Juris-M (also referred to as Jurism) is a Zotero-variant, meaning it is based on Zotero but it has been modified to specifically support legal writing and multilingual research. Its interface is so similar to Zotero that most (if not all) of the user-support for Zotero also applies to Juris-M. Like Zotero, Juris-M is free and open-source.
Additional information regarding the relationship between Zotero and Juris-M can be found in the links below.
Reason #1 – Legal Citations: Both Zotero and Juris-M (as well as other research management and citation tools) support legal citations. While they all have their issues, the consensus appears to be that Juris-M offers the most flexibility to format citations that are consistent with the uniform system of citation described in The Bluebook and can accommodate a wide range of legal materials.
Reason #2 – Multilingual Citations: Juris-M also accommodates multilingual citations, making it very useful when working with non-English sources.
This guide will not attempt to discuss the variety of research management and citation tools that are available. For more general information, you can consult the following research guides:
First, go to Zotero.org and create a Zotero account (if you do not already have one).
Then, go to the Juris-M Downloads Page and download the appropriate Juris-M Standalone application (based on your OS) and the browser connector for your preferred browser.
Once you have installed Juris-M, go to Preferences (under Edit for PCs; under Jurism for Macs).
Under General, you can set general preferences.
Under Sync, you can link your Juris-M account with your Zotero account.
Under Cite, you can select your preferred style of citation.
The Georgetown Law Library has prepared a very helpful video tutorial to help you get started with Juris-M (the "look & feel" of the Juris-M webpages has changed somewhat since the video was made but the content is essentially the same).
The structure and interface of Juris-M is very similar to that of Zotero. Like Zotero, Juris-M captures metadata from a variety of sources (e.g., library catalogs, webpages, and many academic databases). It can also save copies of webpages and PDFs of documents for future reference.
Research materials can be organized into different folders (known as "collections" within a user's "library"), along with tags to help organize and later locate specific resources. To facilitate collaboration, collections can be shared with other users.
The Georgetown Law Library has prepared a very helpful video tutorial that shows you how to use Juris-M to collect, organize, and share research materials.
Legal citations are not simple. Although citations for journal articles and books are often straightforward, citations for primary law usually are not due to the variety of sources that may be referenced. Moreover, there are innumerable abbreviations to keep track of and all sorts of jurisdictional nuances. Do not expect easy solutions.
That said, Juris-M is designed to expand Zotero to accommodate all these variations. The resources below can help you capture the necessary information for your research materials and prepare proper citations.
NOTE: You may need to manually add rich text formatting to get the proper citation output. See the example below for how to add italics to a case name (yellow highlighting).
You can use Juris-M to add footnotes and other citations as you write your paper (brief, memorandum, or other document).
The Georgetown Law Library has prepared a very helpful video tutorial that shows how to create and edit footnotes and other citations as you prepare your document.
You will notice that not all of your citations print out in the proper format at first. Sometimes this is due to errors or inaccuracies in the metadata that was captured by Juris-M. Other times it is because the material you wish to cite contains some unique or relatively unusual characteristics.
While you are drafting a paper, the citations you add contain code. This code needs to be converted to regular text before you can finalize your paper (and make the inevitable citation corrections, because there is no perfect citation generator – especially when it comes to legal citations).
When you are ready to finalize your paper, MAKE A BACK-UP COPY OF YOUR PAPER!
Then, convert the citation code to text in your final paper by clicking "Remove Field Codes" or "Unlink Citations" using the Zotero tab (or toolbar) in the document. You can now (manually) make any edits that might be needed to finalize your citations in proper format.
By saving a back-up copy, you will still have the citation code available if you later need to restructure your paper or otherwise make automated changes to your citations (e.g., if you need to change your citation format for any reason).
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