Law Journal Cite Checkers Guide

Tips for Getting Started

Remember that the ASU libraries may have many of the sources you need.  Search the library catalog for books, journals, and more.  If you do not find the source you are looking for, you may request an interlibrary loan.  Please fill out an Interlibrary Loan request form or contact Carrie Henteleff with any questions. 

The Reference Librarians can assist you with hard-to-locate sources, help you locate materials in other libraries and on the web, and provide specialized training to editors in advance of cite checking assignments. See Ask a Librarian for detailed instructions on contacting a Reference Librarian.

The Reference Office (112A) is located in the Main Reading Room and Reference hours during the academic semesters are: Monday - Thurscday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

How to Chose a Paper Topic Guide
Prepared by a Ross-Blakley Law Librarian, this guide  is designed for law students who are writing a substantive legal research paper and are looking for guidance on how to begin. The guide details sources for help in selecting a paper topic and offers insight in how to check whether your paper will add new information to the field of law.

CALI Preemption Checking
Wondering if your topic for a journal note or article has been covered before?  The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) offers a lesson on the sources and process of conducting a preemption check

Sources such as Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations (KF 246 B46 Law Reserve), the World Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations (K89 K38 Law Reference), and the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations can be very useful for deciphering abbreviations.

Research Guides
Consult the library's Research Guides when you are researching an area you are not familiar with. Some of the research guide topics are: Arizona Legislative History, Electronic Sources for Federal Legislative History, United States Treaties and International Agreements, Secondary Legal Materials, and Federal Regulations.

ASU Libraries Catalog
Use the ASU Library Catalog to find out what books, journals and government documents the Law Library and other ASU libraries own. Use your ASUrite ID and password to request items through the online catalog from other campus libraries, track the books that you have checked out, renew your items online, and access ASU databases off campus.

Paper, microforms and image formats (PDF)
Please remember that microforms (microfilm and microfiche) and image formats (PDF) are exact copies of the original pages of a document or article with the same page numbers and graphics. For cite checking they are legitimate substitutions when the original cannot be located in paper. In the Law Library, be sure to check Westlaw for PDF versions of cases and HeinOnline for PDF versions of articles. HTML databases like LexisNexis and Westlaw files not yet converted to PDF may lack page numbering and graphics. Many websites have articles in image formats.

How to Find Books in the Law Library

From the Law Library's website, search the ASU online catalog by clicking on Search the Library Catalog. You may search by author, title, or keyword. For more information see the ASU Libraries tutorials on Finding Books (requires Flash).
Note: the online catalog lists books, journals, documents and microforms. It does NOT list individual articles in journals and law reviews. For help identifying articles see How to Find Articles.
Be sure to copy the call number, the location (Law Treatises, Law State, etc) and note the status of the book. Is it on the shelf or is it checked-out indicated by a due date?  Check the Building Directory or ask at the Circulation Desk for directions to the appropriate collection.

If the book you need is not on the shelf, check the carrels, tables and copy rooms nearby. Inquire at the Circulation Desk about a search or placing a hold if the material is checked out.

How to Find Books in Other ASU Campus Libraries

From the Law Library's website, search the ASU online catalog by clicking on Search the Library Catalog. You may search by author, title, or keyword. For more information see the ASU Libraries tutorials on Finding Books (require Flash).

If the Status of the book is "shelf" or it has a due date listed, click on Request and enter your ASUrite ID and password. Books with a status of Library Use Only cannot be requested.
  • Select "Law" for the pick-up location and click Submit.
  • If multiple copies of the books are available, click on the radio button next to the preferred copy, then click Request Selected Item.
  • When the book is ready to be picked up, you will be notified by e-mail. Books on the shelf at the Tempe campus libraries are usually available by the next day. Items sent from the West, Polytechnic, or Downtown campuses usually take 2 business days to arrive.
  • The book will be held for one week at the Law Library Circulation Desk.

Remember, these books are being checked out in your name. You are responsible for returning them on time and for any overdue fines that may accrue.

How to Find Articles in the Law Library


Library Catalogs do not list individual articles in journals, law reviews, newspapers and other periodicals. Use indexes to identify articles on a topic or by an author or to fill in missing information of a citation. Use indexes to complement Westlaw or LexisNexis because even though they don't have the full text of an article, they may cover journals not included in Westlaw or LexisNexis.

