Cite-Check in Seconds with HeinOnline

Citations, Law Journal Library
Shannon Furtak

For law review associates, cite-checking is one of the most tedious parts of the law school experience. Luckily, HeinOnline long ago made it a goal to improve the legal research process for everyone, including law students.

In the past, cite-checking meant hours in a library, slowly and methodically retrieving print copies of journals, the United States Code, United States Reports, and more. From there, cite-checkers would locate each corresponding passage of text to ensure that all material was quoted, analyzed, and cited correctly. Today, HeinOnline’s image-based, fully searchable content makes it possible to easily verify cited material from wherever you are.

Having HeinOnline is like having an entire print library at your fingertips, with the added bonus of full text and metadata searchability. An example can best illustrate how to cite-check using HeinOnline. Tim Hooge, HeinOnline’s Marketing Director, is a graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law. Tim joined the staff of the Buffalo Intellectual Property Law Journal as an associate, and later served as the journal’s executive publications editor.

In the Fall 2013 issue of the journal, Tim was tasked with cite-checking footnotes 81-100 of Coordinating Extensive Trademark Rights and Competition Policy, by Kexin Li. Footnote number 95 is as follows:

This footnote includes multiple citations, all of which needed to be verified. The first citation listed is 44 Ind. L. Rev. 427. To locate this citation in HeinOnline, use the citation tab located on the main search bar:

This will retrieve the cited article:

The text in Li’s original article, which needed Tim’s verification, is as follows:

Search for this information in the cited article by using the magnifying glass icon located above the page image. Multiple search queries could work; let’s use the direct quote “the expansive view of trademark protection”:

One result is received, and it occurs on page 428. Clicking the page will reveal the text matching our search query, highlighted in green:

The footnote in the original article references a citation within a citation, which directly matches this footnote. The idea expressed in 44 Ind. L. Rev. 427 conveys the same concept as our original article: the Supreme Court has leaned toward not expanding the scope of trademark rights. Then, verify the next law review citation using the same strategy.

Returning to footnote number 95 in the original article, several U.S. Supreme Court cases are also cited. These can be easily checked in HeinOnline as well:

These citations can be retrieved using the citation tab on the main search bar, but as the full set of the U.S. Reports is available within HeinOnline’s U.S. Supreme Court Library, these cases are available there as well. Enter the collection from the Welcome Page, and click U.S. Reports to browse the content:

The first case referenced in footnote number 95 is 529 U.S. 205. Navigate to Volume 529 of the U.S. Reports and expand the contents:

Find page 205, and note the case name matches the partial reference from footnote number 95. Click Page 205 to read the full text of the case in HeinOnline’s image-based, PDF format, which is equal to obtaining a copy of the print version of the U.S. Reports for official cite-checking purposes.

The U.S. Supreme Court Library also features its own citation navigator, so case citations can be retrieved this way as well:

While it still may be a bit tedious, cite-checking with HeinOnline is faster and more convenient than using the print or any other method! If you have questions about using HeinOnline for citation verification, contact the dedicated support team at (800) 277-6995, email us, or chat with us!

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