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Ohio Secondary Sources Legal Research Guide: Citator Comparison

Citator Comparison

 Both citators provide a list of cases which cite to the case in question.  Each service indicates how the citing cases treated the case in question (followed, overruled, questioned, distinguished, etc.) by Citator Signals and other means. 

For the different symbols used on each citation service, see Citator Signals page of this guide.



Shepard's has the most detailed editorial treatment. It has a grid view showing cases cited  by jurisdiction and by treatment, as well as graphical history.  Has graphical history. Does not indicate, at a glance, whether the citing case quoted the case in question.

Keycite - Has graphical history. Indicates, at a glance, whether the citing case quoted the case in question.   Lacks the at a glance analysis of Lexis Advance.

Citations to Secondary Sources citing to the Case



Text of  Case Opinion indicates subsequent treatment at a glance

Citator Signals (positive green plus sign, negative stop sign, questioned, etc.) are at the top of the text of the case.

The text of the case indicates the most negative treatment at the top.

Editorial treatment, editorial analysis



followed, criticized, distinguished, harmonized, explained, etc.

Covers positive analysis (eg. followed) as well as negative.

A large variety of editorial phrases provides a more detailed analysis.  Editorial Phrase Definitions

Editorial Phrases are accompanied by colored square symbols, Phrase Level Indicators. 


For negative cases:  distinguished by, declined to extend, disagreement recognized by, called into doubt by

For positive cases: examined by, discussed by, cited by, mentioned by (same as depth of treatment stars)

At a Glance Analysis

Use Analysis on the left hand side of the Citing Decisions tab to identify at a glance whether a case is overruled for one point of law, but followed on another, as well as if one jurisdiction followed but another overruled. Keycite does not uncover these splits of authority at a glance.


Depth of Treatment Indicator Yes - indicates length of discussion - cited, less than one paragraph, one paragraph, one page, Yes - indicates length of discussion
Number of Cases Citing to the citing case Must shepardize to see how often the citing case is cited.  Must pull up case to see how many times the citing case is cited.
To search within results/ Filter

Lexis Advance:  Filters vary by content type.  View results for different content types using the tabs at the top.


Westlaw: Filters vary by content type.  MUST SELECT A CONTENT TYPE FIRST, such as cases.


Quotations   Quotatation marks in your KeyCite result indicate that the citing document directly quotes the cited case or administrative decision.
Graphical Case History, or Statute History Appellate History map. 

Graphical Case History

Graphical Statute History

Graphical Chart of Citing Cases

Grid view shows a chart of citing cases by each jurisdication and the number of positive, negative or neutral cases in each jurisdiction.  Click on a box, eg. positive cases in the Sixth Circuit, to see a list of cases.  Also shows cases by year  by treatment(positive, negative, etc.)

Timeline shows when cases/other sources citing the case were published.

Indicates which headnotes from the case in question are discussed in the subsequent case LexisNexis headnotes indicated after the cite Westlaw headnotes indicated after the cite
Order of the results

Shepards (Lexis Advance) has separate tabs for Case History, Citing Decisions and Citing Law Reviews, Treatises,  etc.  History is the first to appear. 

In the Citing Decisions tab, Shepard's lists cases by jurisdiction (eg. Ohio) and then by court level.  The cases for each court are listed in chronological order.

The order can be changed by clicking on Analysis, Date or DIscussion (Depth of Discussion) at the top.

In Westlaw, there are separate tabs (separate pages) for negative treatment, history and citing references (negative and positive or neutral treatment).  The negative treatment page appears first. 

Citing References are listed in order of depth of treatment , with negative and positive cases mixed.  One can rearrange the cases by date, if desired (arranging by date lists cases strictly by date).   Within depth of treatment cases are listed by court level then by date.  Then, secondary sources are listed, followed by court documents.  On the left side of the page, one can easily select between cases, secondary sources, briefs, etc.

Snippets of text underneath each citation