Welcome to research training for the law journals. This outline includes suggestions for spading. Cite-checking and  spading, can be difficult and tedious. You will "spend hours interpreting arcane sections of the Bluebook and then forfeit good beer time on the weekends in order to verify 'fugitive' citations."[1] Some of the articles you will be cite-checking will be riddled with citation errors. Keep the following in mind:

  1. Authors are sometimes careless in keeping track of their citations and citation form. They usually concentrate on the content of their articles and may not keep good notes on where material is found. Their footnotes may come from  research assistants who might not know Bluebook citation form, or who may not know where the author originally found the materials.

  2. Many authors now do the research for their articles mostly or entirely with electronic sources. Some work entirely on Westlaw, some on Lexis, some rely heavily on the internet, and some use journals and papers in their own personal collections. You, however, are expected to check these citations using print materials or their page-image equivalents wherever possible.

  3. Law review articles once cited mostly U.S. caselaw and statutes. Now, because it's available online, and because authors need novel topics to write about, law review articles cite foreign law materials, publications from disciplines other than law, newspapers, and all kinds of material that can be found only on the internet -- and that may disappear from the internet within days.

    The following tips may help as you try to make sense of the footnotes that await you.


If you don't recognize an abbreviation in a footnote, try these sources:

  1. The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. The tables in the back have Bluebook abbreviations. The most recent edition is the 2010 Nineteenth edition.   The library has copies on Reserve and at KF 245. B538 on the 4th floor.

  2. Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations. KF246 .B46, copies on Reserve (ask at the circulation desk), Reference (across from the 2nd floor computers), and the Reference Office. Our latest edition is the 2001 5th edition.  It's also available as a database on Lexis.

  3. For organizations, associations, and non-legal abbreviations, try Acronyms, Initialisms and Abbreviations Dictionary. 3 volumes, Reference (2d floor), P365 .A28. It's a 2001 edition with a 2002 supplement.  Woodruff Library has the 2012 46th edition at their Reference Desk, and it's available in Gale's Virtual Reference Library in the General Reference category.
  4. Citations to WL or LEXIS may be unpublished cases only available online, or there may be citations to print publications available, sometimes published after the publication date for the article you're reading.
  5. You may find citations to docket numbers for court documents or unpublished cases.  These will usually include a filing year and an abbreviation for the court.  Find these in Westlaw or Bloomberg Law - or try searching in Google for a case name and citation.
  6. British, European, and historical abbreviations may be in Raistrick's Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations. KD400 .R33, 1981, Reference Office. It's a bit outdated for finding current materials.  For newer European Union and other European abbreviations, try Eurojargon: a Dictionary of European Union Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Terminology in ECDOCS-REF at HC 240.E74 2004 . There is a shorter list of EU acronyms and abbreviations in the EU Interinstitutional Style Guide.  Eur-Lex has a guide to their legal document symbols. The British Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations  includes UK and EU abbreviations.  
  7. For United Nations abbreviations, try the UN list of Abbreviations and Acronyms .  United Nations document symbols can be found in their Documentation Research Guide.  
  8. All kinds of non-U.S. legal abbreviations can be found in the 4 volume World Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations at K89 .K38 1991 in Reference (looseleaf, with updates, the latest in 2010). Chapters focus on legal materials of specific languages, regions or countries. Volume 4 is topic-based and has abbreviations related to the environment, maritime law, the military, tax, and the United Nations, and it includes many U.S. abbreviations.
  9. Oxford Public International Law databases, including the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, include the Oxford Law Citator.  Click on cited publications and documents to find citation information.
  10. When using foreign journals and caselaw, remember that a country or institution's internal citation form may not match the Bluebook's.

Proper Citation Form

  1. The first place to look is in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. If your copy isn't handy, copies are in the library on Reserve, at the Reference Desk, and in LC-Class on the 4th floor at KF245 .B583.

  2. The law library  has the current 2010 19th edition of the Bluebook. There were changes in the Bluebook from previous editions, especially in Rule 18 on The Internet, Electronic Media and Other Nonprint Sources.  

  3. There is an online version of The Bluebook, although the library does not have a subscription to it.  If you prefer an online, searchable version of The Bluebook, you can purchase an individual subscription for $32 for one year, $50 for 3 years at It's also now available as an app for Apple devices.

