Getting Started

Welcome to citeKeeper. Despite our best efforts, citeKeeper is probably not self-explanatory. This help topic is intended to provide an overview of what citeKeeper is and how to use it.

citeKeeper is designed to help you keep track of the authority that you use frequently. There are two types: quotes from cases, and snippets of text that you have written and are likely to use again.

Cases and Quotes

citeKeeper is a crowdsourced research tool. This means that unlike traditional research tools, citeKeeper does not contain the full text of every opinion ever published. Instead, citeKeeper started off completely empty. citeKeeper only contains the portions of cases that its users believed were interesting or important enough to enter.

Adding quotes and tags to your Tag Library

When you find a piece of case law that you think is important, you should add it to your tag library. For example, let's assume that you frequently need the following quote: "The words of a claim are generally given their ordinary and customary meaning." Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1312-1313 (Fed. Cir. 2005). Here's how to add it to your library:

Step 1: Find the case. The first step is to look up Phillips v. AWH. Click the search link at the top of the page. The search page defaults to searching by citation. Enter in the citation, 415 F.3d 1303, and click 'go'.

Step 2: Enter the case if it does not exist. citeKeeper contains most federal and New Mexico appellate cases. If the case you are looking for is in the system, you will be automatically taken to the case detail page for step 3.

If your case is not already in citeKeeper, you will be directed to a page where you can add the case. After you enter the name and citation and select the court, you will be taken to the case detail page for step 3.

Step 3: Enter your quote. From the case details screen, you will be able to see all of the quotes that have already been entered for the case. How you add the quote to your tag libary depends on whether someone has already entered it into the system.

  • Step 3(a): The quote is already in the system.
  • Good news! Someone has already entered the quote you were interested in. You need only tag the quote to make it appear in your tag library. Click the 'save' button under the quote. Click the 'add tags' button to add your own tags, or click the down arrow next to add tags if you'd like to copy all of tags into your own library. You can also click any of the individual tags for the option to copy just those tags to your library. For our example, you might add tags of "patents" and "claim construction." Tags are discussed in more detail in the tags help section.

    This quote from Phillips is classic, and is already in the system. To add it to your tag library, just use the copy all tags feature. The quote will be tagged with "patents" and "claim construction" in your library.

  • Step 3(b): The quote is not yet in the system.
  • If your quote does not appear in the case details screen, you will need to add it. Click the "Add Quote" link in the toolbar on the left of the case details screen and follow the instructions to add the quote.

That's it! Your quote is added to the system. The next time you need it, you will be able to quickly find it in your tag library.

Finding Quotes in your Tag Library

Time has passed, and once again you need the quote from Phillips. Finding it in your tag library is easy. From your home page or from the tags page, simply click on a tag that is relevant. It is usually easiest to start with the broadest tag. In this case, that means clicking the "patents" tag. If you have many patent-related quotes, it still may not be easy to find the one you are searching for. However, citeKeeper will show you all of the related tags for the tags you have already clicked. Click on another tag, such as "claim construction", to narrow the list of quotes. Eventually your list will be small enough that the quote is easy to find.

To learn more about using the tag library, visit the tag library help section.


Snippets are portions of text you have written and expect to use again. A typical example would be a paragraph stating a legal standard. Like the tag library, your snippet library stores and tags these paragraphs so that you can quickly find them when you need them. Learn more about snippets in the snippet help section.