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Cite Checking Guide for Law Reviews & Publication: Electronic PDFs and URL tips

PDF Quick Reference Chart

Adobe Acrobat’s PDF produces a copy of the item exactly as it appears in the printed source, complete with graphics and pagination.  Check with your journal editors to make sure that the PDF version is acceptable.  This chart is not comprehensive, it is meant to be a quick refernce for finding common materials in PDF format.  For more information, see the appropriate page in this research guide and the short guides in your law review materials.

Legal and Non-Legal Source Materials

PDF Versions Available Electronically



United States Reports

HeinOnline (United States Reports, 1754-)

West Reporter Images (Regional Reporters; Federal Reporter; Federal Supplement)

Westlaw (West’s federal and regional reporters from 1920-forward, PDFs not comprehensive, but check first.)

Administrative Materials


Code of Federal Regulations

HeinOnline (1938-); (1996-)

Federal Register 

HeinOnline (1936-);  (1936-)

Agency Decisions

HeinOnline, selected decisions; some agency webites.

Legislative Materials


Bills (Federal), official versions, 103rd Congress (1993-1994) to present

Public Laws, official versions, 104th Congress (1995-1996) to present 

Statutes at Large

HeinOnline (1789-)

United States Code

HeinOnline (1925-2012); earlier statutes also available

Legislative History Materials


Committee Reports (1995-present) ; U.S. Serial Set, available on ProQuest Congressional (1789-1969, post 1970 material added on continual basis)

Congressional Record

HeinOnline , Congressional Record Permanent Edition (1873-2009), the Daily Edition (1980-present)

Committee Hearings (selected, 1958-present); ProQuest Congressional (selected, 1824-present)  

Committee Prints (some PDF available, 94th Congress-present);   ProQuest Congressional (1995-present)

Compiled Legislative Histories (try this first!)

Proquest Legislative Insight  (1st Congress-present).  Select the Marquette Law Library account from menu.

Other Sources


Journal Articles

HeinOnline (PDFs of law reviews and journals, helpful for historical articles); MARQCAT (run a journal title search, it may link to an electronic database with PDFs)

Newspaper Articles

See the Periodicals tab in this research guide. 


Check Google or Google Scholar for PDFs.  Add “filetype:pdf” to your search query to locate only PDF versions of documents.  Example: EPA "nanotechnology white paper" filetype:pdf

Internet Source Troubleshooting

An author may cite to a document found on a website.  With luck, the author has provided a URL for the website and that site will still be available when you check it.  If you have trouble accessing a URL citation  —

  1. Double-check the URL.

  2. Search the root page (truncate the URL by deleting information up to each back slash) and see if the page has been moved elsewhere on the site by browsing or using the site index or site search feature.

  3. Search the Internet Archive, a source of more than 30 billion webpages, many of which are no longer on the Internet.

  4. If you locate the URL, consider requesting a permanent link be made as soon as possible to preserve it.  Your editor-in-chief has access to information about, the consortium for archiving permanent links that Marquette University Law School uses. 

The Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive

Use the Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive ( if you are looking for a previous version of a URL. The Wayback Machine can provide snapshots of what a precise URL looked like on a given date, with many versions captured within a single day. If a website uses the same URL to update information, the Wayback Machine can be a simple way to find the older versions, often much easier than asking the entity that produced the material. Here is an example showing how the Wayback Machine displays its captures of the EPA main page,, since 1997.