The preemption check acts as background research on your paper topic. This guide provides links to some of the available resources that will aid in your preemption check.
There are two types of preemption: preemption by law and preemption by author.
To be sure your topic hasn't been preempted, you'll need to carefully search print and electronic resources (including other disciplinary resources).
This CALI lesson and this Lexis video provide information on the preemption check process. If you need the CALI.org authorization code, stop by the Reference Desk during walk-up hours or email us at email@example.com.
Below are the basic steps in performing a preemption check. The remainder of this guide will go over these in more details.
Other useful guides (note that many of these guides have links to subscription-only resources):
If you don't already have a specific topic in mind, get started by doing basic background research and finding general information on the field or subject as a whole. Familiarizing yourself with the current body of knowledge in your subject will help you identify smaller subareas and topics of interest; gradually, a narrower focus should emerge.
After you've done your introductory background research, you can use the resources given in the rest of this guide to help you narrow your topic. It should be narrow enough to be manageable, but broad enough that you won't have trouble finding sources to inform your discussion.
The following resources will help you generate search terms using terms and connectors and other operators. Creating a research log (of what search terms you used, what resources you've visited, and how you go there) helps you keep track of progress, resources, citations, and other information related to your research process.
The Basic Research Process:
Additional Tips: Public Policy Research
Locate print and electronic resources in either of the following Texas A&M University catalogs by subject or topic, keyword, or author.
The following selected electronic resources will aid in your research.
Texas A&M Electronic Databases
Periodicals & Journals Databases
Other Legal Research Resources
Westlaw and Lexis are our most popular databases for searching both primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, and codes) and secondary sources (law reviews, treatises, legal encyclopedias, and other resources that provide commentary on the law).
Use citators to update primary law citations to ensure they are still good law. Electronic legal research databases such as Westlaw and Lexis include their own citators.