Managing Law Journal Articles You Find in Your Legal Research

There are a number of bookmarking and citation tools I mention in the text, which have a variety of uses, from managing Web sites to articles, to images.  One that isn’t that flexible, but that you might still want to consider, is CiteULike.  It was developed to be a limited tool, focusing on storing citation information about peer-reviewed journals.  If you attempt to add an article from a newspaper or other source, it will not be able to save it for you.

It is quite handy when you are finding law journal articles that come with prepared citation information.  One of my favorite sites for scholarly legal articles is the Social Science Research Network, of which the Legal Scholarship Network is a subpart.  You can find emerging work from academics across North America, as well as published articles from well-known law reviews.  You can combine SSRN, your Web browser, and CiteULike for easy management of these citations.

Citeulike is well developed enough in the academic world that there are now multiple browser extensions for it.  Google Chrome users have the CiteULike Web Importer, and Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer users can add the Post to CiteULike bookmarklet to their toolbar.  When you search SSRN and find a relevant article, you can click on your new icon and insert the relevant citation information into CiteULike.

The downside is that it is pretty particular.  Say you retrieve a law journal article from a fee-based database like Cengage Learning databases licensed by Knowledge Ontario.  Even when I selected full text and peer-reviewed and selected an article that had citation information at the bottom, it was unable to grab it.

An upside to CiteULike is that, when it can find the information, it creates a pretty detailed record.  Law students, academics, and lawyers dealing with a lot of law journal information may find this useful.  Another is that CiteULike is is a social environment, so that you can see what other participants are saving to their account and interact with researchers following a similar path.  This is less useful for lawyers, perhaps, but might be a good reason to use CiteULike if you are following up on an issue and want to see who else might know more about it.

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