Secondary sources contain statements about laws, cases, or regulations and are meant to interpret, explain, develop, locate or update primary sources.  Examples of secondary sources include digests, citations, annotations, articles in law reviews, treatises, and loose-leaf services.  This section describes the most common types of legal secondary source material issued in serial format.

34.3.1.  Digests

Digests are systematically arranged collections, usually by topic, containing summaries of court decisions, statutes, legislative bills, etc.  Most digests commonly serve as indexes to cases reported in law reports.  Most of these abstracts, or case summaries, are written by publishers and their editorial staffs, not by a government agency.  Offering a variety of coverage, some digests summarize the reports of a particular court; other digests may cover all the cases of a particular state.  Many digests are cataloged as monographs, since they don’t meet the criteria for consideration as a serial.  (LCRI 1.0 )

a.  Entry

Enter a digest of court reports under the heading for the person responsible for the digest.  If no person is prominently named, enter under title.  Digests issued as monographs often prominently name a responsible person; generally digests issued as serials only name a generic "edited by publisher’s staff," so entry is under title.  (AACR2 21.36B)

Part of a massive and complex set known as the American Digest System, the title illustrated in Figure 34.26. is very comprehensive.


245 00 West's general digest.

246 30 General digest

260 ## St. Paul, $b West Pub. Co.

300 ## v. ; $c 27 cm.

500 ## "A digest of all current decisions of the American courts as reported in the National reporter system and other standard reports."

500 ## "West key number system."

515 ## Kept up to date by monthly publication entitled General digest.

580 ## Issued between editions of: Decennial digest. American digest system, ISSN 0149-6530.

650 #0 Law reports, digests, etc. $z United States.

710 2# West Publishing Company.

787 1# $t Decennial digest. American digest system $x 0149-6530 $w (DLC)  68000106 $w (OCoLC)3520852


b.  Subject cataloging

Assign the form subject heading "Law reports, digests, etc." to general digests of law reports, statutes, regulations, etc.  Add a geographical subdivision for the jurisdiction if appropriate.  Do not assign the subdivision "–Periodicals" to "Law reports, digests, etc."  Do not assign the general heading "Law reports, digests, etc." to topical compilations of court decisions, statutes, regulations, or regulatory agency decisions.  Instead, assign the subdivision "–Digests" as a free-floating subdivision under legal headings for works consisting of systematically arranged compilations of brief summaries.  (Subject Headings Manual H 1550)

150 ## Law reports, digests, etc.

360 ## $i subdivisions $a Cases $i or $a Digests $i under legal subjects

450 ## Court decisions

450 ## Court reports

450 ## Court rulings

450 ## Digests of cases (Law)

450 ## Law reporters (Publications)

450 ## Law reports, digests, etc. $v Periodicals

550 ## Annotations and citations (Law)

Figure 34.27. is a general compilation summarizing the decisions of the New Zealand High Court and Court of Appeal.  Therefore the subject heading assigned is the general "Law reports, digests, etc.," subdivided by place.


245 00 Butterworths current law digest.

246 10 Current law digest

260 ## Wellington : $b Butterworths, $c 1984-

300 ## v. ; $c 25 cm.

362 0# 1979-1983-

500 ## At head of title: Butterworths.

500 ## A consolidation of unreported High Court and Court of Appeal decisions...

500 ## Editors: 1984-  Martin Fine.

525 ## Beginning in 1994, kept up to date by loose-leaf binder with quarterly updates.

580 ## A cumulative supplement to Butterworths current law.

650 #0 Law reports, digests, etc. $z New Zealand.

700 1# Fine, Martin.

730 0# Butterworths current law.

772 1# $t Butterworths current law $x 0110-070X $w (DLC)  75647514 $w (OCoLC)2441136


The record below illustrates the use of the subdivision "–Digests" under a topical legal heading for a compilation of administrative decisions and opinions.


110 1# United States. $b Office of Personnel Management.

245 10 Digest of significant classification decisions and opinions.

260 ## Washington, D.C. : $b U.S. Office of Personnel Management, $c [1981-1994]

300 ## 19 v. ; $c 23 cm.

