By Sarah A. Sutherland
The combined expertise that can be drawn from a group of experts working together is one of the great advantages law firms bring to clients. And improving the ability to access that knowledge in ways that make sense to the people who need it is an important way libraries can contribute to building that value.
Expanding and deepening libraries’ reach into workflows is one of Soutron’s development goals. One way to do this is by allowing end users to submit documents directly for inclusion in the database – paired with the ability for library staff to review and control what gets added.
Soutron’s end user document submission function allows users to participate in content collection, so information is where users need it in locations that make sense to them, without the library having to anticipate their preferences. This facilitates use cases such as lawyers submitting files and metadata for documents directly into the database, allowing for simple search retrieval for these materials.
This functionality can be integrated into organizations that have high value documents they need to manage and share. These can be precedents or groups of documents like deeds. They could also be architectural plans or scientific publications that document the investigative output in research and development settings like government labs or pharmaceutical companies. Any institution that benefits from the collection of documents can use this functionality to make unique resources which meet users’ needs.
About the functionality
Soutron supports two strategies for this functionality. The first is simple submission, which has some mandatory fields users fill in which can then be enriched with added metadata. Access to this content can be controlled, allowing it to be made available to the firm as a whole or to particular people, such as practice groups.
This is especially important for documents like precedents, which are frequently put on systems like SharePoint. Because intranet systems are often not controlled by the library and may require mediation by IT staff for tasks like page management, this can add friction that limits their use.
The other strategy Soutron provides is advanced submission, which is also known as Soutron Document Review. Advanced submission was originally designed for managing the detailed requirements for publication of journal articles in the pharmaceutical industry, but all sectors that rely heavily on information and document management can benefit from its use.
This functionality allows users to submit documents themselves. Once submitted, the documents can be assigned to individuals for review to make sure they are appropriate for inclusion in the database before they are published. The documents can then be edited by staff and reviewers in a word processor before approval by the initial submitter for final publication.
This process means data and documents are only entered once, and the management of peer review can be automated. After internal approvals are recorded, articles can be sent to journals for publication then added to the library catalogue.
Better access to information is one of the core ways that organizations like law firms maintain competitive advantage and provide value to clients. No one knows what information firms need better than the people who work there. Soutron makes sure its software is customizable and includes functionality that makes this possible, ensuring law firms have access to the information they need in a way that makes sense to them.
The very same functionality can be used for archival needs. Where individuals are remote based, perhaps off-site or out in the field. Thanks to End User Submission and Soutron Document Review tools, any papers, reports, archival objects, images and so forth can be submitted for review and possible inclusion into the collections. Allowing the archives teams to share valuable information, metadata directly into the catalogue, pending a successful review by the individual / head of archives managing the collection.
To take a look into how Soutron can help your team, where ever they are based submit materials, articles or any content for submission and or review, book an online demonstration today.
About Sarah Sutherland
Sarah A. Sutherland is principal consultant at Parallax Information Consulting, focusing on legal data strategy. She brings extensive experience in the use of data to drive effective management of legal organizations, developing strategies for organizations to better serve communities around the world. Her book, Legal Data and Information in Practice: How Data and the Law Interact, was published by Routledge in January 2022, and she has been writing a column for Slaw, Canada’s online legal magazine, since 2013. She was also named one of the Fastcase 50 in 2022, an award that honors the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, & leaders.