Citator FAQs

  1. What is the difference between searching the Citator and searching one of the product websites?

    The first difference is that a Citator search is searching metadata (i.e. key information about the contents of the database), whereas a product search is searching the full text of the item itself.

    The second difference is that in a Citator search you are searching a much broader range of items. Every piece of full text content that we process for our products contains multiple references, and at least some of those are new references, for which we add new records to the Citator. This means that the Citator dataset is a number of times “broader” than the combination of our product datasets, although of course the inclusion of full text in the products makes those datasets “deeper”.

    The third difference is that the Citator contains links to third party websites; we actively broker your onward journey to the full text on reliable, freely available third party websites, whether or not we also have the full text on an OUP service.

  2. What content does the Citator contain?

    The Citator contains Citator records; these are like index cards, and there is one for every unique item in the Citator dataset, including one for every provision of legislation and every section of a book. The Citator also contains links; we have over 1.6 million of these, representing relationships between items.

  3. What subject areas does the Citator cover?

    We populate the Citator as a result of adding records for and links to the content that we publish on our online services. The Citator dataset therefore generally reflects the subject areas in which we publish full text content. These tend to be areas of law with an international element or global reach, in which OUP publishes key titles or has strong lists. They include public international law, constitutional law, international commercial arbitration, European competition law, and international commercial law subjects including banking and financial and private international law. We also carry out projects to extend and expand the Citator dataset and add value in priority subject areas, to provide more and better targets for links and to increase the links to full text held on external websites.

  4. Why does the Citator record open in the same browser window/tab as the previous document?

    This is to give the user the choice of either seeing Citator content displayed in a linear way (where the Citator record replaces the content that you were previously viewing, without opening a new window/tab) or in a parallel way (where a new tab or window is opened to display the Citator content, leaving you able to switch between the two tabs/windows as required). Most desktop browsers will allow the user to open a link in a new window or tab by right clicking with your mouse and choosing from the list of relevant options. Tablet users will also have an option to open in a new tab; the exact method by which you can do this may vary depending on your device and browser, but may involve “long pressing” (pressing and holding the link) to access the relevant menu.

  5. What dates are used for sorting search/browse/related results by date?

    The sort date used varies with the content type and with the data available. The sort will use the first found date from the following:

    • Cases – date of judgment, date of despatch, date reported, date registered
    • Instruments – date signed, enacted (promulgated), terminated, opened for signature, entered into force, ratified, adopted, published, amended
    • Commentary (books and standalone) – date published, date amended
    • Encyclopedia entries – date authored
  6. What dates are used for searching or browsing using date parameters?

    We index a number of different dates for each content type for searching purposes – a search or browse by date will find records with any of the following dates:

    • Cases – date of judgment, date of despatch, date reported, date registered, version date, last substantive update, commentary date
    • Instruments – date signed, enacted (promulgated), terminated, opened for signature, entered into force, ratified, adopted, published, amended, version date
    • Commentary (books and standalone) – date published, date amended, version date
    • Encyclopedia entries – date authored, version date
  7. How often is the Citator updated?

    We add and amend content in the Citator every day. There is a daily feed between our Editorial system and the live Citator which means that changes made in the editorial system one day are live online the next day.

  8. When in the publishing process do you add links to your content?

    We aim to add links before the content is published, but content enhancement is also an ongoing process which can continue post publication. We will not usually delay initial publication because linking is incomplete.

  9. What is the difference between search/browse results and related results?

    Search and browse results show you the records in the dataset that match your search term. Related results only appear when you are in a Citator record, and they show the items in the dataset that are linked to the Citator record that you are viewing.

  10. To which external websites do you link from the Citator?

    To ensure that the user does not navigate to unhelpful or unreliable links from the Citator, the following criteria inform our choice of links to external websites:

    • The link must be to an official site belonging to a respected body
    • The link must be to a site that allows free access for the user
    • The link must be to a site that is stable and does not often change their URLs to avoid broken links
  11. Why do some Citator records have no corresponding full text document?

    There are many more records in the Citator than there are pieces of published full text content on the products. This is because records are created not just for each piece of content we publish but also for references within that content. Where OUP publishes that content online we will link to it, and we will also look for a reliable full text version on an official, free website outside of OUP's portfolio, and link out to that version. However there still remain many records in the Citator for which we have not been able to find a reliable version of the full text; these are the records without full text links. We hope that you will be able to use the citations provided in the record to locate a hard copy in a library.

  12. What is your policy on cookies?

    Cookies are required to control access to the service. The default policy will be to use cookies for authentication. Subscribers who have unlimited access licences for one of our services may choose to disable cookies and will still be able to use the service, but note that usage statistics related to user sessions will not be available.

  13. Can I print Citator records?

    Print Citator records (or results lists) using your browser's print facility. You are restricted by Copyright to the amount of information that you can print. Please read the Privacy policy and legal notice, which includes information on printing.

  14. Do I have access to the Citator?

    If you subscribe to any of OUP’s premium online services you will have access to the Citator. These services include:

    • Investment Claims
    • Oxford Competition Law
    • Oxford Public International Law
      • Oxford Reports on International Law
      • Oxford Scholarly Authorities in International Law
      • Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law
      • Oxford Historical Treaties
    • Oxford Constitutional Law
      • Oxford Constitutions of the World
      • US Constitutional Law
    • Oxford Legal Research Library
      • International Commercial Law
      • International Commercial Arbitration
      • Private International Law
      • Financial and Banking Law

    Once you are logged into the Citator or any one of service these services, without re-entering passwords or otherwise re-authenticating. If you have a subscription to any of Oxford's digital products listed below and you are having problems accessing the Citator, please contact us.

  15. On which browsers will the Citator display correctly?

    • Internet Explorer 9 and above
    • Firefox 30.6 and above
    • Opera
    • Chrome
  16. Is the Citator OpenURL compliant?


  17. Is it possible to get user statistics for the Citator?

    No user statistics are yet available, although this development is on the roadmap for the Citator.

  18. One of the links does not work in the Oxford Law Citator. What should I do?

    If you come across a link that does not work, please contact us with a URL of the page that you are viewing and details of which link does not work.

  19. I would like to suggest an addition to the Citator

    We are happy to receive suggestions for addition to the Citator. Please contact us with your suggestion