care delivery and are listed below. USP is a not-for-profit organization that achieves its goals through the contributions of volunteers representing pharmacy, medicine, and other health care professions, as well as science, academia, the U.S. government, the pharmaceutical industry, and consumer organizations.

USP works closely with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the pharmaceutical industry, and the health professions, to establish authoritative drug standards. These standards are enforceable by the FDA and the governments of other countries, and are recognized worldwide as the hallmark of quality. More than 3,800 standards monographs are published in the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and the National Formulary (NF), the official drug standards compendia. USP also provides about 1,300 premier chemical Reference Standards to carry out the tests specified in USPBNF.

USP believes that the sharing of field experiences and concerns among health care professionals is important to reducing medication errors and providing safer, better quality health care. It therefore operates programs for health care professionals to report problems encountered during clinical practice. Reports received are used to build comprehensive information databases, improve USP’s drug standards, and provide feedback to reporting professionals, product manufacturers, and regulatory agencies. By sharing these experiences, pharmacists, nurses, physicians, and students can contribute to improved patient safety and to the development of valuable educational services for the prevention of future errors.

USP reviews each report for health hazards and forwards all information to the FDA and the product manufacturer. USP will act as your liaison with the FDA and the manufacturer should you wish to submit a report anonymously. The MER Program is presented in cooperation with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

What does USP do?

USP’s activities and initiatives revolve around four public health programs:

Standards Establishing standards is a core USP activity. Currently, USP provides standards for more than 3,400 prescription and non-prescription drugs, nutritional and dietary supplements, veterinary drug standards, and health care products. These standards are published in the United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary (USP-NF), which are officially recognized in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. ‘ 321 et seq.). USP also produces Reference Standards, which are an integral part of USP’s standards program. In addition, USP offers a Pharmacopeial Education program that provides continuing educational courses for professionals working in the pharmaceutical industryChelping those who use the USP-NF better understand pharmacopeial processes, standards, and tests and methods.

Dietary Supplement Verification Program (DSVP). USP has developed this program in response to the increasing concerns expressed about the quality of dietary supplements in the marketplace. Through compliance testing and document review, adherence to good manufacturing principles, and post-marketing surveillance, DSVP is designed to help assure that dietary supplement products contain the declared ingredients in the declared quantities. Further information about DSVP is at www.usp-dsvp.org.

Health Care Information. In association with MICROMEDEX (a division of Thomson Publishing), USP provides oversight and approval of drug information content in the USP DI7 database, which covers nearly all medicines in the U.S. and Canada. USP contributes “value-added” information about new and off-label uses of drugs. USP’s Health Care Information program also consists of several global initiatives. USP was awarded several grants by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Center for Population, Health and Nutrition (PHN). Currently, USAID is supporting the USP Drug Quality and Information (USPDQI) program, which funds programs in Nepal, Russia, Mozambique, and the Mekong Delta region.

Patient Safety. USP operates two medication error reporting, tracking, and analysis programs: the Medication Errors Reporting (MER) Program (operated in collaboration with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices) and the MedMARxSMProgram. MedMARx is an Internet-accessible database for hospitals to report and track medication errors anonymously.

Drugs Facts and Comparisons

Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
The most up-to-date, comprehensive drug information source available. Drug Facts and Comparisons contains more than 22,000 Rx and almost 6,000 OTC drugs, grouped by therapeutic category for ease of comparison. Orphan and investigational drugs are included. Drug Facts and Comparisons also contains thousands of charts and tables. Drug Facts and Comparisons is updated monthly and is ideal to keep current on all changes in the drug industry.

Stanford SKOLAR MD

Stanford SKOLAR MD is a Web-based medical knowledge service for physicians. SKOLAR was developed and is used at the Stanford University School of Medicine for the purpose of bringing up-to-date medical information to the clinician. Content is continuously updated, reviewed and approved by a content committee of respected Stanford and community physicians. Physicians can use AMA-approved SKOLAR MD to research a patient problem or condition and earn Category 1 CME credit for the time spent improving your patient’s care. SKOLAR is the first AMA-approved system that allows physicians to earn CME credit for independently directed learning.