  4.  There is a useful guide entitled Introduction to Basic Legal Citation by Peter W. Martin available on the Cornell LII website at It includes explanations, comparisons with ALWD, and examples from both citation manuals. Note, however, that its focus is on briefs and professional practice, so it does not include The Bluebook's typography rules for law reviews. It was most recently updated in  2012 with rules from the 19th edition of the Bluebook and changes in Lexis and Westlaw citations.  You can also find some Bluebook tips at

  5. For helpful practice tips, punctuation rules, and explanations of The Bluebook, see Cite-Checker: Your Guide to Using the Bluebook (KF245 .B68).

  6. WestlawNext offers "copy with reference" with a choice of citation formats, including "Standard" Bluebook format.

  7. You can find examples of citations based on the Bluebook in Prince's Dictionary of Legal Citations (KF246 .P73 2006, copies in Reserves, Reference, Ref-Office, and on the 4th floor), and in Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations Reversed (K89 .K37 1994, copies in Ref-Office and on the 4th floor).  Both are based on The Bluebook and list titles alphabetically.

  8. There is a list of Bluebook Abbreviations of Law Review Titles online at, linked from the CILP (Current Index to Legal Periodicals) homepage.  Hein Online's Law Journal Library also has Bluebook abbreviations for law journals - see the link under Citation Navigator to Find Bluebook Citation.  BNA has a guide to citing BNA publications at .

  9. The Library of Congress has a citation guide to historical Congressional documents, including Bluebook and Chicago Style Manual examples, at .

  10. The Supreme Court's website has added a Case Citation Finder.  Search by terms from the case name and find citations, in recommended form, from the U.S. Reports volumes.

  11. NYU's Journal of International Law and Politics published a Guide to Foreign and International Legal Citations which discusses and gives examples for citation form for the legal publications of other countries and international organizations.  There's at copy in the Reference Office at K89 .G85 2006.   Washington University's Global Studies Law Review has guides to citation of legal materials from select countries at .
  12. The EISIL database, from the American Society of International Law, includes legal citation information for some treaties and international documents. Search for the primary document, then click on the More Information link. It's at  You can also find citation form for major treaties in the University of Minnesota Frequently-Cited Treaties guide.

  13. If you can't find a citation example in The Bluebook for a specific publication or document, see if someone else has already cited it. Almost any publication or document has been cited by someone in a law review article or treatise, unless the publication is very new. Use the TP-ALL database in Westlaw, or the U.S. Law Reviews and Journals, Combined source in Lexis to search the footnotes in law review articles. If you have a choice of articles, see if the publication has been cited in an article in the Emory journals. - Or look for citations in the Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, or the Yale Law Journal. Editors at those schools' journals publish The Bluebook, so the citation rules are theirs. Remember that older citations will be from older editions of the Bluebook, and citation rules may have changed.  If you need to see the example in the proper typeface, take the example you have found and find it by citation in Hein Online Law Journal Library.

  14. The Law Library has copies of The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style in Reserves at KF250 .G375 2006. Use it to find rules on citation, grammar, and punctuation.

  15. Emory has an online version of the Chicago Manual of Style.  It includes some information on citing legal documents and on foreign-language materials.
  16. There are many databases with PDF images of caselaw, articles,  and documents that can be used to find page numbers and to properly quote and cite documents.  These include Hein Online, JSTOR, some journals in the Proquest and Ebsco databases, GPO FDSys for government documents, and some reporters in Westlaw.


Finding Books

  1. Search EUCLID to find books available in all the Emory libraries. EUCLID is at Or use the newer DiscoverE. Many books related to law are in other campus libraries, especially General (Woodruff Library, the main campus library). You do have circulation privileges at the other campus libraries. You will have to go to those libraries yourself to check out books, rather than using interlibrary loan, with the exception of Oxford Library books, which you can have sent to the law library using the Request button.

  2. Sometimes the title in your citation isn't exactly right. If a search by Title doesn't work, try searching by Author or Search Everything. If you get too many results, use Advanced Search and do a combination search for Title and Author. You can also limit your search to match on Exact Phrase, or to location Book Stacks (with library Law) to only search 4th floor treatises.

