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Copy with Citation Reference Features on Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance & WestlawNext

Users of computer-assisted legal research (CALR) services may be unaware that they can use the copy with reference feature of the primary CALR systems to automatically acquire the pinpoint citation of the text they are copying and pasting from a document. There are obvious time saving advantages to these features, especially when they offer the ability to select the citation rules system for the citation (as in WestlawNext). If you are going to cut and paste from online research systems when researching and taking notes for seminar and other writing requirement notes, you should always use this “copy with citation” functionality. “Copy with Citation Reference” can help prevent unintentional unattributed copying and save trees.

Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law has recently added a copy with citation feature. You can copy the text from court opinions with the pinpoint citation included. You can also capture source information when you copy text from statutes, regulations, Bloomberg BNA Law Reports and Portfolios, as well as some selected news articles. B-LAW does not yet indicate which citation format system their citations adhere to.

How it Works: Highlight your desired text in a document, e.g., a case, a “Copy with Citation” button will appear. Click the button and a pop up window will launch with your copied text. Then you just use Ctrl-C or right-click your mouse to copy the text window. Then paste your highlighted text with the source information into the document.

Lexis Advance

Lexis Advance’s feature does not indicate what citation rule format is followed, but it appears to be the Bluebook.

How it Works: Highlight the text you want to copy. Options for selected text: + (plus sign), appears at the end of your selection.

Click the plus sign, which opens the “Copy” selection menu. Click: the “Copy Selected Text to Clipboard” option.

A dialog box opens. Your choices include (with cases):

“Copy citation as hyperlink”
or
“Include parallel citations.”
(If not copying from a case, the only option is to “Copy citation as hyperlink”).

Use the browser tools to copy and paste the highlighted text with citation to a word processor. (If the text is not highlighted, use your browser tools to highlight it first).

Click “Close” to close the dialog box when you have completed copying the citation.

Westlaw Next

As I mentioned above, you can choose which citation rules system you want your cites to adhere to. The Bluebook (Standard 19th ed.) is the default option until you change it. You can also choose from the following:
ALWD
Westlaw

and you may select from 11 local citation rules:

 California
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Kentucky
Michigan
New York
Ohio
Oregon
Texas
Washington

Switching Citation Rule Options: After you have highlighted the text you desire, click the arrow next “Copy with Reference” in the pop-up menu, to display the list of formats. Simply choose the format you want. This will remain your citation format in the “Preferences” link until you change it again. You may also choose to select your default format in the Preferences link that appears in the lower left of the screen when viewing any WestlawNext document.

The Process of Copy with Reference:
Select the text you want to copy and choose “Copy with Reference” from the pop-up menu. A message appears confirming that the selected text has been copied. Then click “Close.”  Then paste the copied text and citation into an email document or word processing document.