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Research & Policy Guide for Law Journal Staff: General Research Suggestions

A guide for staff members of the various law journals at CUA Law. The guide provides some tips for source collection and outlines some of the library's policies applicable to the journals.


  • Please ask the reference librarians for assistance in the cite checking and source collecting process.  Reference staff are usually on duty Mon-Thur 9am-8pm, Fri 9am - 5pm, Sun Noon-8pm.
  • Always search the The Law Library Catalog first when trying to locate a book or journal (but not an article within a journal). This is the Law Library’s online catalog and is the clearest, most complete record of the Law Library's holdings.
  • Utilize the catalog and online databases of the Catholic University Library (primarily CUA's Mullen Library) and other college libraries in the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC).  When searching the WRLC catalog please be aware that material held on the CUA campus is indicated by “CU” in the “Library” column.  WRLC does not include material from law libraries.  Please note that the Law Library does NOT inter-library loan material from CUA campus libraries on behalf of journal staff.  You may borrow items that are available from CUA libraries using your CUA I.D.
  • In addition to Westlaw and LexisNexis, the Law Library subscribes to many specialized research databases that can greatly assist cite checkers in locating needed resources.  All of these databases are accessible through the “Research Databases” page on the Law Library’s website, and a number of these databases provide access to full-text, pdf (i.e. citable) versions of primary and secondary materials.
  • Off campus access is available to many but not all of the databases the Law Library and CUA libraries subscribe to.  Information on how to access from off-campus is available on the “Research Databases” page on the Law Library’s website, and on the FAQ page on the CUA Libraries’ website.
  • If possible, divide cite checking by the sources to be checked, rather than just by footnote number. Often journal staff have only a certain portion of the footnotes, but are trying to check a source previously cited (e.g. "Supra note 2, at 233").  In some cases they do not have the reference for footnote 2, or if they do, the person who is cite checking footnote 2 has the book off the shelf. Often a footnote needs to be seen in the context of the entire article before we can determine what is being referred to.
  • Also, as noted above, journal staff often have only part of the footnotes and may need to refer to earlier footnotes in order to clarify a citation. The reference librarians can therefore better assist you if they can view a copy of the entire article being cite checked. If you are unsure how to cite to a source (i.e. "Bluebooking”), look to see if it has been cited before in a well respected law review. 
  • Always begin by assuming that you are not the first person who has had to cite to this particular source; however use other attempts at citing only as a guide, always be sure to consult the Bluebook.

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