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GW Law Library
Research Guides

Journal Articles Research

A basic guide to locating journal articles.

What is a Citation?

A "citation" identifies where a reader can locate a source being referenced by an author's work. 

The source (book, journal article, government report, federal law, court decision, etc.) is provided in abbreviated format, following specific style guidelines.

Examples of citation style manuals include:

About Journal Article Citations

Law journal article citations can be confusing if you aren't familiar with citation formats and abbreviations.

Example:  Law Journal Citation (Bluebook format):

Dawinder S. Sidhu, Madison in Post-9/11 Cyberspace: Applying Federalist No. 10 to the Online Battle for "Hearts and Minds," 13 J. Internet L. 3  (2010).

  • Dawinder S. Sidhu = Article author
  • Madison in Post-9/11 Cyberspace: Applying Federalist No. 10 to the Online Battle for "Hearts and Minds" = Article title
  • 13 = Volume number of the journal
  •  J. Internet L. = Bluebook abbreviation for "Journal of Internet Law"
  • 3 = First page of the article
  • 2010 = Date of publication
     

Example:  Journal article citation from LegalTrac database (not Bluebook format):

Nuclear power, risk, and retroactivity.
Emily Hammond. Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law.
48.4 (Oct. 2015) p1059.

  • Nuclear power, risk, and retroactivity = Article Title
  • Emily Hammond = Article Author
  • Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law = Journal
  • 48 = Volume number of Journal
  • 4 = Issue number of Journal
  • (Oct. 2015) = Journal Issue Month & Year
  • p1059 = First page of the Article

Deciphering Acronyms & Abbreviations

Common Abbreviations:

  • L. = Law
  • L. Rev. = Law Review
  • J. = Journal
  • L.J. = Law Journal
  • Law. = Lawyer
  • Mag. = Magazine
  • U. = University

Bluebook Rules

  • Rule 16 (R16): Periodical Materials
  • Rule 18 (R18): The Internet, Electronic Media, and Other Nonprint Resources
  • Table 13 (T13): Periodicals

Off-Campus Access

Many online materials in the GW libraries' collections (journals, e-books, etc.) are accessible from off-campus:

  • GW Law Library
  • GW Gelman Library
  • GW Himmelfarb Library

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