The Law Library staff is here to provide assistance to journal staff throughout the year. Please ask questions and let us know how we can make your tasks easier. The following are some helpful hints to help guide you through your time as a journal cite checker.

Abbreviations - What Am I Supposed to Find?

Many times, authors will cite to publications using abbreviations with which you are unfamiliar. There are several tools that will help you determine what the abbreviation means.

  • Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations is an online dictionary of legal abbreviations. Although it's maintained by a library in the U.K., it contains U.S. abbreviations.
  • Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviationsis an excellent tool for answering abbreviation questions.. Print copies are available at the Reference Desk, in Reference, and in International Reference. The call number at each location is KF 246 B46. An older edition is available in Lexis.

Now That I Know What I Want, Does the Library Have It?

To find out if the library owns the material you need to find, check the online catalog, called GULLiver. You can access GULLiver whether here on campus or at home through the library's homepage, www.ll.georgetown.edu. You can search for items several ways, including by title, author or keyword (especially good if you're not quite sure of the exact title). If the library owns what you're seeking, the catalog will tell you its location, call number and circulation status (if it's checked out or not). If you need any assistance in using the catalog, please ask at the Reference Desk.

The library also subscribes to many mega-databases which include full-text journal articles, some even in pdf format. You may use the E-Journal Finder to find articles available electronically in various mega-databases or directly through different publishers. Type the title of the journal (not the article) you wish to retrieve, click the resulting search results to connect to the electronic version of that journal and open the right issue to retrieve your article. While you are on campus, you may also access to the articles held by the main campus and medical school by choosing "ALL" from the "Choose to view per Library" drop-down box.

The Library Doesn't Own What I Need - Now What?

Although our collection totals almost 1 million volumes, no library can own everything. Sometimes, you will need materials that are not available here. You have several options for obtaining the materials.

1) If the material is non-legal, check GEORGE, the online catalog of Lauinger, the main campus library. Their holdings are extensive and you may check out books. To request that materials be delivered to either the Williams or Wolff Libraries, use the "Request" button at the top of the screen.

2) If the material is a legal publication, you may wish to check the catalogs of other local law libraries. You will not be able to check out books from these libraries, but if you only need to make a photocopy, you could go to the appropriate library and use the materials there. An exception to this rule is George Washington University Law Library; if you need to use that library, stop at the Reference Desk to obtain a pass.

3) If the item is a recent government publication, or a publication of a public-interest group or other association, it may be available online. Frequently, documents are available only on the Web, or images of the print materials are offered. If you need any assistance in locating materials on the Web, please stop by the Reference Desk.

4 ) If none of the above options works, interlibrary loan is available to obtain materials for you from other libraries.

Interlibrary Loan

Although you as a patron do not have borrowing privileges at other libraries, we as a library can borrow items for you. This process is called interlibrary loan; you may be familiar with it from your undergraduate institution.

The ILL process is not immediate. If your material must come from outside the local area, it can take two weeks or more to arrive. Request items well in advance of the time you need them to be certain that you have them in plenty of time.

Some journals have established login IDs and passwords for the use of their staff members, and prefer that you use these IDs for interlibrary loan requests. You should check with your editors about the journal's policy. It may be fine to use your own user ID. If you do, please make sure to put the name of your journal in the 'Use of Material' field for all requests.

Additional information about interlibrary loan is available at the main Interlibrary Loan page.

Journal Shelves

All journals are assigned shelves in the library where staff can keep materials that are being used by the journal. Most journals have shelves in Williams Library on the 4th floor, right at the 4 West door. GJIL and GIELR have shelves in Wolff on the 4th floor near the Scholars Studies.

Research Assistance

Research assistance is available from the reference desks in both Williams and Wolff libraries, by chat, email or phone. Reference hours are available online.

Liaison Librarians

All journals have been assigned liaison librarians to provide support and assistance throughout the year. You are encouraged to take the opportunity to ask these librarians questions and benefit from their knowledge and experience.

Additional Helpful Phone Numbers

Circulation Desk: x9131
Reference Desk: x9140
Inter-Library Loan: x9154