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Looseleaf Services - in print & online  

Topical reporters that are current, timely, comprehensive, subject specific with added editorial content/annotations.
Last Updated: Dec 22, 2011 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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What is a looseleaf?

Looseleaf services are topical reporters that provide comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of a particular area of law. The term looseleaf refers to the format of the material. Looseleaf services are typically bound in binders, and pages are replaced as new or updated information becomes available.

Why should you use a looseleaf?

Timeliness: Materials are typically updated on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and are then filed into a notebook or binder.  Because the looseleaf format allows the publisher to continuously update the materials,  looseleaf services are generally more current than other sources.

Subject specific and comprehensive primary law: Looseleaf services compile and consolidate all relevant primary authority on a specific topic. Typical content includes statutes, regulations, case law and administrative decisions, and proposed legislation and pending agency decisions. 

Subject specific, comprehensive, expert analysis: Looseleafs also contain commentary and analysis which help the user understand the primary materials.  

Indexing: In addition, because looseleaf services are subject specific, the indexing used in looseleaf services is much more targeted than that found in digests and encyclopedias, making them especially valuable to practitioners and scholars.

When should you use a looseleaf service?

Looseleafs are widely regarded as the best place to begin research in subjects governed by administrative regulations and decisions.  Questions in such areas as labor law, environmental law, securities, banking, and taxation, for example, are likely to be answered more promptly, accurately, and conveniently in a looseleaf service than elsewhere.

Are there different types of looseleaf services?

Yes, there are two basic types of looseleaf services:  interfiled and newsletter-style.

Interfiled Looseleaf Services: This type of service consists of individual pages filed in a looseleaf binder.  Pages in the binder can be easily removed and replaced, allowing for frequent, rapid, and systematic updating.  Revised pages are issued periodically and interfiled with existing text to replace superseded pages.

Newsletter-Style Looseleaf Services:  This type of service consists of pamphlet-size newsletters which are issued periodically and filed in a binder behind topical dividers.  New releases do not replace pages already filed.  These services typically feature cumulative indexes which offer topical access to the materials.  Most services published by the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) are newsletter-style. 

How do I find out more about looseleaf services and how they work?

Each looseleaf service usually has a set of instructions at the beginning of the first volume entitled “Overview” or “How to Use This Reporter.” These instructions explain how the particular looseleaf service is laid out. 

An example of how to use an interfiled looseleaf is services published by Commerce Clearing House (“CCH”). CCH publishes a wide variety of weekly and bi-weekly interfiled looseleaf services. 

CCH services are generally arranged and accessed by paragraph number even though there are page numbers (for filing purposes) as well.  In addition, there are often groups of “current” and “latest additions to” pages filed along with the main pages behind each binder tab.  With CCH services, remember to use the topical index and the index to the current materials to take full advantage of the looseleaf updating.

What are some of the library’s major looseleaf services and where are they shelved?

Looseleaf services are generally shelved on the fifth floor with other materials on the same subject.  Consult our subject specific Book List LibGuide to see if we have a looseleaf on your subject of interest. You may also search the library catalog and then modify your search, limit by type and choose looseleaf from the dropdown menu.

Are looseleafs available in an electronic format?

Yes. The library provides access to many looseleafs through a variety of databases. These include BNA; CCH IntelliConnect; Lexis Nexis; and, Westlaw. Use our Research Databases page OR search in the library catalog for links to electronic resources.

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