Encyclopedias, digests and other sources giver references to laws and court cases by using citations such as 410 US 113 or 237 F2d 62 or RC 2305.16.
How to Read Citations
Statutes: A citation to a statute consists of an abbreviation which stands for the name of a law book, plus numbers indicating the title (subject category) and section or paragraph.
42 USCA 2006d = Title 42 of U.S. Code Annotated, section 2006d
RC 5301.12 = Title 53 of Ohio Revised Code, chapter 1, section 12
Court Cases: A citation to a court case consists of an abbreviation plus numbers indicating the volume and page number.
94 SCt 1009 = Volume 94 of Supreme Court Reporter, page 1009
113 NE2d 321 = Volume 113 of Northeastern Reporter 2d, page 321
For other abbreviations see the tables of abbreviations in the front of the volume from which you got the citation. There is also a list of abbreviations in Black's Law Dictionary (GOV REF KF 156 .B53). Numbers following abbreviations (such as F2d or ALR3rd) indicate particular series.
|AmJur = American Jurisprudence||OJur = Ohio Jurisprudence|
|CFR = Code of Federal Regulations||OOps = Ohio Opinions|
|CJS = Corpus Juris Secundum||OS = Ohio State reports|
|F = Federal Reporter||Ohio ST = Ohio State Reports|
|F.Supp = Federal Supplement||RC = Ohio Revised Code|
|Fed. = Federal Reporter||SCt = Supreme Court Reporter|
LEd = Supreme Court Reports,
|US = U.S. Reports|
|NE = Northeastern Reporter||USC = United States Code|
|OAC = Ohio Adminstrative Code||USCA = United States Code Annotated|
Most style manuals contain basic formats for citing documents in research. However, because of the variety of types of documents, it can be difficult to figure out how to create a citation. The standard guide is the Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation, in print. [A short and limited guide is online.] Some samples below, but you may have to adapt the format of your citation to reflect the spirit of the structure if you cannot find an exact match. In general, the idea of citation is that you can find a source again, and that your citations are reasonably standardized and consistent. Some of the databases will supply citations for each document.
Samples of Citations
(From the The Bluebook: a Uniform System of Citation): note there are many variations and it is best to check with the Bluebook for specific details for each kind of document).
Other Useful Guides
Other Citation Styles