The purpose of preemption checking is twofold:
Search engine / database searching:
Don't give up on a topic too soon:
What to do if you find nothing:
Keep a detailed record:
Library catalogs can provide note writers with a variety of information including whether a book on your topic exists and where books on your topic or related to it are located. Two popular catalogs are:
Law review indexes can assist with preemption checking because they index published law reviews with a controlled vocabulary. This means you can find articles on the same topic even if they use different terminology. Three indexes you will want to consult are listed below.
Full-text law review databases are not a substitute for indexes, however they can provide access to a variety of published law review articles that may assist with topic development. Three popular resources are HeinOnline, Lexis Advance, and Westlaw.
Article abstract indexes and electronic paper collections, such as Social Science Research Network (SSRN) are great tools for preemption checking. These tools allow writers to check the abstracts and pre-publication drafts of papers by a variety of authors in different subject areas. Within SSRN, note writers may want to focus on the Legal Scholarship Network (LSN).
Legal news resources can provide insight into current topics that may be helpful for developing a note topic. There are many places to access legal news:
Other legal news resources that can be helpful are listed below:
Nonlegal news resources can also be helpful in both topic development and preemption checking. Staying on top of current events with resources like the New York Times, the Financial Times, and others can allow writers to learn about new areas where noteworthy topics may live. It can also be beneficial to search using resources like Factiva.