  3. Most books in the law library will have a location of Book Stacks, meaning that they can be found by call number on the fourth floor. If the publication has a location of US Depository Documents, it can be found on the first floor. Locations of Reserves are reserve items that can be checked out from the circulation desk.

  4. If a book isn't in the Emory libraries, use WorldCat to find records of holdings at other libraries to use for interlibrary loan requests. See the law library's Interlibrary Loan Guide for instructions. Links to WorldCat are on the law library's homepage  , or you can link to OCLC Worldcat directly.  You'll need the OCLC number in the record for your interlibrary loan request.
  5.  Charges for journal ILL requests will be passed on to the journals. Every spader and editor placing requests needs to come by the ILL office to sign off on the paperwork acknowledging this. The library will make all possible efforts to borrow items from free lenders. For more information, please see the Interlibrary Loan FAQ at

  6. Lexis and Westlaw databases include treatises that they publish in hard copy, usually with options including searching the entire treatise, searching within chapters, and browsing by chapter. Some Aspen treatises, as well as CCH looseleafs, treatises, and publications, are in CCH Intelliconnect in Electronic Resources, and many are on Westlaw.  The library also subscribes to a collection of Oxford University Press treatises online.    Find links to electronic versions of treatises by searching in EUCLID and looking for records that include "Electronic Access" or "Online Resource".



Items Not on the Shelf

  1. EUCLID will usually tell you if a book is checked out, including if it is checked out to a carrel or from reserves. If you need a book that's checked out, you can recall it by using the Request button. However, that won't get the book to you that day, since the person who has it is given time to return it.

  2. Try the reshelving areas on the third and fourth floors, in the corner at the end of the first range. New books may be in processing on the 5th floor. Ask for help at the circulation or reference desk.  There is a missing book request form you can fill out if you can't find the book.

  3. Your fellow cite-checkers may be using the book to check citations in their portions of the same article. Check with them, and coordinate with each other and your editors on the carrels and Robitscher Room shelves your journal is using.

Law Review Articles

  1. Check EUCLID for periodicals in the law library. Use the Journal Title button to search.  They're shelved alphabetically by journal title on the third floor. Current issues of some journals may be routed to faculty, or may still be in processing. Check at the reference or circulation desk if you can't find them.  Some journals may be retained for only 3 years if they are available on Hein Online .

  2. The EUCLID record may include a location of Online Resource. Click on the e-Journals or Electronic Access link. The SFX page will list databases with full-text available and the years that are available in each. Databases with full-text in eJournals include Lexis, Westlaw, Hein Online, JSTOR, and ProQuest databases. Full-text may be a PDF or other page image format, or it may be in html.

  3. Emory eJournals has a  Citation Linker page.  Enter the journal title and other information from your citation, and it takes you to the SFX links to online versions of the journal, including law and other journals with electronic versions . 

  4. The best source of electronic law journals for cite-checking is Hein Online. It offers full-text, page-image versions, allows searching by citation or by browsing dates, and it has many journals available as far back as their first issue.  It  has a Citation Navigator that lets you enter a citation to go directly to the article .  You can retrieve pdf copies of journal articles to save, or generate a permanent URL to link.

  5. If you can't find an article using the citation you have, you may have to use a law review index, or a searchable database of law review articles,  to get a better citation. Try using the JLR, TP-ALL, or LRI databases in Westlaw, or try U.S. Law Reviews and Journals, Combined, or Legal Resource Index as sources in LEXIS. You can use Index to Legal Periodicals and Books in the Law Library Electronic Resources to find citations. These have SFX links to full-text of the articles in other databases, sometimes in an image format.

  6. For older articles, try searching in Hein Online or JSTOR (in Databases @ Emory).

Non-Law Review Articles

  1. Check EUCLID, using Journal Title in your search. Be sure to search All libraries. Non-law journals can usually be found in Woodruff Library, with older volumes in their stacks by call number.

  2. EUCLID may have SFX links to eJournal databases with full-text articles, often in page-image formats. Many non-law journals in related disciplines can be found in JSTOR and other eJournal databases.
  3. Emory eJournals has a  Citation Linker page.  Enter the journal title and other information from your citation, and it takes you to the SFX links to online versions of the journal, including law and other journals with electronic versions.  JSTOR also has a citation linker.
  4. Try discoverE to search for articles in multiple campus databases.  Use the Articles tab and select a collection by subject area.  The advanced search includes author and title search.

