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Library Services to Journals for Fall 2020

Getting Started


Welcome, HLS journal editors and staff!

Our buildings are closed, but we are available online to help you navigate the subciting process.

These sites will provide the most current information about Harvard Library services during COVID. Note that this information changes frequently. 

Finding and checking sources remotely will be challenging.  Many sources are not available online and we may not be able to get everything for you.

We are here to help and there are many ways to reach us. Chat with us, drop-in for our virtual office hours, submit a question via Ask A Librarian! or email us at 

The sooner you get in touch with us, the more we can help! 

Journals Liaisons

Current 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 as soon as possible, and at least 2 weeks prior to the start of cite checking work.

Your library liaison can:

  • identify 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

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 Your Sources

Finding items at Harvard

Borrowing & Scanning

What's Available from the Library?

Details of Library Services are changing rapidly. Check the Harvard Library page for up to date information about Library servcies during COVID-19.

Scanning Requests

Some materials in the Harvard collections may be available to be scanned on demand. Submit Scan & Deliver requests via HOLLIS.

Details of Library Services are changing rapidly. Check the Harvard Library page above for the most up to date information about Library servcies during COVID-19.


Borrowing Books

Some books or physical Harvard Library materials may be available for front door pickup by students in Cambridge.

Library materials must be requested by and checked out to individual students. For your privacy, items must be picked up by the same student who requested them. We are also unable to share waitlist information.

The standard checkout period is one semester and you may renew materials in HOLLIS.


Outside of Harvard

If you determine that an item you need is not available on campus, we may be able to find an alternative or get scan for you via Interlibrary Loan.

Before proceeding, check with the Library.

Note: Do not pay for articles you find via Google without checking with us. We may be able to get them for you at no charge!

More about Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

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

Turnaround Time

  • ILL turnaround time varies widely depending on availability.
  • This is particularly true during COVID-19.

ILL Delivery

Scanned items will be delivered directly to the person who requested them.

Note: It is not always possible to find a library willing or able to lend a requested item. Please contact us to try to locate an alternative source. 


What if an item isn't available?

Unfortunately, some material won't be available in an online, authoritative format. If the Library can't find a version you can use, check with your editors as journal policies will vary. 

Subciting Tips

Subcite Quick Tips

Long-term access to sources

Perpetual Access to Your Cited Sources

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: (Links, Websites) 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.

Documents on File (Documents, Print)

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.

Getting Help

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