Research Guides

TMLL Research Guide - Chapter 7


Shepard’s Citations

The original print publication for citation research was Shepard's Citations. This tool, which for many years represented the only available source for citation research, gave rise to the term "Shepardizing," which every U.S. law student and lawyer recognizes.

Shepard's Citations is not one publication, but a group of publications. Some of these are based on jurisdiction. For instance, Shepard's Maryland Citations lists citations to cases and other materials from Maryland.  Shepard's essentially consists of a roughly chronological listing of every case that mentions a previous case. It uses a system of editorially assigned codes which indicate the history or treatment given the case by later decided cases.  Like other units of Shepard's, it consists of several bound volumes updated by a number of supplementary pamphlets. In spite of the issuance of these updating pamphlets, a print Shepard's set is generally up to a few months behind in its listing of cases. Therefore the major drawbacks to using the print version of Shepard's are its lack of currency relative to the electronic citation tools and the cumbersome nature of the print volumes.   Like many academic law libraries, the Thurgood Marshall Law Library no longer subscribes to print Shepard’s.

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