  5. If the journal you need isn't available on campus or in a page-image electronic format, you may need to use Interlibrary Loan. Choose Copy of Article to enter the request. You'll need to use Worldcat to find a record for the journal and its OCLC number.

PDFs and Page-Image Format

  1. The Law Library does not make ILL requests for articles and documents that can be found in page-image databases available at Emory. You can rely on page images from reliable electronic sources to cite-check. PDF and TIFF images, usually scanned from the originals or produced from the same electronic source files as the print versions, can be used to check quotes and page numbers even when the article cites to the print source. Using these databases will save your time as well as the library's, and the quality of their images is usually better than that of photocopies.  See the Bluebook's rules on citation to PDF sources at Rule 18.
  2. The best source for PDF versions of documents cited in law review articles is Hein Online , which has law reviews, but also the CFR, Federal Register, US Code, Congressional Record, US treaties, and state session laws. Other databases and websites with PDF documents include JSTOR, The Making of Modern LawGPO FDSys, the Supreme Court website (slip reports and bound volumes), the US Code , UN Treaties, UN Documents, and many West reporters on Westlaw.  
  3. Although there are many more databases offering PDF images of documents than there were just a few years ago, not every document will be available online in an image format.  You won't find PDF versions of most treatises or unofficial (annotated) codes.  You will still need to find print versions of these or use and cite another electronic version.  Other publications are only available online in html, such as unpublished cases; for these see Rule 18.3 on citing to Westlaw, Lexis, and other databases.



Newspaper Articles

  1. Newspapers on microfilm at Woodruff Library include the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and many other U.S. and foreign newspapers. Their directory of newspapers in print and microformat is available at
  2. You can find older articles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, Atlanta Constitution, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune,  Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers in Proquest Historical Newspapers  in Databases @ Emory.  These are PDF digital reproductions of newspaper pages, including articles and advertising, but they are historical older volumes, not current issues.  Dates available vary:  most recent coverage is in the New York Times (1851-2009) and the Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002).  For Georgia newspapers, the collection includes the Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945) and Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003).  The New York Times Magazine is available in pdf as a separate Proquest database.  The Times of London is available as a pdf database in The Times Digital Archive (1785-1985).
  3. For even older newspaper articles in pdf online, try the databases America's Historical Newspapers (1660-1922) and Nineteenth Century US Newspapers (19th and early 20th century).  The Galileo Digital Library of Georgia includes a collection of Georgia Historic Newspapers, including the Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archives (1857-1922).  The collection also includes the Columbus Enquirer (1828-1890), Macon Telegraph (1826-1908), Athens Historic Newspapers (1827-1922), and Milledgeville historical newspapers (1808-1920).
  4. If the article you are cite-checking includes newspaper articles and it doesn't indicate that they were found on the internet, they were probably found using Westlaw or Lexis. You may need to check the articles in those databases to find additional information on the article and its source, or to cite the electronic version.

  5. If the article cites a wire service (AP, Reuters), it was almost certainly found on Westlaw or Lexis. See if the article was picked up and published by an actual newspaper, especially those available in Proquest Historical Newspapers or on microfilm at Woodruff. However, with  Bluebook rules allowing more citation to commercial databases, Westlaw or Lexis may be the best source to cite.  See Rule 16.5(d) on citing to wire services, and Rule 16.5(f) on citations to online newspapers.
  6. A citation to the web version of a newspaper may not correspond to articles in the print version, text of the article may vary, and a print (or microfilm) version may not be obtainable. See the tips below on internet citations, or see if the author has a printout.
  7. Note our interlibrary loan policy on newspaper citations.  The library will not request copies of newspapers that are available in any electronic format, either pdf or html.  For newspaper citations, if there isn't a pdf source or microfilm at the main library, cite to Lexis, Westlaw, or the web.

