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Law Review Orientation

The law review orientation program reviews: law review board policies, research tips, the writing process, and cite checking responsibilities.

Purpose of Citations

"The basic purpose of a legal citation is to allow the reader to locate a cited source accurately and efficiently." The Bluebook, at 1.

A cite-checker reviews citations in a submitted article to ensure that the citations comply with the rules established by The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. To accomplish this task, the cite-checker identifies, locates, and retrieves copies of all cited sources.

Checklist

So many citations; so little time?   How should a cite-checker approach his or her first assignment to retrieve cited material? The following check-list provides a series of steps for locating and collecting cited material:

1.  Read the article and browse the footnotes.

2.  Check to see if the footnoted resource is available by using:

  • WMS WordCat - online catalog
  • HeinOnline
  • LexisNexis
  • Westlaw
  • Google, Google Scholar, Google Books
  • Other Databases - especially JSTOR and Project Muse

  • ASK THE REFERENCE LIBRARIAN FOR HELP

3.  List the sources you cannot locate.  

4.  Submit interlibrary loan requests for materials not available.

5.  Copy the ILL materials for the next round of cite checking.

Resources In the Library

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, is the bible of legal citation and the majority of U.S. law school law reviews and journals follow its rules.

  • The blue pages, the basic guide to citation.
  • The white pages, with a more detailed review of citation rules.
  • The tables.

Because of The Bluebook's complexity and the wide variety of categories of legal and related information, cite-checkers might find the following sources useful: