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Library Services to Journals

Library services and policies for HLS journal editors and staff.

Getting Started


Welcome, HLS journal editors and staff! Read on to learn more about how the Library and your journal's library liaison can help you have a successful journal year. 

If you have any questions about the journal library liaison program, please contact Mindy Kent or Meg Kribble.

Journals Liaisons

2018-2019 Liaison Assignments

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 and reach out to us whenever we can assist.

Article Preview

For Cite Checking

Our Article Preview service streamlines the cite-checking process by identifying items that may be difficult to obtain.

To give us adequate time to review, please submit articles to your library liaison at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the student cite checking event.

Your library liaison can:

  • identify campus resources for some publications
  • suggest online alternatives to print resources
  • help to identify sources that may have to be obtained via ILL or that may require the author's help
  • suggest visits to other libraries for select resources.

Your library liaison cannot:

  • individually review every single footnote included in the article
  • deliver sources

To submit an article for the Article Preview service, please email a copy to your journal's library liaison.

For Empirical Research

The HLS Library Empirical Research Services team can conduct a cursory review of articles that are empirical in nature or primarily data-based for:

  • soundness of methodology
  • statistical analysis
  • appropriate use of statistics and data

To submit an article for empirical support review, please email a copy to Arevik Avedian. Please allow at least 2 weeks for review.

Finding and borrowing sources

Borrowing policy

Library materials must be checked out to individual students. The standard checkout period is one semester and you may renew materials in HOLLIS.

For your privacy, items must be picked up by the same student who requested them. We are also unable to share waitlist information.

Finding items at Harvard

Getting materials delivered: items available at Harvard

Harvard provides several services you can use to get books and other materials delivered directly to the HLS Library Circulation Desk or your email. For faster access, you can also pick up or scan items that are available at libraries campus yourself.

More about Scan & Deliver

What can be requested: 

  • Journal articles (one per issue) or book chapters (one per book), not exceeding 10% of the work

What can't be requested:

  • Items being used as course materials, including course reserves
  • Special collections
  • Items too fragile or brittle for scanning
  • Requests exceeding 100 pages

Getting materials delivered: items not available at Harvard

If you determine that a book, article, or other source you need is not available on campus, you can probably still get access through one of the services below.

Before proceeding, you may wish to double check that we don't have something with your library liaison. Do not pay for articles you find via Google when we can get them for you at no charge!

More about Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

To request an item, visit the link above and click the SUBMIT AN INTERLIBRARY LOAN REQUEST button, then complete all the required and additional sections for which you have information. Some materials may not be requested via ILL; they include:

  • Statutes
  • Newspaper articles available on Lexis or Westlaw
  • Materials readily available in PDF format from a reliable source

Arrival of ILL items

Articles are usually sent by email within a week, but some libraries still send articles by postal mail. Books and articles sent by mail may take up to two weeks to arrive—or longer, if coming from overseas.

If we place an ILL request for an article that arrives by e-mail, we will forward it directly to your HLS email address.

We will email you when mailed books and photocopies are available for pick up at the Library's Circulation Desk.

In-library use ILL items

A lending library may determine than an item should be restricted to "in-library use." In these cases, items will be held at the Circulation Desk. You will be able to use it in the Library, but you may not take them home or to the journal office.

Potential problems with receiving a requested ILL item

It is not always possible to find a library willing or able to lend a requested item. Here are some common reasons:

  • The item is of a type libraries typically won’t let off their premises, including videotapes, microforms, all or parts of multi-volume sets, looseleafs, reference books, books on reserve, rare books, or books for which the lending library owns the only known copy
  • Previous patrons at HLS failed to return ILL items on time (you can help with this by always returning your ILL items when they are due!)
  • The lending library's fee is more than $75 for a loan; this is a rare circumstance, but does periodically occur

Renewing ILL items

Please request renewals of ILL items at least one week before the item is due. Lending libraries often grant renewal requests, but we cannot assume they will.

We will let you know either the new due date or the lending library’s refusal to renew. In the latter case, please return the item to the Circulation Desk so it may be returned to the lending library.

Returning ILL items

Return ILL items at the HLS Library Circulation Desk.