Internet Citations

  1. Citation to internet sources is covered by Rule 18.2 of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (19th ed. 2010). The Bluebook prefers citation to traditional print sources or to "authenticated, official, or an exact copy of the printed source."
  2. Use the suggestions elsewhere in this handout, based on the type of document, to attempt finding a print or pdf version of the document.  PDF  format is equivalent to print because it uses scanned images of print sources. The  Bluebook rules suggesting citation to PDF and exact copies of cited materials allow the use of  Hein Online, JSTOR, and GPO FDsys
  3. The Bluebook in Rule 18.3 also allows use of Lexis, Westlaw, and other commercial electronic databases in preference to internet sources because of their reliability and authoritativeness.
  4. An increasing number of government documents are available only on the internet, in pdf, html, or text format. But you may find print versions of government documents in the law library or in Woodruff with a EUCLID search. 

  5. The author should have print-outs or electronic copies of any materials with internet citations.

  6. Law review articles have begun to cite legal blogs.  Major, citable blogs should include an archive of past postings, so you can find the blog entry by date.

Incomplete Citations

  1. Use the context of the article, not just the footnote, to find clues to the unfamiliar citation, such as the organization associated with the document, a speaker giving testimony, or a date.

  2. Unless the cited document is very new, it has probably been cited before. Search by title, keywords, or author in TP-ALL in Westlaw, U.S. Law Reviews and Journals, Combined in Lexis, Index to Legal Periodicals and Books, or the other journal and treatise databases in Electronic Resources, and see if it has been cited in a footnote in another article or book.

  3. Enter the title in Google, Bing, or your favorite search engine. Even if you don't find the document itself online, you may find a better citation or clues to where you might find the document.  If you search for articles or cases in Google Scholar, your results may include publications available at Emory or subscription databases available on campus.

  4. Some citations that don't match Bluebook form turn out to be Westlaw database abbreviations, especially PLI documents. Try the citation as a database name or as a citation using "find" in Westlaw, or see the list of PLIREF databases in Westlaw.

  5. Try searching for lists of publications by the author in bibliographies, footnotes, on law school lists of faculty publications, and elsewhere  on the web. The citation is more likely to have the author right than the title. Or try varying the spelling of the author's name; there might be a typo there.

  6. Remember the dictionaries of abbreviations, such as Bieber's. There are plenty of archaic, obscure, and non-U.S. abbreviations in them.



Finding Quotations

  1. Sometimes you can find the publication but can't find a quote in it. If there is an electronic source for the publication, use a keyword search, or Focus or Locate, to find the quote. If there's no keyword search, you can still pull up the document and use Find, Ctrl+F, or Search. Even if you can't cite to the electronic version, you may find the page, chapter, or section to help  locate the quotation in the print version.  Find electronic versions using EUCLID, Lexis, Westlaw, or Google or other search engines.

  2. See if you can find the quote used in another article in Westlaw or Lexis.  That article may give you another date, speaker, or wording.

  3. You may have to use context clues to find a chapter or section that might contain the quote in question.  For instance, to find quotes in the Congressional Record, start by narrowing your search to discussions of the appropriate bill.

  4. If you're trying to find a quote where the author has not cited a source, try a quotations dictionary.  There's an internet version of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations at   Encyclopedia Britannica Online in Databases @ Emory has browse lists of notable quotations by author and subject.  There are quotations dictionaries in the Reference collection and on the 4th floor, including legal quotations dictionaries at K58 and general quotations dictionaries around PN6080.



Government Documents

  1. The Law Library is a selective Federal depository library that receives Federal publications from GPO (the Government Printing Office), including congressional and agency materials.  Government documents with a location of USDOCS may be found on the first floor of the law library.  Find them using the SuDocs number, which is the call number for U.S. government documents.

  2. Check EUCLID first, search in all campus libraries. Woodruff's collection of government documents is larger and older than the law library's.    Their government documents research guide is available at .
  3. A EUCLID search might provide a URL for an electronic version of the document, which may be PDF, or HTML.  It may be the only available version of a document. Many government publications are no longer being distributed to depository libraries in print form and are only being made available electronically.
  4. GPO's new FDsys includes a Retrieve by Citation function for many Federal publications.

  5.  There is a web-based GPO Catalog of U.S. Government Publications at  for finding SuDocs numbers, libraries, and publication information.

  6. There are some internet resources for searching specifically for government documents.  Try searching Google limited to the .gov domain to search just government sites, and, which allows searching of government sites with limits by phrases, titles, file types, and specific sites.  Results are clustered by topic, agency, and source, and include cached pages.

