Last week I wrote about the current market landscape for news aggregators. This week I’m providing you with a checklist of features and negotiation issues. 

Aggregation platforms are so varied and law firm priorities are so unique I recommend a formal RFP process. Here is a checklist of features and issues to consider when evaluating aggregation platforms.


For some firms, it will be valuable if the solution comes with it’s own pre-built taxonomy to support tagging. For others who already have their own robust taxonomy, it will be more important for the system to be able to apply the firm’s taxonomy, or a different third-party taxonomy.

What to Ask

Does the platform have a pre-built taxonomy? Does it provide automated tagging? Can it integrate with an internal law firm taxonomy or apply a third-party taxonomy? Can it disambiguate company names? Does it enable searchers to curate alerts by subject, company, name, industry, geography, or other keywords? Does the platform leverage AI or machine learning to apply tags?

Ingestion and management of sources

The sources that are able to be ingested or integrated into the platform are the bread and butter of these solutions. Without the ability to ingest the relevant content for your audience, there’s no point investing.

What to Ask

If the product is owned by a content provider (Lexis/Bloomberg), can they integrate content from other publishers? Can it integrate both premium content and social media content? Can it “de-dupe” i.e. eliminate redundant stories? Can it flag negative stories? Can the platform provide relevancy ranking? Can the platform deliver a full table of contents for a publication, as well as providing custom topic and keyword alerts?

Content delivery

These days alerts can be delivered in different ways and on different schedules. Flexibility in delivery options can help with adoption. 

What to ask

Can RSS, XML, APIs, PDF, URLs, email newsletters tweets and website monitoring, be integrated? Can results be delivered to Slack, Teams or posted into SharePoint pages or mobile apps? Does the provider offer a mobile app?

Timing of alerts 

Can the platform provide real time monitoring and delivery? Can timing be managed at both the user and the alert level?


If you’re sending alerts out – within the firm and especially outside of the firm, if you are going to use the platform to send client alerts – it will be important to be able to brand these appropriately.

What to ask

Can the results be branded using a firm template or logo? Can the formatting be customized at the alert level?

Moderation versus automation

Automation is great but it only takes you so far. A solution that allows for careful curation by your knowledge and research teams combined with automated options is more likely to provide the results that your users need.

What to ask

Does the platform allow for custom moderation and curation by a knowledge professional? Does the platform provide automatic updates? Can updates be customized for the individual user preference?


Enabling dashboard views of the content can be a real value-add for both users and administrators. Dashboards allow administrators to use the dashboard to customize and configure alerts, and users to set their own preferences.

What to ask

Does the product offer dashboards for both users and administrators?  How intuitive is it to manage individual subscriptions, topical alerts, and user preferences? Is there a user dashboard where subscribers can manage i.e. add and delete their own alerts and format and delivery preferences? Can users set up their own curated alerts?

Analytics: Trends and Prediction

Analytics are increasingly important for both understanding user behavior and content insights. 

What to ask

Does the platform have an intelligence engine that can provide graphic trends of both news and user activity? Can users interact with data? Does the platform provide sentiment analysis? Does the platform offer any predictive signaling capability? Can users change the predictive parameters to weight certain factors?


As with any technology solution, there is no point moving down the path towards implementation unless you know it will work in the firm’s systems environment and meet the firm’s security standards.

What to find out

Can it pass the firm’s security screening? Can it be integrated with the firms HRIS system so that users will be automatically added and deleted as they come and go from the firm?

Licenses. Passwords and IP Authentication 

Does the platform offer features to limit access to only licensed users. Can it integrate with password management tools such as Onelog and Research Monitor?

*Note: a version of this checklist will be available on LTH Premium as the News Aggregator Evaluation Framework.