Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Preemption checking is an important step in academic scholarship that will help determine if the topic has been or is being preempted by another work or author. In preparing to write a piece of legal scholarship an author must choose a topic. In choosing this topic many resources including periodicals of both general and legal matters, law reviews and journals, legal books and newsletters, and non-legal materials that publish law-related articles can be consulted. As an author refines their topic preemption checking should begin taking place. This is to both ensure that the topic has not already been completely addressed before too much effort is spent on research, and to shape the formation of the topic and subtopics to address the relevant non-addressed issues that exist.
If another author has written on a topic similar to the one being investigated it is not necessarily a case of absolute preemption. In these matters the researcher must then see if their idea can be distinguished from the already existing work. Additionally, one can use a citator to see if the possibly preemptive material is still using valid authority. In the nature of legal scholarship articles are often published and not updated and new case or statutory law may apply making the article lose value and in need of new scholarship to update the changes.
The remainder of this LibGuide will discuss how to search resources looking for preemptive materials.
- Searching for Published Articles
- Searching for Books and Book Chapters
- Searching for Working Papers
Search for Published Articles
- Loyola Finding Journal Articles LibGuide
- Remember that as thorough as resources such as Westlaw, LexisNexis, or HeinOnline attempt to be they individually are not comprehensive. Some journals are embargoed on one or all of these services so multiple searches are required to insure lack of preemption.
- For topics that involve matters that might cross into non-legal academics an author should check non-legal databases as well for preemption. For these databases the Loyola Law Library provides access through its affiliation with the Loyola Monroe Library to many resources.
Search for Books & Book Chapters
- When looking for preemption book and book chapters are often a very good place to examine. Specifically, topic specific multi-volume treatises can provide a wealth of knowledge for both researching a prospective topic and checking to see if a prospective topic has already been addressed.
- Examples of these materials would include Benedict on Admiralty, Moore's Federal Practice 3d, and Nimmer on Copyright.
- Loyola Law Library Catalog - Search
- Searching the Loyola Law Library Catalog allows
- Tulane Law Library Catalog - Search
- The Loyola Law Library maintains a reciprocal agreement with the Tulane Law Library that allows Loyola law students to check out materials that are available in the Tulane collection. Likewise, Tulane law students may use the Loyola Law collection.
- Worldcat - Advanced Search
- Worldcat.org is a database that can be searched to show the holdings of most academic libraries in the U.S. and some international libraries.
Search for Working Papers
All original content copyright 2022 Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Library. This guide may be used for educational purposes, as long as proper credit is given. This guide may not be sold. Requests to republish or adapt a guide should be directed to the Library Director. Proper credit includes the statement: Written by, or adapted from, Loyola University New Orleans Law Library.