Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Source Collection Information for Research Assistants

A manual to assist a Faculty Research Assistant in collecting citations.

Finding Cited Books

Who Will Use the Book?

The methods by which you can search for cited books depends on whether you will be using the book exclusively, or if the faculty will be using the material.

Borrowing Law Library Books Under Your Own Name

Law Library Catalog's Advanced Search
  1. Go to Advanced Search of the Law Library's Catalog.
  2. Select Georgetown U. + Local Academic Libraries to search for Any field: Title.
  3. Sign into the catalog with your GULC NetID and Password (DUO Authentication may also be required.)
  4. If there is an available copy at the Law Library, then submit a Place hold for pickup to have the book retrieved for you and held at the Circulation Desk. Hold for pick up requests usually takes one to two business days and is overseen by the Circulation Desk.
  5. If there is an available copy at one local (non-law) academic libraries, then submit a Request from a Local Academic Library.
  6. If there is no match with a catalog search, or if copies are available only other local law libraries, then you may submit a Request book, chapter, or article through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) which will lead you to ILLiad where you can log in with your registered credentials. If you separately access ILLiad, outside of a catalog search, then select Loan Request.

Check Filling Out the Loan Request Form in Your ILLiad Account in the Interlibrary Loan Instructions for Research Assistants guide for more details on how to fill out the form.

Check ILL FAQs for Research Assistants within the Interlibrary Loan Instructions for Research Assistants guide to learn about ILL turnaround times, who receives the ILL notifications for the methods, where the borrowed ILL item is held, and other policies.

Borrowing Law Library Books Under A Proxy Account for the Faculty

You first must submit to the Circulation Desk a completed Faculty Research Authorization Form (available as a PDF download).

Law Library Catalog's Advanced Search
  1. Go to Advanced Search of the Law Library's Catalog.
  2. Select Law Library Catalog to search for Any field: Title.
  3. Sign into the catalog with your GULC NetID and Password (DUO Authentication may also be required.)
  4. If there is an available copy at the Law Library, then submit a Place hold for pickup to have the book retrieved for you and held at the Circulation Desk. Hold for pickup service usually takes one to two business days and is overseen by the Circulation Desk.
  5. When you pick up the book from the Circulation Desk, ask the staff to check the book out to the faculty proxy account. 

What If Your Faculty Wants to Borrow a Local Academic Library or ILL Book?

If there is no Law Library copy of the book readily available for your faculty to borrow, then please ask your faculty to email the citation to the Law Library's Research Services department, at lawlibraryresearch@georgetown.edu. Or, you may email the citation to Research Services, cc'ing the faculty. Research Services will take the steps to submit a local library loan or ILLiad request on behalf of the faculty. Any email you send to Research Services must cc the faculty, i.e., the faculty must be aware that you are contacting the department on the person's behalf.

Do Both You & Your Faculty Need to Borrow the Same Title?

If you and your faculty need to use the same title, then you may submit an ILLiad Loan Request form to borrow a copy for yourself and, separately, ask your faculty to email the citation to Library Research Services, at lawlibraryresearch@georgetown.edu. Research Services will then take steps to submit an ILL request on behalf of the faculty. Never share a borrowed book checked out in your name with a professor. You will be responsible for the borrowed item's return as well as any fines and fees associated with the loan. No exceptions.

Check Filling Out the Loan Request Form in Your ILLiad Account in the Interlibrary Loan Instructions for Research Assistants guide for more information on submitting your ILL request.

Do You Need the Whole Book, or Just a Chapter, a Section or a Few Pages?

If you need pages from a larger piece of work that is not physically available at the Law Library or electronically accessible through databases or open access resources, e.g. Internet Archive, then submit an ILLiad PDF Request form. Include into the request form the pages that you need. Check Requesting a Copy of Pages Out of a Book or a Large Work in the Interlibrary Loan Instructions for Research Assistants guide for details on how to fill out the form.

However, this ILL service is restricted by fair use on how much content we can ask ILL libraries to scan for you. If your request infringes on fair use, we will opt to borrowing the entire book instead.

Check Also...

But Wait! Is the Book Even Real?

Unfortunately, AI generated works are known to invent and cite not only to "hallucinated" cases, but also non-existing articles and books.  The consequences of including citations to fabricated books in your research memo or published in your faculty's work are as serious as citing to fake cases in a brief and will have long-ranging impacts.

If by following the described methodologies in Finding Cited Books you did not find an exact matching bibliographic record, then there may be a chance that the citation does not reflect an actual published book.

Please use the "Is the Book Even Real?" Checklist before submitting an ILL service request for such a questionable citation.

"Is the Book Even Real?" Checklist:

FirstSearch (OCLC) or WorldCat.org.

  • Though listed as a step in Finding Cited Books, the database is worth repeating in this checklist because because books published through well-established, reputable publishing houses, that have gone through a peer-review or editorial process, would have been cataloged into this resource.
  • FirstSearch / WorldCat.org records are only created with physical or visual evidence of the actual and entire work.
  • Check your citation against the official bibliographic record to see that all information matches: full title, author(s) or editor(s), publication date, edition and publisher.

ISBN.org

  • All books published through well-established, reputable publishing services would have been assigned an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), a 10- or 13-digit number that uniquely identifies the particular title and edition.
  • Some self-published works could have ISBNs assigned to them. However, if there is no WorldCat record for a self-published work, then there are no ILL libraries that carry a copy. Therefore, there will be no ILL option to borrow, or obtain a scan from, the book.

Google Books, Internet Archive and HathiTrust

  • Though not as extensive in their bibliographic records as would be found in FirstSearch (OCLC) or WorldCat.org, search results will include those books that the respective entity has digitized.

Amazon.com's Kindle Direct Publishing and other self-publishing services

  • The majority of self-published works will not appear in FirstSearch (OCLC), WorldCat.org, Google Books, Internet Archive and HathiTrust databases so you will have to search on the self-publishing services' websites.
  • If there is no WorldCat record for a self-published work, then there are no ILL libraries that carry a copy. Therefore, there will be no ILL option to borrow, or obtain a scan from, the book.

Book Sellers' and Publishers' Websites

  • Recent publications or stocked titles can usually be found on vendors' or publishers' websites.
  • If a citation to what should be a recently published book does not appear in any book sellers' or publishers' websites, then the citation is probably fake.

Professional Profiles Webpages

  • Some scholarly authors have professional profile webpages or lists of published works in their publicly viewable CVs. Compare what appears there against your citation.
  • Please note that there are varying degrees of currency and citation accuracy and details found on profile pages and CVs. Use such resources with discretion.

Law Library Reference Services

  • Ask for help if you have searched in several resources but are not able to find exact matches to your citation.

Need More Help?

Ask for assistance from Reference Services.

Need Help Submitting an ILL Request?

If you're unsure how best to fill out an ILLiad form, please contact ILL Services at law-ill@georgetown.edu.