Monday, October 14, 2013

Revenge of the Cite-Checkers

Are you a regular user of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation? If so, the editors of this long-running legal citation manual and style guide want to hear from you. From now through Friday, November 8, a survey on is gathering opinions about the clarity and usability of the current Bluebook, to help inform potential changes to the next edition.

The detailed survey includes questions about each rule and table of the Bluebook, with plenty of room for additional comments. Share your thoughts on your favorite – or least favorite – rules; compare the print edition to its electronic counterparts (on the web and in mobile form); and contribute ideas to improve the next edition. Responses will be reviewed by the team of top law review editors who publish the Bluebook (a joint effort from Columbia, Harvard, Penn, and Yale).

The Bluebook improvement survey also includes an optional prize drawing for respondents who choose to leave their contact information. Five randomly-selected winners will receive a Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. Another twenty participants will receive a free copy of the upcoming 20th edition in print, as well as a two-year subscription to the online version.

The Bluebook has been published since 1926, when it clocked in at a measly 28 pages cover-to-cover (view PDF of the first edition). The proliferation of electronic research tools and an increased need for foreign, comparative and international citation guidance has bulked up the more current editions, with the latest 19th edition (published in 2010) surpassing 500 pages.

For help with navigating the Bluebook, check out section IV of our guide to Law School Success or Ask a Librarian.