The next major step in a cite check is to locate the sources cited in your footnotes. The Bluebook requires citation to print sources "unless there is a digital copy of the source available that is authenticated, official, or an exact copy of the printed source" (this often means a PDF, though an authenticated or official source can be a website if the governing authority has designated it as such) (see Rule 18). If you know where to look for the print (or PDF) version of the most common types of sources, you can locate these quickly before moving on to sources that are not as common.
Working from home: Be sure to read the Access to Databases Guide carefully for information on accessing licensed database resources.
Knowing where to look for the most common types of sources: Each of the tabs in the box below provide tips on locating a common type of source found in cite checks.
Please see the "Using the Library Catalogs" box at the bottom of this column if you are not already familiar with searching a library's online catalog.
Using the UCLA Catalog
Whether you are looking for a physical volume in the library or looking to see whether the library has access to an electronic version of a source through a subscription database, begin with the UCLA Catalog. When you type a title into the catalog, you will bring up the catalog record for that title. In the catalog record, you can find (1) which campus library has the item (sometimes it will be in a library other than the Law Library), (2) the item’s Call Number so that you can locate it on the library shelf, and (3) if applicable, an electronic link to a database that has the item. Be sure to check the available databases to ensure that they provide a PDF instead of a plain-text electronic version.
When using the UCLA Catalog, it is important to realize that the catalog includes titles of books, names of journals, and titles of government documents, but does not contain the titles of individual articles published in a journal. So, if you are looking for this article:
You should search the catalog for the journal title (Harvard Law Review), NOT the title of Prof. Volokh’s article (Medical Self-Defense . . .).
Using WorldCat to Locate Materials Outside the UC System
The WorldCat database collects data on the holdings of libraries throughout the United States and the world. WorldCat can help you with your citecheck in two ways. First, you can search for a book, journal name, or other item to determine whether it has been properly cited, or whether there are problems with spelling, dates, etc. Second, if UCLA does not own the item, WorldCat can help you determine whether any other libraries own a copy, so that you can make a request for inter-library loan (ILL). You can access WorldCat in two ways: through the WorldCat interface, or through the Melvyl interface. The latter has a pull-down menu, allowing you to choose between searching "Libraries Worldwide", UC Libraries, or the UCLA Library.