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LRC Cite-Checking Procedures & Tips  

This guide is intended to assist cite-checkers from ILJ, JCEL, and SDLR find and acquire the materials they need to complete their cite-checking assignments.
Last Updated: May 15, 2013 URL: http://lawlibguides.sandiego.edu/citechecker Print Guide RSS Updates

Finding What You Need Print Page
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Finding Books

  • Check SALLY, USD's online catalog to see if an item is available at either the LRC or at Copley Library.  Note that you are responsible for retrieving items that are held at either of these locations.
  • If USD does not have the book you are looking for, then try searching the Circuit, to see if UCSD, SDSU, Cal. State San Marcos, or the San Diego County Public Library System has it.  You will need to enter your name and USD barcode (the 14-digit number located on the back of your ID card) to make Circuit requests, and items will generally arrive within a few business days. Circuit items will be available for pick-up at the Circulation Desk.  Be sure to take Circuit items over to the Reference Desk when you are finished using them so that the other cite-checkers will have access to them too.
  • If an item is not available at USD or through the Circuit, you are required to check local libraries, such as Cal. Western, Thomas Jefferson, and the San Diego County Public Law Library, before placing an ILL. 
  • Once you have determined that an item is not available locally, you can place an ILL for it. To see the LRC's ILL procedures and to access the form, click on the "ILL Procedures" tab above.
      
     

    Finding Primary Law Materials

    The LRC has a large collection of U.S. primary law materials. First check SALLY to see if a particular source is located in print or online at the LRC. The following sections list items frequently needed by cite-checkers, along with information on where you can find them;

    Federal Legislative Materials

    • Proquest's Congressional Publications provides access to CRS Reports,  House and Senate Reports and other documents, congressional hearings, and other legislative history materials in PDF. Off-campus users will be asked for their name and 14-digit barcode (found on the back of their Torero card).
    • THOMAS is a website maintained by the Library of Congress that provides access to legislative history materials including, but not limited to, public laws, legislative bills, House and Senate Committee reports, and congressional debates.
    • HeinOnline contains PDF copies of a wide range of materials.  Primarily known for providing PDFs of journal articles, Hein also provides PDFs of the Congressional Record, executive orders, the C.F.R., the Federal Register, federal agency reports and decisions, and much more. Off-campus users will be asked for their name and 14-digit barcode (found on the back of their Torero card).

    Federal Caselaw & Court Documents

    • Print: the LRC keeps the U.S. Reports, Federal Reporter, and Federal Supplement in the upper reading room. Check SALLY or ask a reference librarian if you need assistance finding these materials. 
    • PACER is an online service that provides access to court filings from the federal courts.  Ask a reference librarian for assistance and access information.
    • Court websites: many courts make their recent opinions available on their websites.
    • Westlaw & LEXIS: Westlaw provides PDF copies of caselaw printed in its National Reporter System. Both databases are also good places to go to find recent opinions that have not been issued in print yet, as well as unpublished opinions. Furthermore, both databases provide access to selected court filings. In LEXIS, click on the "Court Records, Briefs, & Filings" link under the "Legal" tab.  In Westlaw, court filings are typically organized by jurisdication and then by document type in under the "Directory" tab.

    State Caselaw & Court Documents

    • Print: the LRC keeps the California Reporter (West), California Appellate Reports, and California Reports in the California Room.  The regional reporters can be found in the Upper Reading Room, along with caselaw from a few select states (ask a reference librarian for current holdings).
    • Court websites: many courts make their recent opinions available on their websites.
    • Westlaw & LEXIS: Westlaw provides PDF copies of caselaw printed in its National Reporter System. Both databases are also good places to go to find recent opinions that have not been issued in print yet, as well as unpublished opinions. Furthermore, both databases provide access to selected court filings. In LEXIS, click on the "Court Records, Briefs, & Filings" link under the "Legal" tab.  In Westlaw, court filings are typically organized by jurisdiction and then by document type under the "Directory" tab.

    California Legislative Materials

    • Print: the LRC keeps West's and Deering's California Annotated Codes in the California Room.  The LRC also carries an extensive microfiche and print collection of California legislative history materials; click here for more information on locating these materials.
    • Online: the California Legislative Counsel maintains a website that provides access to legislative history materials, some of which are available in PDF. Coverage begins with the 1993-94 legislative session.

    Out-of-State Codes

    Print versions of the codes for select states can be found in the upper reading room. Check SALLY or with a reference librarian for current holdings. Bluebook rules permit citation to both official and unofficial codes. Check Cal. Western or Thomas Jefferson, since they carry the print volumes of the codes for most states. Because citation to unofficial codes is permissible and because of the limited availability of official codes, the LRC's ILL policy is to only request statutes when neither the official nor unoffical code volume is available locally.

    Finding journal articles

    • Verify that you have the correct citation by checking one of our journal databases. For law journals, check HeinOnline, LegalTrac, Westlaw (JLR) or LEXIS.  To verify citations for non-law journals, check Copley's list of electronic journal titles. 
    • Check SALLY to see if the LRC carries the journal you are looking for in print or online. Print journals are located on the 1st and 2nd level mezzanines of the LRC.
    • HeinOnline: provides access to PDF copies of U.S. law reviews. While the most recent journal issues may not be available, this is a great resource for finding articles from older issues, since coverage extends back to the first volume of each journal.
    • Copley databases: Copley library subscribes to numerous databases that provide access to PDF copies of non-legal journals.  JSTOR and Academic Search Premier are a couple of good ones to start out with. Click here to see all of the Copley databases.
     

    Finding Newspaper Articles

     Check SALLY, Circuit, & other local libraries, such as Thomas Jefferson, Cal. Western, the San Diego County Public Law Library, or the San Diego City Library, to see if print copies of a newspaper can be found locally. Note that you are responsible for retrieving items that are held at any of these locations.

    • If not available locally: most newspaper articles are difficult if not impossible to obtain in paper, therefore the LRC will not ILL newspaper articles. Contact your editor, who will either check with the author to see if he/she has a hardcopy on file, or have you locate the article online in non-PDF.
    • Westlaw & LEXIS: search content of specific newspapers or combined new sources. Dates of coverage vary by title. No PDFs.
    • Internet: many newspapers maintain their own searchable online archive.
     

    Finding International & Foreign Materials

    Our international and foreign materials librarian has created a series of guides to help you find foreign sources.

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