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Law Review: Law Library Support for Members of the Boston College Law Review

Source Collection

One major responsibility of 2L staffers is to collect sources for cite and substance checks. 

General Tips:

Citations: When reviewing the author's citations, use the Bluebook to determine the preferred source for a citation and to help you parse difficult citations.  You can use the general index on the back cover of the Bluebook to help you find applicable sections or the Index starting on page 525 of the Twentieth Edition.

Format: A PDF image and hard copy are equally valid proof of actual publication.  The catalog will lead you to links to electronic resources, many of which are not on the free web.  Retrieve them through catalog links or our research pages to be authenticated as a subscriber.  Off campus, you will need to use your BC credentials to authenticate through a proxy server.

Copies: Scan what you need with one of our KIC Scanners.   They facilitate quick and easy scanning of relevant pages from print books.  Don’t forget to scan the title page as well as the cited pages. Two KIC Scanners are located on Level 2 near to the Information Desk, and a third is on Level 3.

Reference Help: Law librarians can help you find difficult sources. Contact your librarian liaison or stop by the Information Desk to speak with the law librarian on duty.

Primary Sources

Download PDFs of cases from state courts and the lower federal courts from Westlaw.  There is a delay in the posting of PDFs of cases to Westlaw and the Law Library no longer receives advance sheets for regional reporters.  If you have a citation to a recent case that has not yet been posted as a PDF on Westlaw and is not in the library, check with your editor if it is okay to rely on the online version of the case or complete an interlibrary loan.

Use HeinOnline for PDFs of United States Supreme Court cases, the official U.S. Code, Statutes at Large, the C.F.R., and the Federal Register.  HeinOnline has PDFs of many more sources, so it should usually be the first place you look for primary law in a source collection. 

The Law Library collects the Bluebook preferred state statutory codes for most of the fifty states.  State codes can be found on the 4th floor of the Law Library in the Law State Collections area with the exception of the General Laws of Massachusetts, which are kept with the Massachusetts materials on the same floor.

Ask for reference assistance in locating hard to find sources.



Search the library catalog for books on your source collection list.  Books owned by the Law Library should be located in the stacks, brought to the Information Desk, checked out to your journal, and shelved on the source collection shelves behind the compact shelving on Level 1.

Books in the Law Library can be checked out directly to the review. Books from O'Neill and other BC libraries must be checked out to an individual. We can change the record of a book owned by Boston College, so source collectors can request that books from other BC libraries be checked out and sent to the Law Library for pick up.  You will see the delivery option only when you are signed into the catalog. Once the books get to the Law Library, we can adjust the record to reflect the books as being checked out by the person responsible for the source collection.

Books from non-BC libraries must be requested by the person who will ultimately be responsible for them, generally the Article Editor.  Locate the materials not in the BC system in WorldCat and send the WorldCat record to your source collection supervisor so s/he may request them directly.

You can search our catalog or link to WorldCat from the Law Library home page.

Journal Articles

Your first choice for law review articles for source collection should be HeinOnline.  Select the Law Journal Library and use the Citation Navigator to retreive PDFs of articles by citation.

If a journal is not in HeinOnline, try the catalog to see if we have the journal in print or online through another platform.  To find a journal article, search for the journal title (not the article title) in the library catalog (the Books tab on the Law Library homepage).  If the catalog links you to a PDF version of the journal, download that.  If no PDF is available and we own the journal, scan a copy of the article using the KIC Scanner.

There are many law review articles available in our print collection you will not be able to find online.  Our law review collections are time divided.   Most law reviews are in open stacks on Level 1.  Volumes before 1990 are shelved in the compact shelves behind the Law Review Indexes on Level 1 and current issues are at the Information Desk 

If Boston College does not subscribe to a journal you need, use WorldCat to locate the journal title.  Then log in to the system and request the article directly.  Other libraries will scan individual articles and send them directly to you or to us to send to you, so these requests can be made directly by 2Ls.


Newspaper Articles

Locating newspaper articles to verify authors' citations in print or PDF can be difficult.  Check the BC Law Library's guide on Retrieving Newspaper Articles for Law Review Research to find those newspapers that we have access to.

Beginning in Fall 2014, the BC Law journals have adopted a new approach to retrieving hardcopy newspaper articles.  This approach will move away from the Bluebook's preference for print citations.  Staff will provide citations to electronic cites for newspapers and foreign sources.  The adoption of Perma by the BC law reviews will help ensure long-term access to these sources. 

Born Digital Sources

In an increasing online environment many sources are born digital and never recreated in print.  Consult Bluebook Rule 18 for sources that are only available on the Internet.