Enter a key word or phrase and SKOLAR searches across multiple resources that you can select: textbooks, drug databases, bibliographies, guidelines, full text journals, evidence based medicine and patient education material. You can even do a ICDM Code look up with your search. Drug database information is displayed in a format that highlights the most commonly sought after information and simplifies navigation within the material. For a demonstration of all the features you can go to: http://www.skolar.com/demonstrations.html To sign up for a free 10 trial period go to: http://www.skolar.com/index.html

Institute for Safe Medication Practice

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is a nonprofit organization that works closely with healthcare practitioners and institutions, regulatory agencies, professional organizations and the pharmaceutical industry to provide education about adverse drug events and their prevention. The Institute provides an independent review of medication errors that have been voluntarily submitted by practitioners to a national Medication Errors Reporting Program (MERP) operated by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) in the USA. Information from the reports may be used by USP to impact on drug standards. All information derived from the MERP is shared with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) and pharmaceutical companies whose products are mentioned in reports.

Online Resources

Lawfirm Websites/Class Actions/Document Vaults

The lawfirm of Feldman & Rifkin, LLP has put together a good site of resources related to class actions and pharmaceutical related litigation resources. Also another site link www.badproducts.com has a wealth of litigation resources including pleadings and exhibits.

Formulary Journal

Formulary is a monthly clinical journal for members of Pharmacy and Therapeutic (P & T) Committees (and others charged with drug management responsibilities) at hospitals, hmo’s and other managed care settings, PBM companies, and within the VA system.. This publication contains peer-reviewed clinical articles plus drug-related clinical news, drug-related regulatory news, meeting “pearl” reports, formulary trends, and clinical experience briefs.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Founded in 1942, this is the premier professional association for hospital and other health-system pharmacists. The Association publishes the IPA database, the American Hospital Formulary Service (the “Red Book”) and the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, as well as a number of books and continuing education publications. The site offers timely alerts on medications which have been recalled by the FDA or had warnings issued. The site also offers free MEDLINE access, as well as a directory of headquarters staff and the Association’s publications catalog. Information on purchasing publications is found at this website.

American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists

The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists consists of more than 9,300 pharmaceutical scientists employed in academia, industry, government, and other research institutions worldwide. “Founded in 1986, the goal of AAPS is to improve human health through the development of better pharmaceuticals.” This site provides information about the pharmaceutical science profession, information for members, publications, and links to additional health and pharmaceutical sites.

The American Pharmaceutical Association

The American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), the national professional society of pharmacists, was founded in 1852 and is the first established and largest professional association of pharmacists in the United States. The more than 50,000 members of APhA include practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, pharmacy students, pharmacy technicians, and others interested in advancing the profession. The Association is a leader in providing professional information and education for pharmacists and an advocate for improved health of the American public through the provision of comprehensive pharmaceutical care.

International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering

ISPE is the Society of choice for more than 13,000 healthcare technology professionals in more than 60 countries… ISPE [is] the leading global source of information, educational services, and forums providing knowledge and practical experience for technical professionals who develop, manufacture, regulate, and support healthcare products. This site includes a calendar of upcoming educational programs; information on ISPE publications; career development and student areas; contact information for affiliates and chapters; and Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) Bulletin Boards, plus information on Good Automated Manufacturing Practices (GAMP), Baseline Pharmaceutical Engineering Guides, and Clinical Trial Materials training tools.

Parenteral Drug Association

PDA is a non-profit professional/technical association whose mission is to support the advancement of pharmaceutical technology by promoting scientifically sound and practical technical information and education for industry and regulatory agencies. PDA is the recognized authoritative voice and leading technical organization in the field of parenteral science and technology. Through the development of technical reports, bulletins and responses to regulatory initiatives. Membership consists of over 9,000 individual and 250 corporate members worldwide. Conferences, meetings and open forums bring together pharmaceutical manufacturers, suppliers, users, academics and regulatory officials to discuss issues of mutual interest.

