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GW Law Library
Research Guides

Services @ the Jacob Burns Law Library

Liaison Librarians

Your law journal's liaison librarian is available for special assistance with research strategy:

American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal - Germaine Leahy
Business and Finance Law Review - Germaine Leahy
Federal Circuit Bar Journal - Mary Kate Hunter
Federal Communications Law Journal - Germaine Leahy
George Washington International Law Review - Traci Emerson Spackey
George Washington Journal of Law & Technology - Nate Delmar
George Washington Law Review -  Nate Delmar
International Law in Domestic Courts - Traci Emerson Spackey
George Washington Journal of Energy and Environmental Law - Germaine Leahy
Public Contract Law Journal - Mary Kate Hunter

Source Collection Guidelines

These Source Collection Guidelines are intended to assist you in locating resources available at the Burns Law Library, through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), and via the Washington Research Library Consortium Loan Service (CLS).  For additional assistance, contact your journal liaison librarian.



For decisions published in federal or regional reporters, use Westlaw to retrieve a PDF.  To access other reporters, consult the law library’s Case Law guide.  If your case is not available as a PDF, collect the version from the publisher’s database (e.g. Westlaw, VitalLaw). 

Court Filings:

Court filings can be accessed through the dockets that are available through the law library’s databases.  For more information on how to collect court filings, see the law library's Court Dockets, Records, & Rules guide. 


The United States Constitution may be collected from the Organic Laws of the United States in the United States Code (U.S.C.), which is available on HeinOnline.

For guidance on how to collect state constitutions, see the library’s State Materials guide.


The United States Code (U.S.C.) may be collected from HeinOnline.

If a state code is available online from the publisher in any format, rely on the source from the publisher’s database (e.g. Westlaw or Lexis).

Legislative Material:

Consult the law library’s Federal Legislative History guide to locate bills, hearings, reports, debates, and public laws.  

Access to state legislative materials can be challenging.  Consult the State Materials guide for more information.


Check JACOB, the law library’s catalog, to see if a book is available in print or as an ebook.  If not, search the WRLC catalog to see if another area library has a copy and submit a request to get the title delivered to the law library via a Consortium Loan Service (CLS) request.  If the title is not available through the library or CLS, submit an interlibrary loan (ILL) request for the book or a scan of a book chapter.  


Search the law library’s catalog, JACOB, to locate journals that are available online or in print.  For non-legal journals, check the Gelman Library’s catalog.  

If a journal is not available through the law library or the Gelman Library, submit an interlibrary loan request for a copy of the journal article.  


Newspaper articles are available in print and online.  To collect an article that was published online, retrieve it from the newspaper’s website. To collect a source that cites to the print edition or an online newspaper that has a paywall, rely on library databases.

If the article you are collecting appears both in print and online, there may be a difference in the text between the two.  If the version of the article you have retrieved substantiates the text of the cited passage you are done. 

Obtaining Materials from other Libraries:

Today, many publishers make available on their own online platforms journal articles, texts, and annotated cases that they themselves produce. Such sources should be relied upon as authoritative, particularly when the online source substantiates what your author is asserting. Accordingly, please note that interlibrary loan requests will not be filled for tables of contents, title/cover pages, imprint pages, or copies of spines. The GW Law Library encourages journal members to discuss with their liaison librarian ways to modernize and improve the source collection process.

Borrowing, Renewals and Fees

Books borrowed from the Law Library

Each journal may designate one staff member, usually one editor, to check out books on behalf of the journal.  This editor will be given proxy borrowing privileges; privileges include an increased number of books that may be borrowed, over the normal limit, and books borrowed in the Fall will be automatically renewed until the end of the Spring semester. Proxy forms must be signed by the advising faculty member.  

If you borrow a book in your name for your journal, however, you are responsible for the book.  Books borrowed in your name are subject to student loan rules.

Books borrowed from another library

After setting up an editor's proxy borrowing record, journals may create an interlibrary loan borrowing record in the editor's name to make interlibrary loan requests on behalf of the journal.  

If you borrow a book in your name for your journal, however, you are responsible for the book.

Terms of the loan are set by the lending library.  Terms include the loan period, whether a book may be renewed, whether a book or material is library use only, and whether a book may be photocopied; loans may also include other terms.  Fines and replacement fees for lost or damaged materials are the responsibility of the borrower and are set by the lending library.

The GW Law Library is a partner. Check with your journal's editors to determine how your journal uses, a free online service and repository created to counter link rot, which occurs when one cites in an article to an online source that later disappears or changes. Each of the law journals at GW has a liaison librarian who will help answer questions about -- and anything related to the Library's services and procedures.