Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Time Is Upon Us -- Take The Bluebook 20th Ed. Survey Now!

I received this information via email, and then saw it posted on Law Librarians, so I thought I would also share it.
Help Us Improve The Bluebook !
The editors of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation are about to embark on the exciting task of making revisions for the forthcoming Twentieth Edition, and we need your help.  We rely on user input to guide our revisions to The Bluebook. This survey is an opportunity for you to share your ideas with us as we update The Bluebook so that we can target our revisions to best serve your needs.
Please take a few minutes to fill out our survey at  www.legalbluebook.com/survey.  Surveys must be received by November 8, 2013, in order to be considered for the Twentieth Edition. Comments and suggestions are also welcome through e-mail to editor@legalbluebook.com.
Bonus Prize:
As an added incentive for the completion of our survey, we will select five participants at random to receive a Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. An additional twenty participants will be randomly selected to receive a free copy of the Twentieth Edition as well as a two-year subscription to The Bluebook Online (www.legalbluebook.com). Winners will be notified by December 8, 2013.

As an example, I shared with the editors some valuable information about the shed West era. The Bluebook has a preference for print, but more and more libraries are canceling print in favor of electronic access. If the associate editors do not have access to print to substantiate the text of an article because their library has canceled the print, it can make it especially hard for the die hard journals that still require print (and their librarians). 
Within the last year, my own journals have caught onto this idea (with a little nudging from me). Our library is starting to cancel some print statutes and print reporters, so the journals have decided to rely on Westlaw to gather some resources. The journals cite to the information published by West (generally the annotated codes and regional reporters), and the citation ends with (Westlaw YEAR). Ex. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 722.401 (Westlaw 2013). 
This is especially nice for statutes because in print sets, the books may have been published on different dates, which can be confusing. If an article written in 2013 cites to a print statute published in 2006, some readers not familiar with The Bluebook may be confused as to why the author is using an old statute to write a current article. It's not that the statute is old, it's still the current statute, it's just that the print book that the statute can be found in was published in 2006. With our version (Westlaw YEAR), we use the current year and cite to the electronic database. It seems to cause less confusion about dates, etc....
I think that this is a smart move for The Bluebook editors to consider because the future looks bleak for print statutes and reporters, and it's better to stay forward thinking about these things.

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