INVALUABLE legal and commercial data is now just a click away for UCT students, courtesy of a donation of electronic documents worth about R850 000 from Butterworths Publishers.
The material has made its way to a LivePublish UCT intranet site where lecturers and students can access the approximately 1.6 gigabytes of data. This includes complete tax and commercial law libraries, law reports, South African statutes, and the judgement-on-line service where researchers can read cases not deemed important enough for law reports. The information will also be updated monthly.
UCT Libraries has been a long-standing subscriber to Butterworths, a leading publisher of law, tax, accounting and business texts in Southern Africa. When UCT transferred its subscription to electronic format, Butterworths offered the University free access to the legal and commercial data.
The company has made similar donations to other universities around the country. Speaking at the launch of the UCT intranet site in June, Billy Last, Managing Director at Butterworths, noted that Butterworths considers the award as an investment in the education of young South Africans, equipping them with the tools and skills they need to develop as good citizens, thinkers and future professionals. According to Amanda Barratt at the Law Library, the advantages of electronic access to these documents are immense. "Because electronic resources are often easier and quicker to use than their print equivalents, students tend to consult a greater number and wider range of sources than they might if they were obliged to hunt down each case in the printed volume," she noted.