Friday, June 5, 2015

Bluebook 20th Edition: What's New?

Last week, the long-awaited 20th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation hit bookshelves. While the Goodson Law Library's copies have yet to arrive, the 20th edition will replace its 2010 predecessor on Reserve after arrival and processing. Bluebook users with subscription access to the electronic version at can already view the new edition online. (Purchasers of the print edition will also receive a code for a 30-day free trial of the online version; or the book can be purchased as a bundle with online access for up to 3 years.)

In the meantime, legal researchers have already begun noting the latest rule changes. Law librarian Janelle Beitz compiled a list of differences between the 19th and 20th editions on Google Drive. The new edition clarifies rules regarding quotations within a quotation, adds sources and terms to various tables, and includes some new material in Rule 18, which governs the citation of electronic resources. Although the Bluebook continues to privilege print editions for some citations, such as the date of a statutory code volume, the new edition does allow for the use of online newspapers as a substitute for print, and no longer requires pagination.

The Bluebook has come a long way since its development in 1925, when it was a mere 28 pages long! If you'd like to track changes even further back in time, the Bluebook publishers have posted PDFs of the 1st through 15th editions on their website:
For help with legal citation questions, be sure to Ask a Librarian...although we are still waiting for our new copies, too!