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Preemption Checking for SJD's and LLM's

What is preemption?

Working definition

Doing a "preemption check" is the process of making sure no one has already written about your topic.  It involves breadth with balanced depth.  The types of databases/resources you would use might vary based on your topic. You want to make sure that your thesis is original.  Even if there is literature on your topic, you might be able to develop a unique perspective or thesis.  You should be thinking about the nature of your topic as you consider resources to check (e.g. is it interdisciplinary, involve foreign law, etc.)?  

Because potential resources tend to vary widely by topic/jurisdiction, you are highly encouraged to consult with a research librarian.  SJD's should check to see if they have a librarian liaison.  LLM's doing long papers should have a librarian assigned to their writing groups.  LLM's writing short papers may e-mail research@law.harvard.edu.

Books

Books at Harvard

We might have additional e-book collections depending on your topic.

Books Beyond Harvard

Books Related to Foreign and International Law

If you are researching an area of foreign law, you might want to go beyond Hollis and Worldcat to identify libraries and bibliographic sources that might be a more comprehensive reflection of literature in your country.  You might want to look at any national or regional library catalogs, major academic institutions, Amazon sites and booksellers/vendors for the country.

Articles

"Discovery" and interdisciplinary searches

Finding legal articles

Dissertations and Theses

Harvard theses/dissertations

Dissertations and theses from other institutions

Working papers

What are working papers and how would I find them?

It is important to look for working papers that have not yet been published.  While some working papers are indexed by some of the same databases you would use to find articles generally, you should also check some additional sources. 

Indexes and repositories for working papers

It is important to look for working papers that have not yet been published.  While some working papers are indexed by some of the same databases you would use to find articles generally, you should also check some additional sources. 

Conference proceedings

Liaisons for SJD's and LLM's

Liaison information

SJD's should check to see if they have a librarian liaison.  LLM's doing long papers should have a librarian assigned to their writing groups.  LLM's writing short papers may e-mail research@law.harvard.edu.

Other research guides

Getting Help

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