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Pritzker Legal Research Center

Law Journals' Guide to Source & Cite

This guide is designed to help journal students locate and request materials for source and cite checking assignments.

Citations to Articles

Citations to Articles

Bluebook Rule 16 covers citations to articles.  A typical article citation follows the following format:

Author's name, Title of Article, Journal Volume #, Abbreviation of Journal, Page on which article begins, span of specific pages being cited, date of publication. 


Locating Law Journal Articles

Locating Law Journal Articles

HeinOnline's Law Journal Library contains the most complete coverage of law-related periodicals in PDF format. It contains complete runs of titles - from the first issue published through the most-currently published issues for most journals. 

If you are not on campus, connect to the VPN or select Northwestern from the drop-down menu after running your search.



Tip 1: If you can't find the article by copying & pasting the citation, try browsing for the journal title in the Hein Law Journal Library and then narrow by volume and page number.

Tip 2: If you're having trouble deciphering an abbreviation in a journal citation, you can try looking it up in the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations.  It will give you the name of the publication, and it's easier to use than the Bluebook tables.

Locating Non-Law Journal Articles

To find an article published in a non-legal journal, use Northwestern's Journal Search tool. You can also access the tool using the Find a Journal button on the homepage of the library's website. This tool will let you see if we have access to the title in any of our databases. Note that one journal may be available in multiple databases and that the dates of coverage may vary between databases.



Students may also be interested in trying two new browser extensions which aim to help researchers gain free access to copies of articles by searching open access repositories.

Not all databases will provide PDFs copies of the articles. Some databases will provide the article in an html format and it is not generally easy to tell from the links what the format will be.  

Examples of databases that do include PDFs are:

Articles available in print at NU

If an article is available only in print through any of Northwestern's campus libraries,  (e.g., Law Library, Main Library, etc.), place a scan request in NUsearch.

  • Sign in with your NetID
  • Select Request
  • Select Law Library as your pickup location
  • Enter the Your Journal volume.issue, your article author name, and the citation for the article you need scanned in the notes field.
    • Ex., NULR 117.1 Smith, need article by Reich, 73 Yale L.J. 733-738

Library staff will scan the relevant pages from the print journal volume and save them to a shared OneDrive folder for your journal. 

Interlibrary Loan - When to Request a Journal Article via ILL

If Northwestern does not have access to the article and if you cannot find excerpts of the relevant pages through non-NU alternatives, request the article through Interlibrary Loan. See the Interlibrary Loan page for details on placing requests.