HeinOnline and Other Electronic Full-Text Sources
Full text electronic journals generally exist in one of two formats. Image formats such as PDF are exact copies of the original with page numbering and graphics. PDF copies, just like microforms, are accepted as legitimate substitutes for the original when cite-checking; HTML versions like Westlaw and LexisNexis provide the full text hyperlinks to cases, statutes and other documents cited in the article, but may lack page numbering and graphics. Please note that Westlaw provides PDF format for some federal cases.

The HeinOnline database collection provides online, image-based access to law periodical titles previously only available in print, as well as other primary and secondary resources of historic significance. Its libraries contain numerous complete runs of titles from the first volume, predating coverage available on either LexisNexis or Westlaw for most titles. HeinOnline's most attractive feature for cite checkers is that it contains full-text exact page images of law reviews and journals, U.S. Reports, the Federal Register, and other primary and secondary legal sources. There is no difference between looking at a PDF version of a law review volume and looking at the actual print volume. See also detailed instructions on Using HeinOnline.

Other Electronic Full-Text Resources

  • From the Law Library's website, search the ASU online catalog by clicking on Search the Library Catalog
  • Click on Journal Title to find electronic periodicals.
  • Enter the title of the journal in the search box. There is a dropdown menu next to the search box. Select the option appropriate for your search (i.e. - Title Begins With if you know only the first two words of the journal title). You may also browse a list of titles that are available in full text.
  • Click Find Journal to view a list of databases that contain the journal. Be sure to note the dates of coverage for each database.
  • Click on the name of the database to search for articles.
  • If the journal is not available in electronic format, you must then search the library's print holdings.
  • If the journal is not available electronically, nor in print in the Law Library, you may request an Interlibrary Loan.

Paper Copies/Microforms
All journals in the Law Library are shelved by call number. Most journals are shelved in either the Bound Periodicals section on the 2nd floor or in Current Periodicals behind the Circulation Desk. Microforms are located in cabinets on the west side of the first floor.

  • From the Law Library's website, search the ASU online catalog by clicking on Search the Library Catalog.
  • Search by journal title or keyword if you do not know the exact title. For more information see the ASU Libraries tutorials on Finding Articles.
  • Copy the call number and the location for the journal.
  • Retrieve the journal from the shelf.

LexisNexis and Westlaw
The LexisNexis "US Law Reviews and Journals, Combined" and the Westlaw "Journals and Law Reviews (JLR)" database contain hundreds of full text law reviews and bar journals. These periodicals can be searched as a group, individually, by topic or jurisdiction. There are separate files for newspapers including some foreign newspapers.

How to Find Articles in Other ASU Campus Libraries

To Search indexes in other disciplines, go to the ASU Libraries Home Page. You can get to this page from the Law Library's website by clicking on Search the Library Catalog and then on the ASU Libraries logo in the top left corner of the page.

From the menu on the left, select Find Articles. To search for indexes by subject or name, select Research Databases. To search for specific journals, select Journal Title Lookup . For more information on finding articles go to the ASU Libraries tutorials on Finding Articles.

If the article you want is not available at the Law Library or in electronic format, but is owned by another ASU library in print, you may use the Interlibrary Loan Request Form to request the article.

How to Find U.S. Government Documents

Many documents and publications of the executive, legislative and judicial branches are available in the Law Library in paper, microform and electronic format.

  • From the Law Library's website search the ASU online catalog by clicking on Search the Library Catalog
  • Copy the call number (ex. AE2.108/2:) and the location (ex. LAW GOV DOCS STACKS, LAW GOV DOCS REFERENCE) for the document.
  • Check the building directory for the location or ask at the front desk.
  • Please note, not all the Law Library government documents are listed in the online catalog. If you retrieve a record from the online catalog that indicates that only Hayden Government Documents owns it, you may want to check the Law Library's government documents stacks for the call number. Better yet, ask a Reference Librarian for help!
  • Government documents that are selected by ASU and available in electronic format on the internet should have links to them from the ASU online catalog.

If what you need is not in the ASU online catalog, try the other tools listed below. For help, contact a Reference Librarian.

