Successful Summer Strategies: Research in the Real World
Using Looseleaf or Topical Reporter Services for
Basic facts about looseleaf services or reporters:
A print looseleaf service is usually a multi-volume set of books that are
published in binder format to facilitate frequent updating, and that are devoted
to a heavily regulated area of law such as employment, tax, securities, environment,
and areas of health care law such as food and drug law or Medicare/Medicaid.
Topical services contain the same information in electronic format.
These services often contain the full text of primary sources such as statutes,
regulations and other agency materials, and administrative and judicial opinions,
as well as commentary, and thus are highly useful to the researcher.
Not all books published in binder form are looseleaf services - some treatises
or newsletter-based publications also appear in this format, but lack the
comprehensive coverage or currency of a true looseleaf service.
How to locate a helpful looseleaf or topical reporter service:
Search the catalog of the library where you are working; browse the shelves
in the call number area for the relevant subject; ask a librarian or other
It is becoming more common for these services to be accessible in employment
and academic settings via electronic subscription, through CD-ROM, or through
Lexis or Westlaw, so ask for assistance if in doubt. In the workplace, often
training and a password will be required for use of an electronic subscription.