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Pulls original sources from Westlaw and

Project description


* Introduction
* Requirements
* Installation
* Functionality
* Instructions for Use
* License
* Contact


getcite was created to save Florida Law Review member's time by automating
the process called "pulling sources."


getcite currently has the following software dependencies:

Python 3.5.0 or higher;
Selenium WebDriver 2.48.0 or higher;
Firefox 43 or higher;
PyPDF2 1.25.0 or higher;

getcite has the following network dependencies:

For sources from HeinOnline: must be on local UF network or logged in
to UF network through VPN;


For Mac:

(1) Download and install Python 3.5 or above, by going to this website:

(2) Once Python is installed, download getcite by opening terminal and

python3 -m pip install getcite --download ~/Downloads


git clone

(3) Once getcite is downloaded and unzipped, go to the getcite root
folder (that contains and type:

python3 install

(4) To run, go to the ./getcite folder and type:



getcite can perform the following actions:

Any original PDFs, including S. Ct. opinions, on Westlaw, default
Any unpublished/recent cases available on Westlaw, via the Westlaw
generate/download PDF function;
Supreme Court cases on HeinOnline, automatically detected;
U.S.C. statutes on HeinOnline, automatically detected;
Law review articles on HeinOnline, must be specified;

Names automatically downloaded sources in the FLR source-naming
Can rename most recently downloaded file, if download
completed manually, in FLR source-naming format;

Cases and statutes on westlaw;
Uses auto-naming features;
Automatically concatenates PDFs when multiple histories are downloaded
e.g. cases with both negative treatment and case history;

NOTE: As of right now, getcite cannot locate the table of contents
associated with a law review article. The process is too complex and

Law review articles often contain enough information on the first page
of the article to determine the accuracy of the citation. However, they
often do not. In order to make the best of getcite's automation process
while not dropping required elements of the source-pulling process in
general, the following steps are recommended:

1) Download the law review article automatically.
2) After the source is automatically downloaded and named, look at
the first page, which should be open in Firefox, to see if more
information is necessary to verify the accuracy of the citation.
3) If the article page contains enough information, move on.
Otherwise, you can now quickly find the associated table of
contents and download it manually.
4) Once you've downloaded the table of contents, you'll need to
manually merge it into the properly named file using a PDF


getcite will automatically attempt to detect the citation type and location.
However, the user must first specify that they* intend to enter an article
citation by using the "article" command.

NOTE: There is really no difference between citations and commands. When a
string is entered, getcite will first run it through the list of available
commands. If getcite does not detect a known command, the program will treat
the entry as a citation and attempt to automatically locate and download it.

Abbreviation prompts:

First, getcite will ask for the EDITOR abbreviation. Next, getcite will
ask for the AUTHOR abbreviation.

This information helps getcite automatically name downloaded sources
only needs to be entered once every time getcite runs.

Citation prompt and source naming:

The user can now start entering citations and commands.

Source naming:

(1) If getcite successfully downloads a source, the program will prompt the
user to either type a save-name different from the citation entered or
simply press 'enter' to use the citation entered for the save-name. This
functionality was added because reviewers often prefer to use a case or
article name rather than a case or article citation when naming source

The user may also type 'stop' here, which will return the program to the
citation prompt without renaming a file. This is useful when getcite grabs
the wrong file.

(2) Next, getcite will ask the user for the footnote number, e.g.: 037(4)

NOTE: Because the naming function runs immediately after the footnote is
entered, you need to WAIT UNTIL THE DOWNLOAD IS COMPLETE before hitting
'return' after entering the footnote number.

(3) Finally, getcite will print the most recently downloaded file's name, to
ensure accuracy, and then will rename that file to an FLR format:

author_abbreviation footnote_number name/citation editor_abbreviation.pdf


quit: Closes the browser and quits getcite

article: Tells getcite that the citation is a Law Review article

USAGE: article:118 Harv. L. Rev. 833

rename: Renames the most recently modified file in the download
folder. getcite assumes that the the most recently modified
file in that folder is the most recently downloaded file, so
avoid modifying (e.g. renaming) files while getcite is

USAGE: rename:name of case or article:footnote_number
For example: rename:Shakur v. Smalls:003(4)

Assuming EDITOR abb. is AB and AUTHOR abb. is CD,, getcite
will save the most recently downloaded file in the download
folder as:

CD 003(4) Shakur v. Smalls AB.pdf

This command is helpful when:

(a) the user has reached a point where getcite cannot download
the source, but the user can finish the download manually.
After the manual download is completed, getcite's "rename"
function is still faster than using the operating system.

(b) the user has not used getcite for the most recent download,
but has manually downloaded a source into the download folder
and wishes to use the rename function rather than renaming
through the operating system;

(c) the user has made a mistake in the naming of the most
recently automatically-downloaded file, and wishes to name it
again. For example, user enters 012 for footnote, but wants to
change it to 012(1) without using the operating system;

history: Finds the westlaw history of the case or statute specified.

USAGE: history:citation

By simply typing "history," with no argument, the user can
impute the previously entered citation as the argument. Useful
for when the history the user wants is from the previously
downloaded case.

merge: Merges two files: the most recent in Sources and the most
recent in Downloads.

USAGE: (1) Download an article, enter name, footnote.
(2) Manually download ToC from HeinOnline. Leave
in Downloads directory.
(3) Use "merge" command to concatenate these two files.

license: Displays a shortened version of the getcite license.

warranty: Displays the getcite warranty.

help: Displays the help screen


Copyright (C) 2015

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software
Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for
more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with
this program. If not, see <>.


You can contact the author at:

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