Cite Checking Books

April 5th, 2017

After spending years slogging through the law review editorial process perhaps the most shocking aspect of writing a book is how little publishers care about citations. This is true, even with a prestigious academic press like Cambridge. To the extent that editors even review your references, they inspect only form, and not substance.

Attempting to cite-check your own book, without the aid of law review editors poring over every footnote, is not easy. This difficulty is exacerbated by the fact that books are several times as long as law review articles–Unraveled was over 250,000 words. Further, books generally have fewer citations, and eschew the lengthy string-cites that are all too common in the pages of law review. These dynamics are ripe for errors.

I am almost positive that at some point in either of my first two books, there is a passage here or there where I meant to include quotes and a footnote, but I didn’t. Such errors were not deliberate, but they would amount to plagiarism. I apologize in advance for any that exist, and if readers find them, please flag them, so I can correct them in the paperback printing of Unraveled.