310 ## Irregular

362 0# Vol. 1, no. 1-no. 19 (Aug. 1994).

500 ## Title from cover.

650 #0 Civil service positions $x Classification $x Law and legislation $z United States $v Digests.


34.3.2.  Citators

Citators are compilations of citations to court cases or statutes, arranged systematically under the court decision or statute.  They are sources that provide, through a system of abbreviations or words, the subsequent history of reported cases, or cases or laws affecting statutes.  Some citators also provide references to secondary sources.  Because of the importance of precedence in common law countries such as the United States, citators enable the legal researcher to locate all cases or statutory material that may later be cited in a subsequent court decision.  The most widely used set of citations to United States federal and state cases and statutes is Shepard’s citations.

a.  Shepard's citations

Shepard’s citations consists of many units, and they are available in print, online and CD-ROM format.  The publisher issues jurisdictional citators for cases and statutes of each of the fifty states and those reported in West’s regional reporters.  Topical citators, such as those to administrative law and patents and trademark, are also compiled.

Generally each title is issued on an irregular basis.  For jurisdictional citators, the frequency with which new editions are compiled depends on the volume of cases and statutes cited by subsequent cases.  In heavily populated states such as California, Texas and New York, new editions are compiled frequently.  Between editions, the publisher provides a variety of softcover pamphlets to keep the latest edition up to date.  For instance, the 9th edition (1992) of Shepard’s California citations, Part 1, Cases consists of nine volumes of the hard-bound set, two bound supplement volumes covering 1992-1997, annual cumulative softcover pamphlets, and semi-monthly cumulative supplements that update the annual pamphlets.  A separate title, known as Shepard’s express citations, provides even more frequent cumulations.

Key features in serial records for Shepard’s citations:

The frequency noted in the 310 field is for the bound volumes, not for the regularly issued supplements.

The numbering in the 362 field (or the Description based on 500 field) is based on the edition statement of the bound volumes, not the supplements.

Notes about the variety of supplements are recorded in the 525 note field.

For those citators that are also updated by Shepard’s express citations ( FN 20), a note is made in the 580 field, and a link in the 787 .

b.  Entry

Enter citations to court reports under the heading for the person responsible.  If no person is prominently named, enter under title.  Generally citators issued as serials only name a generic "publisher’s staff" as the editor, so entry is under title.  (AACR2 21.36B)


245 00 Shepard's Pennsylvania citations.

246 30 Pennsylvania citations

260 ## Colorado Springs, Colo. : $b Shepard's, $c c1956-

300 ## 300 v. ; $c 26 cm.

310 ## Irregular

362 0# 4th ed. (1956)-

500 ## Imprint varies.

515 ## Vols. for 1956-<1994> issued in parts: Statute ed. and: Case ed.

515 ## Both 1987 and 1994 of Statute ed. called 6th ed.

525 ## Kept up-to-date between editions by cumulative soft-covered issues and advance sheets with their own vol. numbering, that are in turn replaced by a bound permanent supplement vol. or vols.

580 ## Earlier eds. cataloged as monographs in LC.

580 ## The monthly cumulative supplements are updated, but not replaced by: Shepard's Pennsylvania express citations.

580 ## Complemented by: Shepard's Pennsylvania case names citator.

650 #0 Annotations and citations (Law) $z Pennsylvania.

710 2# Shepard's/McGraw-Hill.

787 1# $t Shepard's Pennsylvania express citations $x 1057-8161 $w (DLC)sn 91002144 $w (OCoLC)24122215

787 1# $t Shepard's Pennsylvania case names citator $x 1048-0544 $w (DLC)  95660681 $w (OCoLC)13111989

245 00 Shepard's Pennsylvania express citations.

246 10 Pennsylvania express citations

260 ## Colorado Springs, CO : $b Shepard's McGraw-Hill

300 ## v. ; $c 26 cm.

310 ## Semimonthly

362 1# Began in 1991.

500 ## Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 3 (July 9, 1991); title from cover.

520 ## "Provides the latest analyzed citations to Pennsylvania cases, Pennsylvania statutes, and the Pennsylvania Constitution, updating (but not replacing) the most recent issue of Shepard's Pennsylvania citations."

