Source Collection: Triage Guide
1) Figure out what your sources are
- Read the article closely enough to understand its main points.
- Make notes of information about sources from the text. While you are reading, look at the footnotes you’ve been assigned. Record anything useful about cited materials that doesn’t appear in the footnote (such as the fact that it was a speech, or a paper presented at a conference).
2) Identify the rule for cited materials.
Can you tell if they are books, journal articles or reported cases?
- Use your Bluebook! Check the tables and the index. The Bluebook has rules for which version of a source should be used--read them carefully because you might end up using, for exmaple, a newer edition of a book.
- Bieber’s Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations (located at the Service Counter – just ask!) can be used to translate abbreviations.
- Note which citations are still not translated, or which cite to unfamiliar types of material such as treaties, non-legal sources, foreign language sources, etc.
Consult a research librarian for assistance in deciphering the odd citations, and identifying and locating materials.
3) Figure out where to get your sources
Is a digital version ok? (Rule 18)
- Check Rule 18 for "General Internet Citation Principles." If you can find a digital version that complies with Rule 18, you can use it and cite to it.
- Rule 18 also explains how you cite to digital versions, i.e., whether you use "at," "available at," or nothing at all.
To Get Books (Rule 15)
First search for books and other treatises using the library catalog:
- Melvyl (Searches UCI, plus all the UCs, plus other libraries worldwide)
Then go borrow books, and request books that aren't immediately available on campus. If your book is:
- Checked out - borrow the book from another library via ILL.
- At another UCI library - go to the other UCI Library (e.g. Langson or Ayala). You’ll have to walk or ride or drive to those libraries – you cannot have books sent here. Maps of campus buildings are available in the Law Library or online.
- At an off-campus library - request books online from Melvyl, using the journal account, to start the ILL process. ILLs can take up to two weeks to arrive. If you see that a local law library has the item, it may be possible to go there and check it out yourself or make copies of the section you need.
Consult a research Librarian about books that you could not locate in any catalogs.
To Get Statutes, Cases from Court Reporters, and Other Primary Legal Sources (Rules 10-14)
Search for court reporters and other primary legal sources in ANTPAC by the title of the source, or in Westlaw for reporters in the National Reporter System (there may be a scanned PDF copy in Westlaw). Recall that West is not the only publisher that publishes reporters - there are specialty reporters (e.g. USPQ) that academic authors regularly cite. Your journal may prefer an electronic version of a primary legal source if it complies with Bluebook R18.
Still haven't found what you need? Ask at the Service Counter!
To Get Articles from Journals, Newspapers, or other Periodicals (Rule 16)
To find scanned electronic versions of law review articles, try searching in the new HeinOnline Law Journal Library. Law reviews and other legal periodicals (both paper and electronic subscriptions) can also be found in ANTPAC, by the title of the law review, journal or periodical (not the title of the article).
Example: Your article cites: Erwin Chemerinsky, Against Sovereign Immunity, 53 Stan. L. Rev. 1201 (2001).
- OK - search by citation in the HeinOnline Law Journal Library
- OK - search ANTPAC for "Stanford Law Review"
- Not OK - search ANTPAC for Against Sovereign Immunity. You will not find the article in ANTPAC if you search by its title.
To find Newspapers, search ANTPAC to see if it's available on campus in print, or scanned online in one of the UCI subscription databases. Check the UCI Libraries Research Guide on News & Newspapers.
- The ANTPAC record will frequently indicate if a periodical is also available on Hein Online (which provides scanned PDF images of articles), or another online database. Some periodicals in the catalog don't yet have a link to the corresponding electronic version in Hein.
- The ANTPAC record will probably not tell you if the periodical is in Lexis or Westlaw.
If not found in ANTPAC--especially interdisciplinary and/or non-legal periodicals--search Melvyl by the title of the periodical. Many journals and newspapers will be available in online versions, so the text of your article might be available electronically.
Consult a research librarian about law reviews, journals and periodicals that you could not locate. Note that some articles can be borrowed from another library using the same basic Interlibrary Loan process as borrowing books from other libraries.
Borrowing from other Libraries
Journal members can borrow books (and other materials) from libraries all over the country through Interlibrary Loan.
Connecting to Library Databases from Off Campus
Law-related databases and electronic journals (such as LegalTrac, CQ Weekly, and HeinOnline) can have licensing agreements that restrict access. Some are available from off-campus, with a little technological help. For electronic resources:
- restricted to UCI: Use web VPN or download VPN software. Instructions are available.
- restricted to UCI Law: Use the PCs in the Law Library Computer Lab, or use the Law School VPN from your laptop or home computer. Instructions are available.