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Source Collection Triage Guide: Introduction

Starting Out

Understand what it is about

  • at least skim the article
  • scan the footnotes/source list, and article text attached to your footnotes for clues about what type of source (a speech? a paper presented at a conference?) is being used

Identify the cited materials - books, book chapters, journal/other articles, or cases/statutes/legislative materials?

A first stop for secondary sources:

  • search books and articles in a single step as a fast way to search for secondary legal materials (articles, book chapters, books, reports, conference papers, etc.)

Still puzzled by a few?

Start by working on the books, articles, and familiar primary sources you've identified, using the steps above and in the rest of this guide about finding Books, Journals & Articles, and Primary Sources.  As you go, note any:

  • sources you still can't find
  • problem citations for unfamiliar types of material such as treaties, non-legal sources, foreign language sources, etc.

Consult a reference librarian for assistance in deciphering citations and identifying and locating these remaining items.

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