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Source Pulling and Cite Checking for Journal Members

Overview

The process of source pulling and cite checking is rarely perfectly linear. You need to look at the citations and gather enough information to pull the correct sources before you start reviewing the citations to make sure they support the author's claims, and conform to Bluebook rules. 

Please see below for examples of breaking down a citation, and some tools to help with the process. 

Tools

Having trouble identifying a citation? Use these resources to get more information. 

 

Go to Table 1 for substantive information on publication titles for various federal and state entities. See Table 2 for information on foreign publications; this table is not in the print publication, but is available for free online. Table 3 has intergovernmental info, Table 4 treaty info, and Table 5 arbitration publications. 

Tables 6-16 include abbreviations and their corresponding full text. Some of the more common abbreviations are for common words (T6), legislative documents (T9), geographical terms (T10), and institutional names in periodical titles (T13). 

 

Prince's is also commonly referred to as "Bieber's." A comprehensive list of abbreviations (for nearly 36,000 terms) used in legal encyclopedias, law dictionaries, law reporters, loose-leaf services, law reviews, legal treatises, legal reference books and citators. In addition to providing the meaning of abbreviations and acronyms, the reverse dictionary also enables the user to locate the abbreviations for titles, terms and names used in legal literature.

 

Search here for the meaning of abbreviations for English language legal publications, from the British Isles, the Commonwealth and the United States. Also includes a wide selection of major foreign language law publications from over 295 jurisdictions.

Examples

These are common examples of different source types you will encounter in footnotes. There are many variations for each of these - for example an article may appear in a journal that is not consecutively paginated, or instead of a codified statute the citation is for a session law. When in doubt use context for clues, rely on the tools suggested in above, and/or reach out to a librarian at reference@law.stanford.edu. 

 

Article

  • Ex.: Valentina VadiWar Memory, and Culture: The Uncertain Legal Status of Historic Sunken Warships Under International Law, 37 Tul. Mar. L.J. 333 (2013).
    • Valentina Vadi = Author
    • War Memory, and Culture: the Uncertain Legal Status of Historic Sunken Warships under International Law = Article title
    • Tul. Mar. L.J. = Abbreviated journal title, here Tulane Maritime Law Journal
    • 37 = Volume number of the journal
    • 333 = Page in the journal on which the article begins
    • 2013 = Publication date

Book

  • Ex.:  Cass R. Sunstein, Constitutional Personae 94 (2015).
    • Cass R. Sunstein = The author
    • Constitutional Personae = The title of the book
    • 94 = The pincite, or the page number the article author cites to/support appears
    • 2015 = Year of publication

Case

  • Ex.:  People v. King, 37 P.3d 398 (Cal. 2002).
    • People, King = party names
    • P.3d = Abbreviated name of the reporter in which the case was published, here Pacific Reporter, Third Series
    • 37 = Volume of the reporter that contains the case
    • 398 = Page in the reporter on which the case begins
    • Cal. = Abbreviated name of the deciding court, here California Supreme Court
    • 2002 = Year the case was decided

Statute

  • Ex.:  42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2018).
    • 42 = Title of the United States Code where the statute is found
    • U.S.C. = Abbreviation for United States Code
    • § = Symbol for section
    • 1983 = Section in Title 42 of the Code where the statute is found
    • 2018 = Year of the Code