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Cite-Checking Guide for Journal Members

What Is a Preemption Check?

Once you have decided on a topic, you need to be sure that the thesis of your note is sufficiently original such that it makes a unique contribution to the legal scholarship in its area of focus.  To do so, you must conduct a "preemption check" to determine whether a previous author has already addressed your topic in the same way.  You also want to be sure that your issue has not been rendered moot by a new case, statute, or regulation.

CALI Lesson

This interactive CALI Lesson explains the sources and process of conducting a preemption check.  It can be accessed through your smartphone or tablet, as well as through your computer.  To access CALI, you must create an account using the law school's authorization code; just email or call the reference desk at or 860-570-5068 for the code.

Sources to Check

Search the following sources using various search techniques, i.e. keyword (terms and connectors), keyword (natural language), case name, subject heading/descriptor, etc.

Full Text Legal Articles

Legal Periodicals Indexes

Use periodicals indexes to search for legal articles by subject. The advantage of indexes is that they cover many more periodicals than other databases, although not all results may be available in full text.

Working Papers

Working papers are scholarly articles that have not yet been published. Working papers repositories are good sources for very current scholarship.

Non-Legal Databases

If your article takes a multidisciplinary approach, you should check non-legal as well as legal sources.  The library has access to hundreds of non-legal research databases.

Some major academic databases:

Google Scholar

You can use Google Scholar to search for scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources.

Google Scholar Search