FDA-Electronic Orange Book-Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations

At this site you can search for drug information by active ingredient, drug applicant holder, proprietary name, or application number. If you have the trade name, search the Electronic Orange Book Rx or OTC section using the Proprietary Name search. This determines the ingredient(s). Then use the Ingredient Search for all approved products that contain the ingredient(s). The resulting list will provide approved products by dosage form and route. For each dosage form; route grouping, there will be a Reference Listed Drug (RLD) that is the innovator product. One or more strengths will have a Yes RLD. If there are approved generic products of another firm, the RLD will be No and all the products within the dosage form; route grouping will have a therapeutic Equivalence Code (TE Code). Products that have been discontinued are in the Discontinued Section and do not RLD or TE Codes. The OTC Section products are not evaluated for therapeutic Equivalence.

Information not found here can be requested from the FDA by going to CDER Freedom of Information Office 

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. You can search medication/pharmaceuticals in development by disease, drug name, or company name.

Biotechnology Information Directory

This directory contains well over 1500 URLs of companies, research institutes, universities, sources of information and other directories specific to biotechnology, pharmaceutical development and related fields. It places emphasis on product development and the delivery of products and services. It includes a listing of pharmaceutical companies and their associated websites, as well as a link to the European mirror site.

Hardin Meta Directory of Internet Health Sources: Pharmacy and Pharmacology

As a “metadirectory” this site provides a “directory of directories” on a variety of medical topics. The section on pharmacy and pharmacology provides links to 20 different directories on the World Wide Web.

Virtual Library: Pharmacy

This general site also includes links to information on pharmacokinetics and pharmaceutical chemistry. Included are links to schools of pharmacy throughout the world, community pharmacy webpages, and job information for pharmacists. Maintained by the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy.

PharmWeb

This site is maintained at the University of Manchester (England), and is “mirrored” by over a half-dozen sites throughout the world. It includes extensive links to Internet resources of interest to pharmacists and maintains numerous discussion groups.

University of Sydney Department of Pharmacy – Pharmacy Internet Guide

This site includes a thorough and logically organized guide with links to pharmacy resources on the Internet. The guide includes an extensive list of email discussion groups and electronic journals of interest to pharmacists.

FDA Bulletin Board/World Wide Web Site

Includes FDA Federal Register Notices, Drug & Device Approvals, agency press releases, FDA Consumer Magazine. A search form is available for searching the FDA web site for information on a specific topic or drug.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

The DHHS is the parent agency of the Health Care Financing Administration MedicareMedicaid), Food & Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, Agency for Health Care Policy & Research, Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry and others. Links to the agency web sites, as well as grant, research and policy information are available from this central site.

National Institutes of Health

Links to CancerNet PDQ Drug Information, the full-text of Clinical Practice Guidelines, grant information, and NIH sponsored research in progress.

National Library of Medicine

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides no-cost access to MEDLINE, a database which provides citations to the primary biomedical literature. MEDLINE can be searched via the World Wide Web from this website using either NLM’s “Internet Grateful Med” search engine, or the “Pub Med” search engine. Pub Med also includes links to a small number of full-text articles available on the World Wide Web.

Preparing for the defense medical expert’s deposition

Conduct in-depth research online and through formal discovery before deposing your opponent’s witnesses to expose weaknesses and bias in their testimony.

Medical negligence cases can be among the most complex to try, and preparing for them can require an enormous amount of time and effort. By gathering information about the defense’s medical expert before taking his or her deposition, you can make the best use of the time you spend asking questions.

A combination of independent research, most of which you can conduct online, and formal discovery requests will provide the best background for deposition.

Go online for information

Basic facts about a medical expert, such as academic training and credentials, articles and publications, ethical guidelines to be met, and disciplinary actions and litigation, can be reaped from the Internet. Some general information will even appear in a Google search (www.google.com).

You should also check the professional and litigation history submitted by the adverse expert witness against databases of expert testimony and other information. You may discover omissions or misinformation.

The ATLA Exchange (www.exchange.atla.org), the association’s research and litigation support service, has databases containing depositions, court documents, case abstracts, and more. Association members who are plaintiff lawyers can search the Web site for free, and several pricing plans are available for obtaining documents.

