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Sandbox for Journal Subcite Quick Tips

This guide provides important information for journal members working on subcites.


Getting Started

This guide provides convenient links to some of the more common subciting materials. This guide focuses primary on US law and is not an exhaustive list. You may want to contact your journal liaison or the reference department for additional help.

Plan Ahead 

When going through an article, start by assessing the sources. Sort out what should be easy to find from what will be more time consuming. For example, most US law review articles are available on HeinOnline. Law review articles are relatively fast and simple.

Books may also be at other Harvard libraries, the Harvard Depository, or at another university. Some materials may need to be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), which can take weeks.

Scanners & Copiers

The Library has do-it-yourself scanning stations. You can scan materials on the 2nd floor of the library, using the Ricoh mutifunction machines. There are more scanners on the third floor of the library in room 352. The stations have been configured for easy use, and instructions are attached to their kiosks. Scanning is absolutely free.

Original Form


Subciting often involves finding materials in their "original" form - for materials online. This means finding .pdf versions of materials as they appear in an official print source. One of the best resources for getting sources as they appear in print is:

Throughout this guide are links to HeinOnline, which contains PDF scans of originals.  The links are marked by (HeinOnline) at the end of the link name.

Secondary Sources


To find books please start with the library catalog:

If you cannot find what you are looking for in the Hollis catalog, try the following:

If you have not found your source please contact the library for assistance.


Legal Publications

For more current law review articles visit:

If the pinpoint cite is wrong in the footnote of the draft article, you may want to search for quotes. You can do this effectively in etc. in Westlaw or Lexis. Then obtain the PDF copy in HeinOnline.

Sometimes older volumes may still only exist in print; if you are not finding something electronically, try searching:

If the article or paper is not yet published, try:

Non-Law Publications

Search in HOLLIS.  If the article title is not listed in HOLLIS, try finding the journal title.  If that is unsuccessful, try pasting your article name and author into:


Finding newspapers can be tricky. Some journal editors still require the original print format. However, HLS only has a few and most are only kept for a few months. Most databases archive just the text - not the page image.

Primary Sources

Federal Statutes

The federal statutes and the United States Constitution are codified in the United States Code (U.S.C.). The Latest print edition for the U.S. Code is 2018. Sections must be updated using the Supplements (and relevant Code section).

Federal Legislative History

To learn more about how to begin a federal legislative history, start with the following video introduction:

Running Time: 4 minutes, 33 seconds.

For a step-by-step guide to conducting a legislative history consult:

Public Laws and Session Laws can be located at:

Legislative History:

This may include:  Bills, Hearings, Committee Reports, etc. . .

Agencies & Regulations

Materials produced by an agency will often be found on the agency’s website.  For additional information about finding administrative sources visit:

Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.):

Federal Register (Fed. Reg.):

State Statutes

The following video will walk you through how to request a state code for your subcite:

Running Time: 5 minutes, 10 seconds.

A few tips regarding State Codes:

  • They are available in print on the 4th floor of the library (south end) in alphabetical order
  • Superseded editions are available on microfiche
    • Check HOLLIS for availability.
    • Microfilm is stored offsite. Contact to request materials. 
  • Some superseded state statutes are available through HeinOnline.
  • Updating in print editions varies. Update sections with pocket parts of the code to ensure currency

If you require assistance with superseded state statutes check the following sources, and ask a librarian:

Case Materials

PDF versions of original reporter images are available from the following sources:

U.S. Supreme Court decisions including slip opinions are available from:

Historical state caselaw is available from:

Case Law in Print

  • Sometimes no PDF is available through Westlaw, Lexis, or other online databases. If this is the case, you may need to order a copy via ILL.
  • Shepardize cases in Westlaw or Lexis to ensure they are still good law

Docket Materials

The following provides a primer on finding and using docket materials:

Running Time: 4 minutes, 22 seconds.

For further instructions visit:

Foreign & International

Foreign Law Resources

For an introduction to finding foreign law sources visit:

Running Time: 6 minutes, 22 seconds.

HeinOnline has several foreign law databases that are quite useful including:



Table One lists each jurisdiction's reporters, codes, and other primary sources. It provides citation formats and dates of coverage. For those citing foreign law in U.S. law reviews, The Bluebook is not comprehensive.

If The Bluebook does not address a source you must cite, use custom and, if possible, parallel citations. When filing legal documents with a court, court rules of citation will apply. Consult court rules to determine whether or not Bluebook format is appropriate.

For citation guides on both domestic and foreign legal and non-legal sources, please see:

Journal Liaisons

Ask a Librarian

Research for subcites may be complicated, and require you to use unfamiliar research methods. If you're cannot find a resource after exploring the methods above, please contact a librarian. You can reach out to your journal liaison or the reference department for assistance.

Journal Liaisons

Your journal's library liaison is your main contact at the HLS Library. Your liaison can assist through:

  • Training sessions on efficiently locating sources 
  • Article Preview service to identify difficult sources
  • Help you track down hard-to-find sources
  • Answering questions about Library policies and services

Look up your journal liaison's name and contact information in the table below for assistance.

Getting Help

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