580 ## Companion publication to: Shepard's Pennsylvania citations.

650 #0 Annotations and citations (Law) $z Pennsylvania.

710 2# Shepard's/McGraw-Hill.

787 1# $t Shepard's Pennsylvania citations $x 0730-4382 $w (DLC)  95660682

LC doesn’t catalog the express citations separately because they are kept for only a limited time.

c.  Subject cataloging

Assign the form subject heading "Annotations and citations (Law)" to compilations of legal citations.  Subdivide by place if appropriate.  Do not further subdivide by the form subdivision "–Periodicals."

150 ## Annotations and citations (Law)

450 ## Citations (Law)

450 ## Legal citations

550 ## Law reports, digests, etc.

680 ## $i Here are entered compilations of legal citations such as citation books. Works on the method of citing legal authorities are entered under $a Citation of legal authorities.

245 00 Current law case citator.

260 ## London : $b Sweet & Maxwell, $c 1986-

300 ## v. ; $c 25 cm.

310 ## Annual

362 1# Began in 1947.

500 ## Description based on: 1996.

580 ## Companion to: Current law year book.

580 ## Cumulative update to: Current law citator, 1947-1976.

650 #0 Annotations and citations (Law) $z Great Britain.

780 01 $t Current law citator $w (OCoLC)1565642

787 1# $t Current law year book $w (DLC)  53030111 $w (OCoLC)1565646

34.3.3.  Law reviews and journals

a.  General

A periodical published by a law school is most often called a "review", although the term journal is also widely used ( FN 21).  The law review plays a unique role in legal education, particularly in the United States.  A law school selects students to serve on the law review board based on their academic performance and/or their performance in writing competitions.  Students who serve on the boards write and edit articles, and review articles for publication submitted by faculty or legal scholars.  Historically, most law reviews have contained a wide variety of articles on legal topics.

Make an added entry for the school issuing the law review.


245 04 The University of Memphis law review.

260 ## Memphis, Tenn. : $b Published by the students of Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, the University of Memphis, $c c1994-

362 0# Vol. 25, no. 1 (fall 1994)-

650 #0 Law reviews $z Tennessee.

710 2# Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

780 00 $t Memphis State University law review $x 0047-6714 $w (DLC)  75649856 $w (OCoLC)1757101

a1. Subject cataloging

As the scope note explains, the form subject heading "Law reviews" is assigned to journals "of a general nature" that are issued by law schools.  When this heading was first created in 1991, the scope was limited to law reviews published in countries with an Anglo-American legal system ( FN 22), specifically the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  Now the heading can be applied to law reviews published in any country.  The heading is subdivided by the place where the law review is issued; that is, where the school of law is located.

Previously LC had assigned a common heading and subdivision, arranged in an unusual order, to bring out the geographical location of the issuing body.  "Law–Periodicals–[place]" was assigned to help identify the location of the school of law.  This practice was abandoned when LC developed the heading "Law reviews."  The subject heading "Law–[place]–Periodicals" is still valid for general legal periodicals that do not fit the definition in the scope note for "Law reviews" and may be used as an additional subject heading for law reviews which contain significant information on a country’s legal system, especially for areas with limited legal literature.

150 ## Law reviews

450 ## Law reviews $v Periodicals

450 ## Reviews, Law

550 ## Law $v Periodicals $w g

680 ## $i Here are entered scholarly periodical publications of a general nature that emanate from law schools. Law reviews on specific legal topics are entered under the heading for the topic with local subdivision if appropriate and with the subdivision $a Periodicals.

680 ## $i This heading is locally subdivided by the country (or first order political division in the case of Canada, Great Britain, and the United States) where the law school is located.


245 00 Revista de derecho puertorriqueño.

260 ## Ponce, P.R. : $b Escuela de Derecho, Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico, $c [1961]-

300 ## v. ; $c 25 cm.

362 0# Núm. 1 (Sept. 1961)-

515 ## Issues for 1961-Apr./June 1963 lack vol. numbering but constitute año 1-2.

546 ## English and Spanish.

650 #0 Law $z Puerto Rico $v Periodicals.