TrialSmith (www.trialsmith.com), formerly DepoConnect, is another online databank. A single search can provide information from depositions and court testimony, messages from list servers across the country, medical database searches, and public records. The service offers several subscription plans.

The National Association of State Jury Verdict Publishers (www.juryverdicts.com) publishes jury verdict summaries that contain detailed litigation information collected directly from the attorneys who tried the cases. The Web site also holds an alphabetical directory of expert witnesses containing names, areas of expertise, and publications in which an expert has been referenced. Information from the “Cases Testified” section of the site can be used to select or challenge an expert.

Although you must subscribe to use Westlaw and Lexis, you can search them for testimonial history information in any state court, as well as the federal courts. For example, you might find that an expert you are preparing to depose failed a Daubert challenge in the same area in which the defense is offering his or her testimony in your case.

Contact state trial lawyer associations for information about experts. Many of these groups have their own databases of expert information. A listing by state, with links to association home pages and phone numbers, can be found at www.drugintel.com/public/state_trial_lawyers_associations.htm.

What to look for

You must have at least the defense expert’s curriculum vitae for your research before the deposition. Draw up a list of other information to gather, and consider submitting it as a formal document request; that will avoid the argument that you have not given the defendant reasonable notice for document production. Make sure you formally request copies of all documents the defense has provided to the expert for review, and ask that they be produced for review at the deposition.

To be thoroughly prepared to question the adverse witness, gather information about the expert in the following areas.

Academic training and credentials. Verifying an expert’s qualifications is an essential first step.

  • Subpoena the expert’s transcripts. You should get transcripts from every college or university where he or she received medical training.

Consider the timing of this request, since you may want to allow the expert to commit to a position regarding academic performance. If you obtain the actual transcripts and learn that the expert has misrepresented his or her grades or accomplishments, then you have the ability to impeach the expert at trial. One attorney using this tactic said he learned that a defense expert had attended school by mail.

  • Search for board certifications. The American Board of Medical Specialties (www.abms.org) has a database that you can search by physician name. Registration is free.

General information databases will not provide the number of attempts a physician has made to receive board certifications. However, individual Web sites for medical specialties often do provide more complete information, as well as practice standards and guidelines. For example, the Web site of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (www.abpn.com) walks a subscriber through the process for requesting board status information and provides a request form, which must be submitted in writing and accompanied by a $35 fee.

  • Request written verification of the expert’s license. Contact the medical boards for the states in which the expert is licensed. The Federation of State Medical Boards lists state boards, with contact information, at www.fsmb.org.
  • Verify that your adverse expert is not spreading false medical information. Visit www.quackwatch.org, a database that contains exhaustive lists of “quacks,” FDA warning letters, regulatory actions, and “nonrecommended” sources of health advice.

Articles. Look for articles written or cowritten by the defense expert in your case’s subject area. Articles that are not referenced on the expert’s curriculum vitae often can be obtained on the Internet.

  • The PubMed database (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed), which is part of the National Library of Medicine, was designed by publishers of biomedical literature as an access and reference tool. It contains citations and provides links to full-text journal articles on the Web sites of participating publishers. Some publishers even supply their citations electronically prior to publication. Note that some journals require user registration and a fee to access the full text of their articles.
  • The MD Consult database (www.mdconsult.com), founded by a group of medical publishers including Mosby and W.B. Saunders, integrates peer-reviewed resources from more than 75 publishers, medical societies, and government agencies.

The Web site offers full-text articles from 40 respected medical reference books covering a variety of specialties, 50 medical journals, and Medline. The database also holds more than 1,000 clinical practice guidelines, as well as comprehensive drug information from United States Pharmacopeia that goes beyond the scope of the information provided in the Physician’s Desk Reference.

The service charges an access fee of $9.95 a day, $24.95 a month, or $219.95 a year. A free 30-day trial membership is available.

Ethical standards. Many professional organizations have ethical guidelines that include standards for testimonial opinions. Knowing these standards can help the plaintiff lawyer establish a defense expert’s lack of knowledge, especially if he or she is unaware that the standards exist. An expert may also ignore or refute the standards in order to support the defendant.

