An offer to Legal Research and Writing instructors @fgbjr

Automating the rules of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is one of several capabilities built into Multilingual Zotero (MLZ), a new reference manager based on — but separate from — the well-known Zotero system from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. The idea of automating the Bluebook rules has been around for some time. MLZ is designed from the ground up to do that job well.

Citations, Out of the Box (2013) is an essential resource on MLZ, providing an overview of the role of reference managers in research, a description of the extended features of MLZ itself, and sample references for the guidance of new and experienced users. The book is available both as a PDF download of the text, and for purchase with the attractive cover shown to the right.

MLZ is a small project with large ambitions. Beginning with an audience of researchers and students, the long-term aim is to promote use of this and similar authoring tools in legal publishing, and ultimately in court practice. MLZ is but a small initial step in that direction: but as Professor Lessig writes in the Foreword to Citations, MLZ is an open-source initiative on which others can build. We will get there in time.

With the book release, the number of MLZ users will increase, and there will be demand for accurate citation of a wider variety of legal resources. To better coordinate support at this critical phase of development, I have an offer and a request: if you are a Legal Research and Writing instructor and adopt Citations, Out of the Box as a suggested text for your classes in the coming year, please let me know by sending me a copy of your course syllabus. In return, I will provide citation style support to your students by direct email, with first-registering classes having first priority.

Please feel free to write to me if you have questions: I can be reached by email on bennett at law.nagoya-u.ac.jp. If you do choose to recommend MLZ, I will look forward to working with you and your students in the coming year!

Sincerely,
Frank Bennett
Faculty of Law
Nagoya University

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