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Citators: Home

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2023 8:59 AM

What is a Citator?

  • A citator is a research tool that allows one to look up a specific citation (to a case, a statute, etc.) to discover other resources that cite it.  This is used, for example, to verify the validity of a case (is it still good law? --- or, has it been subsequently overturned, or reversed on appeal?) or to find additional cases or other materials on the same topic.

  • While some citators are available in paper format, the online versions are more up-to-date and more efficient to use.

Using a Citator to check a CASE

You can:

--determine the validity of a case (has it been reversed on appeal?  been overruled?  been treated negatively by a subsequent court?)

--discover the history of a case (prior and subsequent)

--find parallel citations

--locate other cases that have cited your case (and are likely to deal with a similar issue)

--locate secondary sources that have cited your case & address your topic

Using a Citator to check a Statute

You can -

--discover the history of a statute (Has it been amended? Reversed? Is there pending legislation?)

--locate cases that have cited the statute

--learn how citing cases have interpreted the statute

--discover secondary sources that cite the statute & address your topic


See Shepard's Statute Reports

List of Legal Citators

Shepard's Citations (via LexisNexis)

​KeyCite (via Westlaw)

  • KeyCite via Westlaw (law school password required)
  • KeyCite via WestlawNext (law school password required)
    Type kc or keycite followed by a citation, e.g., kc 93 sct 1817 or keycite 93 sct 1817, in the text box at the top of the page and click Search.


Other Citators (not necessarily legal)

Subject Guide

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Law Reference Librarians
Charles B. Sears Law Library
O'Brian Hall (North Campus)
SUNY Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260