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Journal Cite Checking Guide: Introduction

This guide is intended to assist journal members in locating print, PDF, or page image versions of cited materials for sourcing assignments.

General Tips for Success

  • LexisNexis and Westlaw are not the best sources for cite-checking because they rarely provide documents in PDF format.
  • Do not delay in attempting to locate difficult sources. It may take time to receive sources that need to be borrowed from other libraries.
  • It may be helpful to separate sources by type (cases, statutes, journal articles) and then utilize the specific tools/resourcers that work best for each source.
  • Prince's Bieber Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations: a Reference Guide for Attorneys, Legal Secretaries, Paralegals, and Law Students (located at the Reference Desk, call number KF 246 .B46 2017) can be used to decipher uncommon or difficult citations. Google also works well for this task.
  • If a book that you need is checked out of the Library, there's a good chance that someone working on the same article already has it.
  • The Scribes Manual for Law Review Editors (KF 272 .S27 2022) offers “detailed and practical guidance from law professors and law librarians who have significant experience working on and with law reviews.”


This guide reflects Loyola law librarians' collective wisdom and experience gained from assisting students with cite-checking and sourcing assignments. Because of the myriad of sources that authors cite to and the ever-changing variety of locations where sources may be found, it is impossible to list in any one place all the "best practices" for every possible sourcing or cite-checking assignment. In addition, not every citation relates to a source which is ascertainable; there may be times where a cite-checker (or editor) has to to go back to an author for a source cited. Having said that, this guide is intended to provide useful information and practical tips on locating and updating eight major types of sources:

The guide does not include foreign and international sources. For these sources consult the Foreign, Comparative and International Law Research Guide.

Procertas Legal Technology Assessment

The Procertas Legal Technology Assessment (LTA) is a series of training modules and assessments designed to help legal professionals become more proficient at using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat. The Procertas LTA provides 'competency-based' training and assessment. For each task there is a demonstration video, a practice task, and then a separate assessment. The Law Library provides access to the LTA for all Loyola Law students, faculty and staff. Individual login credentials are required to access Procertas. Contact Joe Mitzenmacher, Reference and Electronic Services Librarian ( or ext. 5-6844) to set up your own account.

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