This guide is designed to help student editors locate sources needed for the cite checking process.
One of the most essential rules of The Bluebook is Rule 18. In the latest edition of The Bluebook, Rule 18.2 states: "The Bluebook requires the use and citation of traditional printed sources when available, unless there is a digital copy of the source available that is authenticated, official, or an exact copy of the printed source."
It is absolutely critical for student editors to understand what "an exact copy" of a printed source is. An exact copy is a page image (usually PDF format) of a printed source. Several key databases now have PDF page images of printed sources. This guide will help you locate those sources.
Please feel free to contact me or any member of the Law Library reference staff if you have any questions.
Key Resources for Cite Checking
- Law Journal Articles - HeinOnlineHeinOnline contains most law journals in PDF format (page image format) beginning with the very first volume. This should be your first stop when looking for law review articles.
- U.S. Supreme Court Opinions - HeinOnlineHeinOnline contains a U.S. Supreme Court Library which includes a PDF version of the United States Reports. This should also be your first stop for cite checking U.S. Supreme Court opinions, especially those that pinpoint cite to the United States Reports.
- Federal and State Court Opinions - Westlaw EdgeWestlaw Edge contains PDFs (page image format) of Federal Cases and the National Reporter System. They are typically located in the upper right corner of the case.
- Court Documents - Bloomberg LawBloomberg Law is available to all currently enrolled law students and faculty. It contains PDF versions of court documents (briefs, motions, etc.) for all federal courts and most state courts. All of the federal court PACER content is available in Bloomberg Law.
- United States Code - HeinOnlineHeinOnline contains the full-text of the United States Code (official version) and the Statutes at Large in PDF page image format going back to the start of these publications. This databases should be your source for locating official Acts of Congress or references to the official code.
- Legislative History - ProQuest CongressionalThis database contains the full-text of Congressional bills, hearings, reports, and documents in page image PDF format going all the way back to the formation of the country. This should be your first stop for locating Congressional materials.
- Federal Regulations - HeinOnlineHeinOnline contains the full-text of the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register in PDF page image format going back to the very beginning of these publications. This should be your first stop for locating regulations that have been cited in law review articles.
- Books - OU Libraries CatalogThis is the combined catalog of the University of Oklahoma Libraries, including the Law Library. This should be your first stop for locating any book or print journal on campus.