Other Tools

To locate other government information and websites that contain documents go to the Law Library's Research Now page and click on Search for Websites in the Research Tools box. This will allow you to search for databases and web sites under the following categories:


Also on the Law Library's website, check out the Research Guides that relate to government documents.

LexisNexis Congressional
Searchable guide to congressional hearings, reports, documents, prints and legislative history.

Government resources by branch or by topic. "Federal wide resources" includes a complete list of federal websites.

Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
1988 to date, indexes U.S. federal government publications. For more information on government documents at the Law Library go to the Law Library's website, click on More Library Information and then on Collections. Here you will see the link for Government Documents. For more information on government documents at the Hayden Library go to

How to Request Materials Not Available at ASU - Interlibrary Loan

Tips for managing Interlibrary Loans
PLAN AHEAD! Place ILL requests as soon as possible. It can sometimes take up to 4 weeks for requests to be filled and delivered . Most ILLs are loaned for only 3-4 weeks, so be sure to pick up the materials promptly when they arrive.

ILLs will be wrapped in a light blue book wrap so they are easy to identify. Watch your due dates on these. It is very important that loaned material be returned to the lending institution by the due date. If you need the materials longer, be sure to request a renewal. Photocopies do not need to be returned.

We will attempt to obtain difficult items if needed. However, it may be faster to go directly to the author in these cases. The following types of materials are difficult to obtain through Interlibrary Loan: 

  • Recently published books.
  • Entire volumes or issues of periodicals.
  • Loose-leaf materials
  • Single volumes of multi-volume sets.
  • Reference works or Reserve materials.
  • Rare books or original manuscripts.
  • Entire Newspapers.
  • Some doctoral dissertations and master's theses.

Requesting Interlibrary Loans
If materials cannot be located at the Law Library or in the ASU Library Catalog, the managing editor will decide whether to obtain the item from the author or whether to pursue an Interlibrary Loan.  An Interlibrary Loan form must be completed for each item needed. This form can be filled out and submitted electronically. Paper forms are also available at the Circulation Desk.  To complete the form: 

  • Verify that no ASU Library owns the material. Please indicate if the item is in the ASU Library Catalog but is not obtainable (missing, checked out, non-circ, article at a Tempe campus library, etc.).
  • Provide your name and a phone number and email where you can be contacted quickly. We may have to call you for more information and we will notify you as soon as the materials arrive.
  • Check "Law Journal" or "Jurimetrics" and indicate the author's name for the article you are cite checking on the form.
  • Check "loan" (book, original work) or "photocopy" (journal article).
  • Complete the bibliographic information with as much information as you have. (Book author, title, publisher, journal title, article author and title, volume, issue number, date, page numbers, etc.)

Relocating Materials to the Journal Office

Circulating books, bound periodicals, reporters, legal encyclopedias, and the USCA can be checked out to the Law Journal account and relocated to the Law Journal office.  Books can be placed on carts and left at the Circulation Desk for check out with a sign stating your name and the date. The books will be ready for pick-up the next day.  The following non-circulating materials can be relocated to the journal office:

American Jurisprudence 
Arizona Reporter 
Atlantic Reporter 
Corpus Juris Secundum 
Federal Reporter 
Federal Supplement 
Northeastern Reporter 
Northwestern Reporter 
Pacific Reporter 
Southeastern Reporter
Southern Reporter
Southwestern Reporter
Supreme Court Reporter
US Reports

Carts may be used to transport items to the Law Journal office, but should be unloaded and immediately returned to the Circulation Desk.

Items that cannot be relocated to the Law Journal cite check room in the basement include:

  • Study Skills Collection materials
  • Digests
  • Citators
  • Federal Register & Code of Federal Regulations
  • Indices
  • Looseleaf Services
  • Reference Material
  • Reserve Items
  • Current periodicals
  • Government documents
  • Statutes except USCA
  • Any other non-circulating materials (multi-volume sets, etc.)
These materials must be photocopied or used in the library.

Returning Materials after Cite Checking Is Complete
All materials relocated to the Law Journal office must be returned to the Law Library Circulation Desk when the cite check is complete.  The Law Journal office must be cleared of library materials at the end of the year.


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