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Digests: Introduction

How to Use This Guide

This guide is designed to familiarize you with the digest system.

The "Introduction" tab will introduce you to the digests and the digest publishing process.

The "Types of Digest" tab explains different types of digests and their location at the Oklahoma City University Law Library. 

The "Using the Digest" tab explains how to use the digest.

If you still have questions, the "Useful Links and Contacts" tab will point you towards more guidance. 


What is a reporter?

Once a case is decided by a court and an opinion is written, the case is reported to or picked up by a publisher.The publishers publishes the case in a reporter.

Learn more about reporters from the "Reporters" Libguide.

You may also want to review the handout attached below for more information about where cases are reported.

Headnotes in a Case Reporter


What is a Digest?

What are digests?

Digests are an organized collection of  court decision “head notes.”  Headnotes are summaries of the important legal issues discussed in the court's opinion. They appear before the court's opinion in the case reporters. These summaries are written by Westlaw editors and assigned a topic and subtopic. The topics and subtopics are then assigned a specific key number. Cases assigned the same key numbers discuss similar issues of law.

Why should I use them?

In legal research sometimes all you need is one good case. Once you have a good case, digests can lead you to more cases with similar legal issues and fact patterns as your research issue.

Overview of the Digests Publishing Process

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