OSCOLA – Citing journal articles: The dilemma of round and square brackets

OSCOLA final

Are you working on your first written assignment this academic year and getting confused with OSCOLA citation? This post helps you clarify which brackets – (round) or [square] – you should choose when you are citing a journal article.

The general rule is that you need to use square brackets around the year if the journal you are citing uses the year rather than a consecutive number to identify the volume. Here is a relevant example:

Meghan Campbell, ‘Reigniting the dialogue: the latest use of the notwithstanding clause in Canada’ [2018] Public Law 1

If there is a separate volume number available for the publication, please, use round brackets:

Emma Lees, ‘Title by Registration: Rectification, Indemnity and Mistake and the Land Registration Act 2002’ (2013) 76 Modern Law Review 62

To help you, we created a list of journals available in our collections, which use year identification, so you need to cite them with square brackets.
NOTE that this is not a comprehensive list!!!

  • Acta Juridica
  • British Tax Review
  • Criminal Law Review
  • International Family Law
  • Journal of Business Law
  • Journal of Personal Injury Litigation
  • Journal of Planning and Environment Law
  • Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly
  • Private Client Business
  • Public Law

TIP! If you want to cite a forthcoming article, follow the exact same format you would with published journal articles but add ‘(forthcoming)’ following the citation. In case you do not have information about the volume or page numbers, simply omit that information.

If you want to learn more about journal citation, please read section 3.3.1 in the OSCOLA user guide for hard copy journals (page 37) and section 3.3.3 for forthcoming articles (page 38).

Don’t forget that you can also get help in Taylor Library, please visit our Help Desk from Monday to Friday between 09:00 -16.30.

Taylor Library Team
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

 

OSCOLA – citing hard copy journal articles

 

OSCOLA final

If the article is available in print copy as well as online, cite the hard copy version. There is no need to cite an electronic source for such a publication.

The elements of citation are as follows:

  • Cite the author’s name first (followed by a coma)
  • Give the ‘title of the article’ (within single quotation marks)
  • Year of publication [in square brackets if it identifies the volume] or (in round brackets if there is a separate volume number)
  • The volume number if there is one
  • The name of the journal (in full or abbreviated form – with no full stops)
  • And the first page of the article.

Examples:

Carmen Draghici, ‘Immigration Tribunal fees as a barrier to access to justice and substantive human rights protection for children’ [2017] PL 1

John Gardner, ‘The Negligence Standard: Political not Methaphysical’ (2017) 80 MLR 1

Tip! Put a coma after the first page of the article if there is a pinpoint:

JAG Griffith, ‘The Common Law and the Political Constitution’ (2001) 117 LQR 42, 64.

For more information, please see page 37 in the OSCOLA user guide or visit us in the Taylor Library & EDC.

Taylor Library Team
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

 

 

Tip of the Day: OSCOLA – Subsequent citation of a case

OSCOLA finalIn the following example, we demonstrate the subsequent citation of a case. The short form of the case name must be sufficient to identify the source.

If the full name of the case is given in the text e.g. AWB Limited v Honourable Terence Rhoderic Hudson Cole, the citation is provided in footnotes as follows:

74 [2006] FCA 571.

76 AWB Limited (n. 74).

Interpreting the footnotes:

74 As the name of the case is given in your text, it is not given in the footnote.

76 For subsequent citation, a short form of the case is sufficient to identify the source along with a cross-citation to the full citation.

Note that it is also acceptable to give the full citation every time a source is cited, and the Law School may prefer this to the use of short forms. Always consult your supervisor or course coordinator if you are uncertain about referencing and citing using OSCOLA.

For more information, see Page 5 in the OSCOLA user guide. For more OSCOLA examples, please follow the link here.

Taylor Library Staff
lawlib@abdn.ac.uk