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Law - Beginning Your Research

How to do legal research.

Legal Periodicals

Locating a current law journal article on a specific topic can save hours of research time.

Journal articles

  • tend to focus on narrower legal issues and the authors, usually academics and practitioners in a field
  • provide informed analysis of the law
  • provide references to relevant case law and legislation
  • are especially useful for commentary on emerging areas of the law, and areas undergoing change.

The following indexes provide the most thorough coverage of articles published in law journals.

Canada

United States & Beyond

United Kingdom & European Union

Australia & New Zealand

Foreign

Full Text Periodical Databases

Full text searching:

  • coverage of journals in full text databases is not as comprehensive as the coverage provided by the legal periodical indexes
  • tends to retrieve a larger number of irrelevant articles
  • useful when
    • searching for articles about a narrowly-defined topic
    • using unique keywords
    • searching for known items