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Legal Research Basics

Overview and glossary for the new legal researcher

Databases for Journal Searching

LegalTrac (1980–Present) LegalTrac is a web-based database, available at the library’s online catalog. It is also available as the Legal Resource Index on LexisNexis and Westlaw. LegalTrac indexes all the significant law reviews, legal newspapers, specialty law publications, bar association journals, and thousands of law-related articles from non-legal specific publications in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other major English speaking countries. Coverage dates from 1980 forward for most periodicals indexed. It is updated monthly. Index to Legal Periodicals (Online) (1981-Present) ILP Online is a web-based database that parallels LegalTrac in many respects. Its print base is the Index to Legal Periodicals. ILP Online covers all areas of jurisprudence, including recent court decisions, legislation, and scholarship. Current Law Index (1980 – Present) The Current Law Index’s coverage is identical to that of LegalTrac except the Current Law Index does not index legal newspapers and some newsletters that are indexed by LegalTrac. It is published twelve times a year. The March, June and September issues are quarterly cumulative and the twelfth issue of the year is a cumulative edition of the entire year.

Index to Legal Periodicals (Online) (1981-Present) ILP Online is a web-based database that parallels LegalTrac in many respects. Its print base is the Index to Legal Periodicals. ILP Online covers all areas of jurisprudence, including recent court decisions, legislation, and scholarship.

Current Law Index (1980 – Present) The Current Law Index’s coverage is identical to that of LegalTrac except the Current Law Index does not index legal newspapers and some newsletters that are indexed by LegalTrac. It is published twelve times a year. The March, June and September issues are quarterly cumulative and the twelfth issue of the year is a cumulative edition of the entire year.

Index to Legal Periodicals & Books This index includes many of the leading as well as some lesser articles published prior to 1898. Articles are indexed by subject and author. Index to Periodical Articles Related to Law (1958-Present) This publication indexes periodicals not covered in other major indices, including social science, business and technical journals as well as popular magazines. Current Index to Legal Periodicals This index lists newly issued articles by subject matter and prints the tables of contents of new issues. C.I.L.P. covers over 300 periodicals and is issued weekly. It is also available on Westlaw (“CILP” database). Shepard’s Federal Law Citations in Selected Law Reviews [KF 105.2 .S44] This publication includes citations taken from law review articles to decision federal courts, provisions of the United States Constitution, U.S. Code, federal court rules and the Code of Federal Regulations. Coverage begins for law reviews published in the 1972-1973 academic year. LexisNexis and Westlaw Both LexisNexis and Westlaw provide comprehensive databases for locating legal periodicals. Westlaw also provides access to the Insurance Periodical Index (“IPI”). The Insurance Periodicals Index cites articles from more than 35 periodicals published in the United States and Canada in the fields of insurance and employee benefits. Hein Online This product is a historical database providing full text searching and pdf format. Coverage includes a variety of law journals, the federal register, treaties, Supreme Court opinions and Opinions of the Attorney General.  

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