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Basic Library Research

Introduction to finding books, journals, and articles using the library's catalogs, law review repository, and indexes to legal periodicals.

Locating Journal Articles

HeinOnline - Law Review Repository

Retrieving a law review article when you know the citation:

Just like cases are cited, law review articles have the volume before the publication abbreviation, then the page number, like this:

78 Mich. L. Rev. 311 (1980)

To read this article you must find volume 78 of the Michigan Law Review.

Most law reviews are available on HeinOnline in PDF format, going back to the first issue of the first volume.

Lexis and Westlaw both have hundreds of law reviews. However, coverage begins in the 1980s or 1990s. For example, Lexis has the Michigan Law Review, but only beginning with vol. 81 (1982). Westlaw does not have this article; it has selected articles from the Michigan Law Review starting with vol. 80, issue no. 5 (1982) and full coverage starting with vol. 84.

Use HeinOnline's Law Journal Library to retrieve an article. Type, or copy and paste your citation into the Citation Navigator in the left sidebar.

Journal Finder, A-Z

Use this journal finder to quickly discover how you can access a particular journal title.

Legal Source & LegalTrac - Legal Indexes

Finding a law review article on a particular topic:

Legal periodical articles are important secondary resources that serve both to explain a particular facet of a topic, and to point the researcher to primary sources (e.g., cases and statutes) and other secondary resources.

Legal periodicals include law reviews, legal newspapers, bar association periodicals, and interdisciplinary journals. Journal articles can cover a newly developing area of the law before books on the subject are available, and can be useful tools for examining present trends and recent changes in the law.

An index search uses the subject, author, keyword, or other field which has been indexed to find an article. This is an advantage over a full-text search, which looks through the text of the articles without regard to the particular subject of the articles. Searches by the index method ensures the articles retrieved will be connected to the index terms, resulting in fewer, more relevant articles. 

Access Chastek Library's legal periodical indexes:

Interdisciplinary Journal Articles - Indexes

Foley Center Library, at Gonzaga, maintains a comprehensive list of indexes and databases, all accessible to law students. Once connected, enter your network credentials to be authenticated and granted access. Below are some popular interdisciplinary indexes. For a complete list visit Foley's A-Z Databases list.

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