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Journal Subcite Quick Tips

Information and links for finding resources in print and PDF.


Getting Started

This guide is meant to offer quickie links to some of the more common subciting materials, with a focus on US primary laws.  This is not an exhaustive list, and you may want to contact your journal liaison or the Reference Desk for additional help.

You can also contact your library Journal Liaison.

Plan your Subcite 

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

In contrast, books can often be at other Harvard libraries, ordered from the Harvard Depository, or at another university through Borrow Direct. Some materials may need to be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), which can take several weeks.

Check out the library policy for services to journals.

Check out additional journal information for students.

Scanners & Copiers

The Library has five, do-it-yourself scanning stations. One is located in the Microforms Room on the 2nd floor, three are located near the Reference Room, and one is located at the north end of the Reading Room. The stations have been configured for easy use, and straightforward instructions are attached to each of their control kiosks. The Ricoh mutifunction machines located throughout the library can also scan. Scanning is absolutely free!


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

Throughout this guide are links to HeinOnline for sources including:

Primary Sources

Legislative & Congressional Docs

United States Code (U.S.C.)

  • U.S.C. is available in print in the HLS Library reading room (4th floor), and in the reference room [KF62]
  • United States Constitution is found in the advance pages of Title 1 of the U.S.C.

NOTE:  Latest print edition for the U.S. Code is 2012. Sections must be updated using the Supplements (and relevant Code section)

State Codes

  • 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  • Superseded editions are available on microfiche..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 from Hein.

Note: Updating in print editions varies. Update sections with pocket parts of the code to ensure currency

Note: Ask a librarian for help. Superseded state statutes can be tricky.

Public Laws and Session Laws

Legislative History [includes:  Bills, Hearings, Committee Reports]

Agencies & Regulations

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

Code of Federal Regulation (C.F.R.)


Federal Register (Fed. Reg.)

Cases & Docket Materials

Case Law Online

NOTE: If you have problems getting the PDF to open in Westlaw, switch browsers, i.e., from IE to Firefox. If that doesn’t work, try holding down the 'Ctrl' button while clicking on the PDF icon.

Case Law in Print

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


Secondary Sources


  • Start with HOLLIS, the catalog.
NOTE: In Hollis, check for item location and availability.  Some books may be held at the Harvard Depository, while others may be at other libraries, e.g., Widener or Lamont.
  • If you are only looking for a few specific pages in a book, try Google Books.
  • If the book is not available in HOLLIS, try Borrow Direct to borrow from one of our partner libraries. Some materials may need to be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), which can take several weeks.
  • If you still can't find the book, contact the library for help.


Law Reviews (Heinonline)

TIP:  If the pinpoint cite is wrong in the footnote of the draft article, you may want to search for quotes, etc. in Westlaw or Lexis, and then obtain the PDF copy at Hein. 

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

Non-Law Journals

If the article is not listed in HOLLIS, try finding the journal title in HOLLIS.

If you do not find the journal in Hollis, try Borrow Direct or ILL

If the paper is not yet published, try SSRN.


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



The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 20th ed.

Copies of The Bluebook are available on Reserve and in Reference [KF 245.B58]

Compiled by the Law Review editors of Columbia, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale, this guide is the most heavily relied upon citation manual for law. It prescribes citation formats for most U.S. law sources.

Table One lists each jurisdiction's reporters, codes, and other primary sources, providing their 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 wish to 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.

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations
From Cardiff University, this site provides the full title from the abbreviations for legal publications. It covers case reporters and legal periodicals from the British Isles, the Commonwealth, and the United States, including those covering international and comparative law.

For detailed information on citation guides for both domestic and foreign legal and non-legal sources, please see Legal Citation Guide and Abbreviations.

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