Subciting Tips

Subcite Quick Tips

Subciting in the Library


Library space for mass subcite events is available on a first-come, first-served basis. You may wish to share your subcite plans with the leaders of other journals to help avoid conflicts.

Subciting in the Library

Collaboration zones are the best locations for subcite events, as talking is permitted. Collaboration zones include:

  • The Reference Room, 4th floor off the center of the Reading Room (note the reference space will be moving to the 3rd floor south in October 2018)
  • The Library Computer Lab, 2nd (main) floor
  • The Library Microforms Room, 2nd (main) floor

Because the Reading Room is a quiet zone, we ask that you respect your fellow students and do not host subcites here.

Book carts

If you have items checked out that you need to move to your journal's office, the Circulation Desk may have a book cart or two you can borrow, but we cannot guarantee availability of carts.

Ensuring access to sources

How to ensure perpetual access to sources cited in your journal

Authors may cite sources that are difficult to find or changing and ephemeral in nature, such as unpublished manuscripts, interview transcripts, and blogs and websites. The Library offers two options to ensure future readers can find and access these sources:

For print and electronic documents, use Historical & Special Collections's Documents on File program.

For websites, use the Library Innovation Lab's tool.

Documents on File

The Documents on File Program is a service offered to student journals at the HLS for the purpose of retaining unpublished, difficult to access, or ephemeral sources cited in the journal.

Getting Started

In order to participate in this program, Editors-in-Chief, Managing Editors, or the appropriate delegate must schedule a brief meeting with HSC staff to review details of the program and to sign a Deed of Gift.

Materials will not be accepted without a signed Deed of Gift on file.

Preparing Documents for Transfer

Whether your unpublished document is physical or digital, HSC requires some accompanying information. We do not accept duplicate copies in both electronic and physical formats, so please have your authors choose one.

Transferring electronic documents is typically easier and quicker for both parties.

All documents transferred to the Library are identified in citations using the following explanatory parenthetic: “On file with the HLS Library”. (Note: a webpage saved in does not require this citation.)

The Library will not accept material with access restrictions or materials available at other libraries or archival repositories. Documents transferred to the library will be freely accessible to all patrons and subject to HSC Reading Room policies. All documents will be available for duplication upon request.

Transferring Electronic Files

The following guidelines must be adhered to:

Electronic files must be transferred using HSC's secure file drop. Each electronic transfer should contain only one volume of Documents on File. Include the volume, page number, year, footnote number, and filename of the document associated with this data using this template.

To capture a web page, the author should use to archive it at the time of research and use the provided stable link in their citation. HSC will not accept printed copies of webpages.

To submit an electronic file that falls outside of these guidelines, contact and copy your library liaison.

Transferring Physical Documents

HSC will provide journals with archival, acid-free file folders for the sole purpose of transferring documents. In preparation of transfer, please organize sources by: Volume, Page Number, Year, Footnote Number. See Labeling Folders for more details. The following guidelines must be adhered to:

  • Folders are labeled on the tab using pencil; please do not use pen.
  • When possible, keep pages loose; please do not use staples or paperclips (sources that have already been stapled may be left as is)
  • Lengthy documents can be placed across several folders and labeled accordingly.

Scheduling Delivery

Electronic documents can be transferred at any time. An HSC staff member will confirm their receipt.

While there is flexibility regarding when physical documents can be delivered to HSC, advance notice is required. Please email specialc@law. to arrange delivery. Materials will not be accepted if dropped off at other library departments, unless previous arrangements are made. helps scholars, journals, courts, and others avoid link rot by creating permanent records of the web sources they cite at the time they are cited. is simple, free, and built and supported right here at HLS.  

Follow the links below to learn more about getting started with and contact your library liaison if you have questions.


Printing in the Library

Journal students who need to print documents for journal work in the Library should check with their editors to see if they have a journal printing account at the library and to obtain the username and password. Editors may contact to Sheena Prosper to set up an account.

The Library staff does NOT know the username and password information for journal printing accounts and cannot look these up for you

Microform readers/printers are located in the Microforms Room on the 2nd floor of the Library across from the Library Computer Lab. Choose which machine you use before you start, as only some of them can print and scan. Printing and scanning from microforms is free! Please call the Circulation Desk at 617-495-3455 if you need assistance this equipment.


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