  • The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (www.aafs.org) includes a written code of ethics in its bylaws. The code prohibits making “any material misrepresentation of education” or “data upon which an expert opinion or conclusion is based.”1

• The American College of Emergency Physicians (www.acep.org) has established guidelines for expert witnesses and an “expert witness reaffirmation” statement.

The guidelines require that an expert witness be willing to submit his or her deposition testimony to the organization for peer review. False, fraudulent, or misleading testimony can expose the physician to disciplinary action by the college. In 1997, the college adopted a code of ethics, which is posted on its Web site.2

• The American Medical Association (www.ama-assn.org) also places its code of ethics on the Internet. The code contains a “fundamental ethical requirement that a physician should at all times deal honestly and openly with patients. Patients have a right to know their past and present medical status and to be free of any mistaken beliefs concerning their conditions.”3

The expert’s opinion of the defendant’s care may not support these ethics, or you may discover that the defendant doctor did not meet his or her duty to inform patients.

• The American Academy of Neurology (www.aan.com) posts not only a code of professional conduct, but also a list of position statements that include “qualifications and guidelines” for members serving as expert witnesses.

Disciplinary actions and litigation. Occasionally, you find that the defense’s medical expert has a history of personal or professional litigation that makes the defense lawyer who retained the expert witness uncomfortable. This information can, of course, be used to attack the witness’s credibility.

In order to find information on legal actions, search dockets where the expert is located. Many state and county court clerks’ offices make their docket archives available online. A list of electronically accessible clerks’ offices can be found. Search both the criminal and civil dockets, using the expert’s name as both a plaintiff and a defendant.

Also, check the expert’s disciplinary record. Questionable Doctors (www.questionabledoctors.org/intro.cfm) is a comprehensive, publicly available databank of doctors who have been disciplined by state medical boards and federal agencies in the past 10 years. It contains data on disciplinary actions for medical incompetence, wrongful prescribing of drugs, sexual misconduct, criminal convictions, ethical lapses, and other offenses.

Another searchable database, AIM/DocFinder (www.docboard.org/doc finder.html), contains licensing background and disciplinary information for physicians and other health care practitioners.

Formal discovery requests

After you have exhausted all possible sources of information about the opponent’s expert, draft your interrogatories.

Use form interrogatories following state rules and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2) to require the defense to set forth its expert’s generalized opinions and the minimal information going to bias. The federal rule requires disclosure of the expert’s opinion in a written report prepared and signed by the witness.

In addition, many states allow discovery of financial earnings from litigation, the relationship between the defense law firm and expert witness, and the relationship between the insurer and expert, even if the defendant is the insured.

Some states have allowed specific inquiry into the division of expert witness litigation earnings. Others have not. For example, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has upheld objections to questions regarding how often the expert witness was retained to testify, the amount he or she was paid in other cases, and whether the majority of the expert’s professional time was spent “rendering assistance to lawyers.”4

More commonly, however, state courts permit inquiry at deposition and trial into the amount of compensation an expert derives from testifying.5 A Florida court ruled that when this type of information is sought, courts should weigh the interests of the cross-examining party in disclosing bias and generally allow the discovery.6

The Kentucky Supreme Court has held that an expert physician’s annual income related to litigation work, and the percentage of his or her general practice that this income constitutes, is discoverable and admissible to show bias.7

In another case, a Florida appeals court removed any doubt about whether a plaintiff could obtain information about an expert witness’s relationship to an insurer, even when the insurer is not a party to the lawsuit. The court recognized that the insurer, in providing a defense for its insured, acts as the insured’s agent, as does the defense attorney. Thus, the relationship between the insurer and the expert witness is discoverable.8

In South Carolina, under the authority of Yoho v. Thompson, a party may obtain 1099 tax forms, past expert reports, and documentation pertaining to the cases for which an expert has been retained.9 An expert who does not provide the discovery can be stricken. Yoho was reversed, but the state supreme court upheld the “substantial connection” analysis and allowed evidence to show the expert doctor’s relationship with the underinsured motorist’s carrier and the doctor’s possible bias in favor of the insurer.10