650 #0 Law reviews $z Puerto Rico.

710 2# Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico. $b Escuela de Derecho.

Figure 34.31. illustrates the use of the subject heading "Law reviews" for a review issued in a non-Anglo-American country.

b.  Law reviews on specific legal topics

In addition to publishing journals containing a variety of articles, most law schools today also publish what are sometimes called "secondary reviews," that is, journals on specialized topics such as environmental law or international law.  These subject-oriented publications are not considered the traditional "law review" of the school, although the rigorous selection of student editors and review of scholarly articles still apply.


245 00 Harvard human rights journal.

260 ## Cambridge, MA : $b Harvard Law School, $c c1990-

300 ## v. ; $c 23 cm.

362 0# Vol. 3 (spring 1990)-

550 ## Published with the support and cooperation of: Harvard Law School Human Rights Program.

650 #0 Human rights $v Periodicals.

650 #0 Civil rights $z United States $v Periodicals.

710 2# Harvard Law School. $b Human Rights Program.

780 00 $t Harvard human rights yearbook $x 1047-0174 $w (DLC)  93649071 $w (OCoLC)18335754

b1. Subject cataloging

Do not assign the heading "Law reviews" to law reviews on specific legal topics.  Instead, according to the scope note, assign a heading for the topic.  Assign a geographical subdivision if appropriate and further subdivide by "$v Periodicals."

In the catalog record for Figure 34.33., a topical subject heading has been assigned for environmental law.


245 00 Fordham environmental law journal.

246 30 Environmental law journal

260 ## New York, NY : $b Fordham Environmental Law Journal, $c c1993-

300 ## v. ; $c 26 cm.

310 ## Semiannual

362 0# Vol. 5, no. 1 (fall 1993)-

515 ## Some volumes have an extra number called "symposium" issue.

550 ## Issued by students of the Fordham University School of Law.

650 #0 Environmental law $z United States $v Periodicals.

710 2# Fordham University. $b School of Law.

780 00 $t Fordham environmental law report $x 1062-1733 $w (DLC)  92643384 $w (OCoLC)19968772

34.3.4.  Bar association journals

A bar association is comprised of members of the legal profession and can be organized on a national, state, regional or local level.  The origin of the word "bar" refers to the whole body of attorneys and counselors, as opposed to the term "bench," which refers to those who sit on the bench–judges.  Membership can be voluntary or compulsory in order to practice law within a jurisdiction ( FN 23).  Most of these associations publish periodicals, designed to inform their members about local association activities, pending legislation, and current court cases.  More practitioner-oriented than law reviews, bar association publications tend to be useful for current information, not long-term scholarly interest.

a.  Entry

If the journal is primarily devoted to internal matters of the bar association, such as its activities, policies, operations, proceedings of conferences, or reports of committees, the work may qualify for entry under the heading for the association (AACR2 21.1B2).  Most bar association publications, however, tend to be filled with announcements of association events, committee appointments, and feature stories on current topics of interest within the legal community.

One of the most prestigious bar journals is illustrated in Figure 34.34.  Most of the content is about contemporary legal issues, law office management, technology, and feature articles on prominent lawyers.  A few pages are devoted to the ABA president’s message and the Washington report.  Very little of the journal is devoted to internal matters of the association, such as its policies or internal operations.  Therefore the ABA journal does not qualify for entry under the issuing body and the work is entered under title.

245 00 ABA journal.

246 17 American Bar Association journal

260 ## [Chicago : $b American Bar Association, $c 1984]-

300 ## v. : $b ill. (some col.) ; $c 28 cm.

362 0# Jan. 1984-

610 20 American Bar Association $v Periodicals.

650 #0 Law $z United States $v Periodicals.

710 2# American Bar Association. Association journal

780 00 American Bar Association. $t American Bar Association journal $x 0002-7596 $w (DLC) 15017355 $w (OCoLC)147956

b.  Subject cataloging

If the publication includes material about the association, assign as a subject the heading for the name of the bar association responsible for the publication.  Further subdivide the heading by the form subdivision "$v Periodicals."  If the publication is on a specific legal topic, assign an appropriate topical subject heading, further subdivided by "$v Periodicals."  If not, use the general heading "Law."