  7. Government documents can be confusing. Ask Chris Hudson in M523 on the fifth floor, or any librarian at the reference desk, for help finding them, and see the law library's guide to frequently used government documents with print locations and links to online versions.

Legislative History

  1. The most comprehensive database of legislative history materials is Proquest Congressional (formerly Lexis Congressional) in the Electronic Resources or Databases @ Emory. Search for full-text documents, usually back to about 1989, or get SuDocs and other citations back to 1789. There is a link in Congressional Publications to their Content Coverage Chart.   Hearings in Proquest Congressional include witness lists with dates. 
  2. Collections in Proquest Congressional available at Emory now include pdf documents in the Congressional Hearings Digital Collection (1824-present), the CRS Reports Digital Collection (1916-present), and the Congressional Record (and predecessors) (1789-1997).
  3. Find compiled collections of legislative history documents in PDF in Hein databases including History of Bankruptcy (bankruptcy reform acts); Taxation and Economic Reform (tax, banking, securities, and economic reform acts); and other compiled legislative histories in the Legislative History Library.  Hein has the Congressional Record in its Congressional Documents database.
  4. PDF versions of Public Laws, reports, bills, the Congressional Record, and some hearings are available on FDSys.  The CFR and Federal Register are also available in pdf in GPO's  FDsys, which includes a Retrieve by Citation function.
  5. House and Senate Reports from 1995 to current are available in PDF on FDSys.  For older reports, use the Readex Congressional Serial Set database, which has reports in PDF from 1817 to 1980. If you have a citation already, use the Publication Number search.

  6. Rule 13.4 in the Bluebook recommends parallel citation of congressional reports to U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News. It's a West publication, with Emory's holdings through 2009 on Range 302. It's a selective publication, however, so only portions of selected reports are published in it. For full-text of all Senate and House reports, use the Serial Set, in government documents at Y 1.1/2. The law library has volumes since 1968; older volumes are at Woodruff Library:  bound volumes since 1935, microfiche for volumes older than that.   To find a Serial Set volume, find the Congress (current is 112th), House or Senate, report or document, then the report number, all on the volume spine.  USCCAN is also available on Westlaw, but not in an image format.  Older Serial Set volumes are available in PDF format in the Readex US Congressional Serial Set database (1817-1980).  To find pdfs of more recent Congressional reports, use FDsys.

  7. The law library has received hard copy of the Congressional Record in only the daily edition since 1989. More recent Congressional Records may be in volumes bound in-house, but they are the daily edition. The Bluebook, Rule 13.5, prefers citation to the bound edition once it's available, and page numbering is entirely different between the two editions (with no indexing between the two). The law library has the bound edition in microfiche from 1980 to 1997.  Hein Online  has the Congressional Record (and predecessor publications) in pdf form from 1789 in the bound edition, and from 1994 to current year in the daily edition, with a Daily to Bound Locator for finding page citations (1980-2008).   Proquest Congressional has pdf images of the bound Congressional Record from 1789 to 1997 - search the Congressional Record Only tab using the date and search terms, or use the Search by Number tab to find the bound edition citation from the daily edition citation.  Older Congressional Records are in the law library but may be in bound edition print, microfiche, or microfilm, depending on the year. The bound edition is also being added to GPO FDSys, but only 1999-2002 are available so far. Other online versions of the Congressional Record use the daily edition, including Westlaw and  Lexis.
  8. See the law library's research guides to Legislative History and Frequently-Used Government Documents.

Finding U.S. Statutes

  1. Statutes at Large (abbreviated Stat.) is in government documents at AE 2.111, Range 103. Statutes at Large is also available in PDF or other image formats on Westlaw in US-STATLRG (1789-1972), Hein Online U.S. Statutes at Large (1789-most recent volumes),  and on the Library of Congress website at (1789-1875).  Public Laws, which are the more current slip laws, are available in PDF format on FDsys from 1995 to current.

  2. The official United States Code is cited as U.S.C. The West U.S. Code Annotated is cited as U.S.C.A. Both are shelved on Range 302. Bluebook Rule 12.3 prefers citation to the official code when possible. The official U.S. Code isn't current; it has only been published through the 2006 edition with the 2010 supplement (Supplement IV). It is published every 6 years, followed by annual supplements. If the article cites to U.S.C. but cites a more recent edition than 2006, the author has probably used U.S.C.A.  If your citation is to the U.S.C., check the most recent volume and supplement available for that title.  If you need an online version of the official U.S. Code in PDF, you can find it on the House of Representatives U.S. Code website , GPO  FDSys , or  the Hein U.S. Code database(with a citation locator tool.) All include the latest editions and supplements.



