Skip to main content

Law: Finding Journal Articles

HOW DO I FIND A SPECIFIC JOURNAL ARTICLE?

FINDit in 2 easy steps:

1. Go to FINDit and select the Article Search tab.

2. Search here for the article title e.g. "Ignorance of the criminal law, and duties to avoid it".

HOW DO I FIND A SPECIFIC JOURNAL TITLE?

FINDit in 2 easy steps:

1. Go to FINDit and select Find Journal.

2. Search here for the title of the journal e.g. Modern Law Review.

HOW DO I FIND JOURNAL ARTICLES ON A TOPIC?

Start with Westlaw UK and look in the Journals section, this has the Legal Journals Index.

LexisLibrary also has a Journals section.

If the full text of the article is not available immediately within the legal databases make a note of the full citation details and follow the instructions above for 'Searching for a Specific Journal Article?'.

JOURNAL TROUBLE-SHOOTING

If a journal article does not appear in Article Search the next place to look is Find Journal (link top right of screen).  Look for the Citation Linker tab and fill in as much detail as you have available. If we don't have an online version check the Library Catalogue for the journal title, we may subscribe to the print, failing that you can send for the article on inter-library loan.

GOOGLE SCHOLAR

Google Scholar is a great way of searching for information and is a useful supplement to database searches. More information can be found on our Help page.

WHAT IS A JOURNAL?

A journal is an academic magazine, sometimes also known as a periodical or serial.

Published at regular intervals e.g. weekly, or monthly, or quarterly.

They are good for keeping up to date with legal developments.

They contain articles by learned authors, such as academics, judges or legal practitioners.

They may also contain 'case notes' or 'case comments' which give a brief analysis of the important legal issues in a case.  If a case has not been officially reported in the case law reports, a journal 'case comment' may be the only information that is available.

Read journal articles to enhance your understanding of legal issues and legal argument.

WHAT IS A JOURNAL ARTICLE CITATION?

Journal article citations usually contain the following information:

D Whitehead, ‘Messages on parenthood: the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill’ (2008) 42 Law Teach 242.
  • Author: D Whitehead
  • Article title: ‘Messages on parenthood: the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill’
  • Year of publication: 2008
  • Abbreviated form of the journal title: Law Teach
  • Volume: 42
  • Issue/part number: none given in this example
  • Page(s): 242

WHERE DO I FIND THE MEANING OF LEGAL ABBREVIATIONS?

Law journals are often referred to by abbreviation

e.g. MLR for Modern Law Review.

To find out what the abbreviation means, check the online:

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations

Or if you are in the Treforest library you can check:

Raistrick's Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations

HOW DO I FIND JOURNAL ARTICLES IN WESTLAW UK?

Westlaw UK Journals offers two services: full-text articles and article abstracts:

There are thousands of articles in full text published by Sweet & Maxwell, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and others.

The article abstracts service, the Legal Journals Index contains over half a million abstracts of articles from English language legal journals published in the UK and EU, providing seamless integration to full text journal articles (where available) and direct links to relevant case law and legislation.

HOW DO I FIND JOURNAL ARTICLES IN LEXISLIBRARY?

FURTHER JOURNAL DATABASES FOR LAW

The Law Journal Library from Heinonline is a full text journal archive service, each title begins with the first issue of the journal but never contains the most recent issues.  It is mainly American but does contain some UK and European journal titles.

You may also wish to search in JSTOR Arts & Sciences II Collection which contains 889 journal titles for Law, again mainly American titles.