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Journal Subciting Guide: LIBRARY CATALOGS: How to Search Them

Searching the catalogs and requesting items from other libraries


If you need help translating text or footnotes that aren't in English, the Research Center can help!  There are online tools you can use, like Google Translate, or you can ask one of the Law Librarians, who can field requests for translation from many languages.


Before you search by title or author(s) or editor(s):

Sometimes the catalog search algorithm gets hung up on special characters.  To avoid this problem, first

  • Remove all colons (:), question marks (?), and/or exclamation points (!).
  • Replace any ampersands (&) with the word and.
  • Make sure there are spaces between each word in the title (and subtitle, if any), or in the name(s) of the author(s) or editor(s).

Then, be sure you are searching for the right item:

If you are looking for an article in a journal or magazine, first find the journal or magazine.  Then find the specific volume that contains the article.

Remember that Bluebook format for a work that's part of a collection (Rule 15.5) puts the article author and article title before the name of the journal.

How to recognize a cite to a work in a collection: look for the word in :



In this example, the second source cited is the essay titled Why Lawyers Can't Just be Hired Guns, by Robert W. Gordon. The essay was published beginning on page 42 of the book Ethics in Practice: Lawyers' Roles, Responsibilities, and Regulation, edited by Deborah L. Rhode.  You would not find the essay by searching for it in the catalog; first you have to search for the book and then consult its table of contents for the essay.


Which search box should I use?

Research Center Catalog:

This is what the search box for simple searches of the catalog looks like:

Use THIS LINK to search the law library catalog.  It will retrieve both electronic and print items at all the FSU libraries by default.

Advanced Searches

This is what the search box for advanced searches looks like:

You can better narrow your search to look for a specific Author, Title, or Material Type (such as a book or a Journal title).


Available for checkout: item is on the shelf.

  • If an item is available for checkout in the Research Center, you must retrieve it from the shelf yourself and bring it to the Circulation Desk to be checked out.
  • Items that are available for checkout at other FSU libraries may be requested through LEDS (Library Express Delivery Service).

Missing/Lost: self-explanatory.

Checked Out or On Loan: self-explanatory.

  • If you need an item that is checked out or is on loan to another user and you can wait until it is returned, you can request it by placing a hold on the item.
  • To place a hold, click on the Place a hold link in the search result entry:

  • You'll be taken to a "Place Request" page, where you will indicate where you want to pick the item up once it is returned by the current user.  If you choose "Law Library," you will ask for the book at the Circulation Desk and then check it out as you would normally.
  • We do NOT recall items for which holds have been requested.
  • If you need an item that has been checked out or is on loan to another user and you cannot wait until it is returned, first look to see if the item is available through .  If it is not available through UBorrow, you may request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

On Hold: Items on hold are checked out/on loan but have been requested by other users.

  • When an item on which a hold has been placed is returned, the person who requested the hold is notified by e-mail that the item is available.  If more than one person has requested a hold for the same item, requests are filled in the order they were received.

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