To show bias, New Mexico and Virginia courts have also admitted evidence of an expert’s compensation paid by the defendant’s liability carrier.11 In Sawyer v. Comerci, for example, the expert witness had testified for the insurer in the past, specifically for the defendant doctor. The court found that there was a “substantial connection” between the witness and the insurer.12

In contrast, Michigan courts have not allowed proof of insurance company payments to be directly introduced into evidence. However, those courts have admitted evidence of the number of cases in which the expert was consulted, the fact that consultations were all for the defense, and the fact that the expert had been previously hired by the defense firm and other defense firms in the state.13

In some states, the expert must provide a testimonial history for the last three years if he or she wishes to testify in court.14 Unfortunately, many defendants respond that they don’t have or don’t know this history, and many judges are reluctant to seriously consider striking an expert for not providing it until you have exhausted other attempts to obtain it. You may be able to get a testimonial history by deposing the custodian of expert witness’s records, either orally or in writing.

Researching the defense medical expert before you take his or her deposition will focus your line of questioning and help you uncover areas of potential bias in favor of the defendant. Keep in mind that the defense expert is not independent. Demonstrating bias, whether it is financial or based on loyalty to your opponent, helps the jury remember to be skeptical of the testimony.

Ideas for the Law Firm – research using GOOGLE.COM

Every day we are asked to “find” something….I’ve found Google to be a good research tool for many tasks. Some of the more common uses utilized in the Plaintiff Law Firm are given below:

If you use Google’s “advanced search” feature, you can limit your search to Powerpoint files.

On the “file format” section, set the search parameter to return only files in the format “Microsoft Powerpoint (.ppt)”. Then enter your search term, e.g., “Laminectomy”. All hits will be in the form of Powerpoint presentations, many of these are posted by medical students, doctors, etc.

Another way to search for PPT presentations is to use your search term (such as laminectomy) plus the word “powerpoint”.

It is also useful to use Google to locate images, most of which can then be downloaded and used in Powerpoint. An image search for “laminectomy” returns over 230 hits.

The image search is selected from the main (home) page of Google, not on the advanced search page.

And if you are looking for say “daubert motion Steven Clark” sometimes you can get lucky there and find them online with a google search in the general search feature.

Another idea is to do a search for “motion” “brief” with key words…..and if you don’t find it at the search result link, use the “cache” feature.

The cache feature will highlight with a different color for each search term everywhere it occurs in the webpage/document. Very handy for looking for a certain name, etc. I have found warrants, court orders, etc. More and more documents are being archived online and available to the public.

New Feature to monitor appearance of future references to search terms

Now on Google you can specifiy a search term, and google will let you know via email if it appears on the web…you can use it to search for any term you wish…put in the name of a surgical procedure, an expert, a defendant, even your “favorite” opposing attorney…this feature is found at http://www.google.com/webalerts/

Too many results?

Ever do a search and still feel like you have too many results? Instead of trying a new search, you might have more luck narrowing down the set of matches you’ve already generated. Google makes this process easy through a “Search Within” feature. After performing a search, click on the “Search within results” link that appears at the bottom of the results page, next to the search box, on the results page.

Customize your results using the Preferences Page

Pick the Language…you can do a search in the translation of your choice from the Preferences Page OR you can translate a page in a language foreign to you by selecting the “translate” feature on the search results page…

Select the number of results per page, the default is 10, but you can select 20, 30, 50 or 100 if you wish Using the “New Results Page” feature allows you to keep your search page open, and any link clicked on will open in a new browser page/window…this eliminates back browsing and repetitive search requests.

