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Research Assistant and Journal Member Training: WestCheck/BriefCheck

Information for Research Assistants and Journal members.

Quick Reference – WestCheck and BriefCheck Automated Citation Tools

Westlaw’s WestCheck and Lexis’ BriefCheck enable you to automatically KeyCite or Shepardize numerous citations—such as all of the citations in a law review article, brief, or other document—at once.

Both WestCheck and BriefCheck will:

  • Automatically identify and compile a list of the citations in a document you upload (or use a list of citations you input);
  • Check citations using KeyCite (if using WestCheck) or Shepard’s (if using BriefCheck);
  • Identify citations that cannot be checked due to invalid format;
  • Enable retrieval of documents cited; and
  • Provide a report that can be viewed online, emailed, printed, or downloaded.

Below are instructions on how to use WestCheck and BriefCheck.

WestCheck

1.         Getting Started.

Access WestCheck at www.westcheck.com by logging in using your Westlaw ID and password. (The WestCheck login also requires a client number, which (for students and faculty) can be a number created by you.)

2.         Upload a Document or Enter a List of Citations to be Checked.

On the screen displayed after you login, you may (a) upload a document containing citations you wish to check, or (b) enter or paste a list of citations you wish to check. 

If uploading a document, click on the “Extract Citation List” button on the screen that appears after the upload is complete.  

3.         Review Your Citation List and Generate a Report.

After the citation list has been extracted and compiled, you can review the list of citations and generate a report showing information on them from:

  • the KeyCite citator service;
  • QuoteRight, which verifies the accuracy of quotations in your document; and
  • Cited Decisions, which lists the cases cited by your document (if your document is a case, ALR annotation, law review article, or, in some instances, an administrative decision).

You can also retrieve cited documents by selecting the Find feature.

Note that a question mark symbol will be displayed before any citations that cannot be verified or that may be formatted incorrectly.

You can choose one of the following methods to view or receive your WestCheck report:

  • View it in your browser;
  • Email it as attachment;
  • Print on your attached printer; or
  • Download it to your computer.

Below is an excerpt from a WestCheck report.

4.         To Learn More.

For more detailed guidance on using WestCheck, review the WestCheck User Guide.

Briefcheck

1.         Getting Started.

Log in to your Lexis Advance account, click on the Research tab in the upper left, and select Lexis.com from the menu that appears.

Click on either the Shepard’s tab or the Get a Document tab, then click on the link for Shepard’s BriefCheck.

2.         Upload a Document or Enter a List of Citations to be Checked.

On the screen displayed after you click on the link for BriefCheck, you may (a) upload a document containing citations you wish to check, or (b) enter or paste a list of citations you wish to check.

3.         Select Report Options.

Choose the information and resources to be included in, and the other options to be applied to, your BriefCheck report:

  • Shepard’s analysis;
  • QuoteCheck, which verifies the accuracy of quotations in your document;
  • Check Citation Content, which warns you if the pinpoint page is the first page of the next case; and
  • Report Setup, which allows you to hide duplicate citations, show invalid citations, and choose other format and content options.

You can also retrieve cited documents by selecting the Get feature.

4.         Review Your Citation List and Generate a Report.

Review the list of citations generated.  Cites that are successfully checked are preceded by a green check mark.  Cites that cannot be checked due to invalid format are preceded by a red “X.”  You can also change the options for specific citations, such as by selecting or deselecting a Shepard’s report for a particular citation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can choose one of the following methods to view or receive your BriefCheck report:

  • View it in your browser;
  • Email it as attachment;
  • Print on your attached printer; or
  • Download it to your computer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is an excerpt from a BriefCheck report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.         To Learn More.

For more detailed guidance, review the Online Tutorial and Online Help on using BriefCheck.