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About the Cite Checkers' Guide
This guide has quick tips to help you locate sources for your cite check and deal with hard-to-find sources and tricky citations.
Covered in this guide
Finding electronic PDFs
Finding hard copies in the Library
Need a Bluebook? We have them in hard copy at the Circulation Desk. It's a good idea to get to know the Bluebook in print first, to understand the different types of citation rules. Once you're familiar with the rules, it is convenient to be able to access them online - students can click here to request an access key for the Bluebook Online, http://www.legalbluebook.com.
Library Liaisons for Law Journals
Finding Electronic PDFs
If your journal requires page images of sources, look for PDFs in these databases. Link to the databases both on and off-grounds from the lefthand column of this guide and on the Law Library's homepage:
- States (A.2d, S.E.2d, etc.) – Westlaw. Click the “original image” PDF icon next to the case name.
- U.S. Supreme Court (U.S.) – HeinOnline. Go to the “U.S. Supreme Court Library” and pull up PDFs by U.S. Reports citation.
Statutes and regulations
- U.S. Code (U.S.C.) – HeinOnline has the current 2012 and prior editions. It also has the Statutes at Large (Stat.).
- States – HeinOnline has some old statutes in its “State Statutes: A Historical Archive” library, and many states’ session laws in its “Session Laws Library.”
- Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) – HeinOnline has the current year’s edition (C.F.R. titles are revised and re-published each year in quarterly chunks - e.g., Titles 1 through 16 are issued around January 1, Titles 17 through 27 April 1, etc.). Hein also has prior years’ editions.
- Federal Register (Fed. Reg.) – HeinOnline has current issues, updated daily, and prior ones.
- Committee reports & hearings – ProQuest Congressional. Go to the “Legislative & Executive Publications” dropdown > “Search by Number” and plug in your cite (e.g., H.R. Rep. No. 99-253).
- Congressional Record (Cong. Rec.) – HeinOnline has both the daily and permanent editions. Bluebook Rule 13.5 requires you to cite the relevant permanent edition unless it hasn’t yet been published (the daily edition is published within days; the permanent edition takes years).
- Bills – The Government Publishing Office’s FDsys (starting 103rd Congress, 1993-94). For older bills, try ProQuest Congressional.
- U.S.C.C.A.N. – If a Congressional committee report was reprinted in this commercial publication (U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News) then Bluebook wants a parallel cite to it (Rule 13.4). We have hard copies across from the Reference Desk.
Law journal articles – Use the tool in the lefthand column to pull them up by citation in HeinOnline.
Non-law journal articles – Use the Journal Finder to link to journals online, and to find hard copies in a UVA library. If you have trouble finding an article, ask the Reference Desk. If it's not available through UVA, you can request an interlibrary loan – more on that below.
Quickly link from Google Scholar to articles' full text in UVA-subscribed databases by clicking “find this @ UVA libraries”:
Alderman Library has the New York Times and Washington Post on microform, and Darden has the Wall Street Journal. Use Journal Finder to check if the issue you need is available (the microforms generally are current up to the prior month’s issues). Use Virgo's 'Request Item' button to request the microform you need, and Reference Desk staff can show you how to use the microform readers on the Library’s second floor.
For older newspaper articles try:
ProQuest Historical Newspapers
- New York Times (to 2014)
- Washington Post (to 2001)
- Wall Street Journal (to 2000)
- Chicago Tribune (to 1994)
- Los Angeles Times (to 1994)
For articles in other papers, search UVA Libraries' Newspapers on Microfilm to see if UVA has what you need.
Documents from Court Cases (petitions, briefs, etc.)
Bloomberg Law has federal case documents and some state court documents. Go to its "Litigation Intelligence Center" link in the lefthand column > "Search Dockets." Be sure to click the "update docket" link when you pull up a case.
Westlaw has some federal case filings - check a case's "filings" tab.
Supreme Court -
Organizations filing amici curiae briefs in a case sometimes post the briefs on their websites.
Finding hard copies in the Library
Use Virgo to find books in UVA libraries. A simple title/author search usually works – ask the Reference Desk if you can’t find what you need. Use the 'Request Item' button to have books sent over from other UVA libraries and pick them up at the Law Library’s Circulation Desk (allow 2-3 days for transit).
- If an item is “unavailable,” click the “Request item” button to recall it. You’ll get an e-mail to pick it up at our Circulation Desk, usually within 10 days.
- If an item is in “Ivy,” click the “Request item” button to have it delivered from off-site storage to our Circulation Desk in a couple of days.
- If Virgo says a book is on the shelf but it’s not, check your journal’s carrel and with other cite checkers, and ask the Reference Desk to help you track it down.
- Remember to check out the books you borrow! You can ask the Circulation Desk to check them out to your journal’s carrel.
When UVA doesn't have what you need...
First, ask the Reference Desk. If we can’t find it together, request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Here’s how:
- Look up the item in WorldCat, to (1) check that other libraries have it, and (2) get the OCLC, ISSN/ISBN numbers for UVA’s ILL request form.
- Submit your ILL request form:
- Login to UVA’s ILL system. First time? Make sure to select Law as your Pick Up Library/Home Library.
- Choose the request form that matches what you need (“borrow item” for books, or “article/chapter PDF”). If you need just a chapter or few pages from a book, use the "article/chapter PDF" form to request a scan - you're likely to get what you need faster than if you request the entire book. On the form, fill in as much information as you can including the OCLC number and ISSN/ISBN number you grabbed from WorldCat. If you’re requesting a scan, use the drop-down menu at the top of the form to specify that your request is for a “law cite check” (this lets the ILL department know you need a page image PDF).
- You'll get an e-mail either notifying you to pick up the book at our Circulation Desk, or with a link to a PDF of the scan you requested.
ILL early! Interlibrary loan requests can take a week or more, so assess which items you need to ILL at the start of your source gathering (requests for scans generally take less time).
Keep up with the books you ILL! Be sure not to lose them, and return them on time! You'll receive an e-mail reminder a week before the due date. Some items can be renewed for a short time, but due dates are not otherwise flexible.