Various search commands

  • Include search term “+” sign (most do this by default but it will not hurt to use this symbol) this has same effect as AND
  • Exclude search term “-” sign (in effect same as NOT)
  • Must include phrase “” (quotes around phrase to be included)

Yellow Page Directory-type search feature

Google Local integrates yellow pages-style information right into your search. Search for pizza 75662 or pizza marshall,tx and up will pop a little compass with a couple results. Click the compass, and you’ll get a full listing of nearby results, with distance, maps, directions, related web pages, phone numbers, and more. You can narrow it down by category and distance, and look at a map of all the results. Wireless Froogle Froogle is Google’s product search service. To use Froogle on your cell phone, just point your phone’s brower to http://wml.froogle.com/ Then enter your search terms in the box/select search, using your phone’s keypad arrows to scroll through the results. At the store looking for a PDA, whip out your cell phone/use Froogle and never wonder again if you paid too much.

Travel Information

To see delays and weather conditions at a particular airport, type the airport’s three letter code followed by the word “airport.” For example, San Francisco International Airport updates can be found by searching for “sfo airport.”

Google has added more search by number features:

UPS tracking numbers – example search: “1Z9999W999999999”
FedEx tracking numbers – example search: “999999999999”
USPS tracking numbers – example search: “9999 9999 9999 9999 9999 99”
Vehicle ID (VIN) numbers – example search: “AAAAA999A9AA99999”
UPC codes – example search: “073333531084”
Telephone area codes – example search: “650”
Patent numbers – example search: “patent 5123123”. Remember to put the word “patent” before your patent number.
FAA airplane registration numbers – example search: “n199ua”. An airplane’s FAA registration number is typically printed on its tail.
FCC equipment IDs – example search: “fcc B4Z-34009-PIR”. Remember to put the word “fcc” before the equipment ID.

More Google Web Search Features

Google has many special features to help you to find exactly what you’re looking for. Go here to find more information on each feature listed below:

Cached Links – View a snapshot of each page as it looked when we indexed it.
Calculator – Use Google to evaluate mathematical expressions.
Definitions – Use Google to get glossary definitions gathered from various online sources.
File Types – Search for non-HTML file formats including PDF documents and others.
Froogle – To find a product for sale online, use Froogle – Google’s product search service.
I’m Feeling Lucky – Bypass our results and go to the first web page returned for your query.
Local Search – New! – Search for local businesses and services.
News Headlines – Enhances your search results with the latest related news stories.
PhoneBook – Look up U.S. street address and phone number information.
Search By Number – Use Google to access package tracking information, US patents, and a variety of online databases.
Similar Pages – Display pages that are related to a particular result.
Site Search – Restrict your search to a specific site.
Spell Checker – Offers alternative spelling for queries.
Stock Quotes – Use Google to get stock and mutual fund information.
Street Maps – Use Google to find U.S. street maps.
Travel Information – Check the status of an airline flight in the U.S. or view airport delays and weather conditions.
Web Page Translation – Provides English speakers access to a variety.

New Search Features:

GOOGLE for Mobile Devices – If you have a mobile device and need to Google something, they released a mobile page you can navigate to via your Palm, Pocket PC or phone. Just load http://www.google.com/xhtml in your browser and it will come up.

PICASSA 2 – A great idea for picture organization on your computer. (As well as sharing photos with others, and allows you to edit the quaility of photos as well.

GOOGLE – Desktop Search – Google Desktop Search is how our brains would work if we had photographic memories. It’s a desktop search application that provides full text search over your email, computer files, chats and web pages you’ve viewed. By making your computer searchable, Desktop Search puts your information easily within your reach and frees you from having to manually organize your files, emails and bookmarks. After you download Google Desktop Search, the application creates an index of all your searchable information and stores it on your computer, allowing you to search your personal items as easily as you search the Internet using Google. Unlike traditional computer search software that updates once a day, Desktop Search updates continually for most file types; when you receive a new email in Outlook, for example, you can search for it within seconds. To download and read more information on this feature.

Google Earth – Mapping/Image search – Want to know more about a specific location? Dive right in — Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the worlds geographic information at your fingertips. Some of the features include Visually fly from space to your neighborhood, type in an address and zoom right in, Search for schools, parks, restaurants, hotels, get driving directions And you can tilt and rotate the view to see 3D terrain and buildings. In addition, you can save and share your searches and favorites…even add your own notations. This is a great resource for exhibits, school projects… and just for fun! ..and the best news? It is free.