The Twentieth edition of the The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th ed. 2015) has arrived!
The Charlotte School of Law Library has two copies available in Course Reserves located behind the Library User Experience Desk (LUX). These copies can be checked out for three hours.
There are also two copies located in the REFERENCE collection. These copies are for Library Use Only. The call number is REF KF245 .B58 2015.
More copies have been ordered.
So What’s New about the Twentieth Edition?
That’s the question everyone wants to know, including me. A detailed answer is in the Preface to the Twentieth Edition on page VII. Cynthia Pittson of Pace Law Library has created a really helpful chart of the changes at http://lawweb.pace.edu/library/bluebook_changes_20th.pdf. The twentieth edition is 50 pages longer than the last edition. Some of the more notable changes follow:
- The Bluepages in the front part of the book now parallel the order of the Whitepages. The Bluepages are the basic legal citation how-to’s created for everyday use by first year law students and practitioners. The Whitepages are detailed for law journal publication.
- Bluepages table BT2 has been expanded to cover more local court rules. For example, there are changes in citing the rules for the United States District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina on page 39.
- Rule 12.9.4 combines the previous edition’s section on Uniform Acts with Model Codes, Principles, Restatements, Standards, and Sentencing Guidelines. The citation format for these sources has changed.
- Rules 14(b) and (d) give more details on citing comments to agencies, more examples of other agency publications, and specifics on citing opinion letters.
- Rule 15 adds a citation format for e-books.
- Rule 18 has a number of important changes. This is the section that deals with the Internet, Electronic media, and Other non-print resources. All internet citations are now treated as direct so “available at” before the URL is no longer required. Rule 18.2.1(d) encourages using reliable archival sources like web.archive.org and perma.cc. Rule 18.2.2(a) spells out citing authors in social media feeds. Other sections of this rule detail citations for titles of blogs and other social media. Rule 18.3 now has a chart with guidance on citing different types of sources from commercial electronic databases other than the main legal databases.
- Rule 21 includes more direction on international sources and includes a new section Rule 21.12 on the International Monetary Fund.
- Table T13 used to list the abbreviations for most individual law reviews. Now 1 lists common institutional names and T13.2 has common words. To cite a journal correctly, one needs to consult these two tables and T10 which has geographical terms.
The changes are not limited to the ones listed here. There are a lot more. These are just some of the highlights.
So Who Creates These Rules?
In case you ever wondered…. The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is compiled by the editors of the Columbia Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. The Harvard Law Review Association publishes and distributes the Bluebook.