Also assign a heading in the form "Bar associations $z [place] $v Periodicals".


245 04 The record of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

260 ## New York : $b Association of the Bar of the City of New York, $c 1946-

310 ## 8 no. a year, $b <1995->

321 ## Monthly (except summer), $b 1946-

362 0# Vol. 1, no. 1 (Feb. 1946)-

500 ## Title from cover.

610 20 Association of the Bar of the City of New York $v Periodicals.

650 #0 Bar associations $z New York (State) $v Periodicals.

650 #0 Law $z New York (State) $v Periodicals.

710 2# Association of the Bar of the City of New York.


34.3.5.  Legal newspapers, directories, magazines

The legal community publishes newspapers, usually weekly or monthly, with a national, state or local focus.  They may contain articles, regular columns, synopses of cases, and other  information on the latest legal developments.  The Legal Times and Lawyer’s weekly USA are typical examples.  There are a few legal newspapers ( FN 24), published in large cities, which appear daily, from Monday through Friday, e.g., New York Law Journal and Los Angeles Daily Journal.  See also Module 33 for newspapers.

245 00 Lawyer's weekly USA.

246 2# Lawyer's weekly United States of America

246 17 LWUSA

260 ## Boston, MA : $b Lawyers Weekly Publications, $c 1993-

300 ## v. : $b ill. ; $c 34 cm.

310 ## Biweekly

362 0# Issue 93-1 (Apr. 12, 1993)-

500 ## Title from caption.

500 ## "A bi-weekly newspaper from Lawyers Weekly Publications."

525 ## Has separately paged supplements.

650 #0 Law  $z United States  $v Periodicals.

780 00 $t Lawyer's alert $x 0278-9817 $w (DLC)  83644049 $w (OCoLC)7938072

245 00 New York law journal.

260 ## New York, N.Y. : $b New York Law Pub. Co.

300 ## v. : $b ill. ; $c 58 cm.

310 ## Daily (except Sat., Sun., and holidays)

362 1# Began with Mar. 26, 1888 issue.

500 ## Description based on: Vol. 191, no. 1 (Jan. 3, 1984); title from  caption.

650 #0 Law $z New York (State) $v Periodicals.

As in any other discipline there are also directories, periodicals, and magazines in the legal field.  There are no special rules for these publications.  Consult the other modules in this manual.


245 00 Martindale-Hubbell international law directory.

260 ## Summit, N.J. : $b Martindale-Hubbell, $c c1991-

362 0# 123rd year (1991)-

515 ## Designation from spine.

580 ## Formerly published as part of: Martindale-Hubbell law directory.

515 ## Beginning with <1992> issued in 2 vols. v. 1. Europe, Asia, Australasia, Middle East, Africa. Indexes -- v. 2. North America, the Caribbean, Central America, South America. Indexes.

650 #0 Lawyers $v Directories.

650 #0 Lawyers $z Canada $v Directories.

650 #0 Lawyers $z Europe $v Directories.

650 #0 Lawyers $z Asia $v Directories.

650 #0 Lawyers $z Australasia $v Directories.

650 #0 Lawyers $z Middle East $v Directories.

650 #0 Lawyers $z Africa $v Directories.

650 #0 Lawyers $z Caribbean Area $v Directories.

650 #0 Lawyers $z Central America $v Directories.

650 #0 Lawyers $z South America $v Directories.

710 2# Martindale-Hubbell (Firm)

780 17 $t Martindale-Hubbell law directory $x 0191-0221 $w (OCoLC)1645529 $w (DLC)  31006356


245 04 The best lawyers in America / $c Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith.

260 ## New York : $b Woodward/White

300 ## v. ; $c 24 cm.

310 ## Biennial, $b 1989/1990-

321 ## Irregular, $b 1983-1987

362 1# Began in 1983.

500 ## Description based on: 1989-1990.

650 #0 Lawyers $z United States $v Directories.

650 #0 Lawyers $x Specialties and specialists $z United States.

700 1# Naifeh, Steven W., $d 1952-

700 1# Smith, Gregory White.

See also:

Module 34.  Legal Serials