Finding Treaties

  1. Bluebook Rule 21.4.5 recommends citation to U.S. treaties in the following order of sources, depending on their availability: U.S. Treaties and Other International Agreements (U.S.T.), Treaties and Other International Acts Series (T.I.A.S.), United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.), Senate Treaty Documents, and State Department publications, and then unofficial sources.  For U.S. multilateral treaties, it recommends adding a parallel citation to the U.N. Treaty Series or the treaty publications of other intergovernmental organizations.

  2. Find U.S.T. on the first floor at S 9.12; TIAS (slip treaties) at S 9.10, and Senate Treaty Documents at Y 1.1/4. U.S.T. and TIAS are available in PDF format on Hein Online Treaties and Agreements Library; Senate Treaty Documents are available in PDF on FDsys and on Hein.  TIAS slip treaties, in pdf,  for 1996-2012 are also available on the State Department website.

  3. The United Nations Treaty Series is available on the first floor of Woodruff Library, and online.  In the electronic version, either search full-text or use the Status description and click the full-text/details icon to find links to the pdf images of the UNTS volumes. 
  4. The preferred unofficial source for treaties is International Legal Materials, which is available in print on the 4th floor at JX 68 .I5, and in PDF on Hein Online.



Finding International Documents

  1. EISIL, at , is a database of the American Society of International Law (ASIL). Use it to find international organizations,  major treaties, and international documents on the web. You can search by keyword or browse by topic. Click on the document title to find the treaty or document text on a reliable free web source (although usually not in PDF). Click on More Information to find alternate web sources, dates, descriptions, and legal citation form.

  2. International Legal Materials (I.L.M.) is a good source for all kinds of international documents, including treaties, and they are published there within a few months after the documents or treaties are issued or signed.  Find ILM on the 4th floor at JX 68 .I5, and you can often find documents just using the date. A PDF image version is available on Hein Online. It's also available as a database on both Westlaw and Lexis.  Tables of Contents are available on the ASIL website.

  3. U.N. Documents are  available in PDF format on the UN website at  You can search UN documents at .  There's a guide to UN symbols and citations on the UN website, along with a research guide, at  Older UN Documents are also available in hard copy on the first floor of Woodruff Library.

  4. The law library is a depository for European Union documents. These can be found on the first floor of the law library. The Official Journal, EU treaties, and the European Court of Justice caselaw can be searched on Eur-Lex.  The Official Journal is available on Eur-Lex in PDF page images. The Official Journal and ECJ decisions are also on Westlaw and Lexis for searching.

  5. Treaties of the World Trade Organization are available on their website at The law library receives some publications of the WTO; check EUCLID.

  6. The law library has some primary legal materials of the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia in the Hansell Room. Use the database Foreign Law Guide, to find links to some internet resources, or source titles to search in EUCLID and Worldcat. Many countries' official gazettes and other primary legal materials are on government websites. Check for online versions in Government Gazettes Online, Hein World Constitutions, Cornell LII Global and the Library of Congress Guide to Law Online.
  7. The British Justis database has statutes and cases from the United Kingdom, and the International Law Reports.  Its citator Justcite provides information on status and citing cases, and links to cases in Justis, Westlaw, and free web sources.

Finding Help

  1. Stumped?  Don't spin your wheels too long on any one citation.  Ask a reference librarian for help.

  2. Ask your editors for help. The author of the article should have copies of any materials cited, so if it's a document that you can't find, ask for a copy.
  3. Don't put it off so you have to do it all in one day. Allow enough time to find lost materials and receive interlibrary loan requests.



1Arthur D. Austin, Footnote Skulduggery and Other Bad Habits, 44 U. Miami L. Rev. 1009, 1010 (1990) (footnotes omitted).

TI:GER Program video

Marc Lennox - Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium.


Vestibulum arcu odio, viverra vel, suscipit et, lacinia accumsan, lectus. Vestibulum dignissim, augue in condimentum porta, massa nibh pharetra pede. More