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Bluebook 101

Basic information for getting started with The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation

Video: Major Bluebook 21st Edition Updates

Bluebook 21st Edition: Major Changes

Major updates to the Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation in the new 21st edition, which was released in the summer of 2020. (7:43)

Differences between the 20th and 21st Editions

The new 21st edition of The Bluebook was published in 2020. Below is a list of all of the major changes.

21st Edition
1.4 No longer requires a prescribed order of authorities within each signal, instead requires authorities to be organized in a logical manner.
10.6.2 New section addressing how to cite SCOTUS in chambers opinions.
12.3.2 Citing to the U.S. Code no longer requires a year
15.1(b) More than two authors for a non-periodical resource--use all author names when particularly relevant, otherwise use the first author's name followed by et al. Use the first author and et al. for short form citations.
18.2.2(c) Date and time for updated online sources--use the date and time when the piece was updated, rather than when it was originally posted.
18.2.2(d) Use short URLs when possible but only if the URL makes it clear what the source is, e.g., wapo.st, but not bit.ly
18.6-18.7 Gives guidance for how to create a pinpoint citation to video and audio recordings.
18.8 New rule giving guidance for citing photographs and illustrations.
20/T2 Removes foreign jurisdictions citation guidance from T2 in the back of the Bluebook to T2 online on the Bluebook's website.
T13/T6 Removes the separation in previous editions between T6 (abbreviations in institutional author and case names) and T13 (abbreviations in periodical titles). See below chart for a list of the new abbreviations.

Word​

Old Abbreviation​

New Abbreviation​

Artificial Intelligence​

NONE​

A.I​.

Comparative​

Comp.​

Compar.​

Employ[er,ment]​

Emp'[r,t] T6​

Emp.​

Employ[ee, ment]​

Emp.T13​

Emp.​

Environment[al]​

Envt'l​

Env't​

Laboratory​

NONE​

Lab'y​

Nationality​

Nat'lity​

Nat'y​

Profession[al]​

Prof'l (T6), Prof.(T13)​

Pro.​

Psycholog[ical, ist, y]​

Psychol. ​

Psych.​

Refin[ing, ement]​

Ref.​

Refin.​

Research​

Res.​

Rsch.​

Reserv[ation, e]​

Res.​

Rsrv.​

Sociolog[ical, y]​

Soc.​

Socio.​