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Law: Journals

This guide is a list of sources for legal research.

Finding Articles in Law Journals

  1. If you have a reference, the journal title will probably be in an abbreviated form, e.g. NLJ or CFLQ.  Don't forget that the Cardiff Index will help you work out the title so that you can search for the journal using Library Search.
  2. The article you want may only be indexed by the service you are using, meaning you won't see the full-text.  This is most common with Westlaw's Legal Journals Index, but will also happen with LexisLibrary's 'JournalsPlus' and can also happen with i-law.  If so - check Library Search to see if we get the journal from a different source (which may be online or may be print).
  3. A number of non-UK journals are provided as part of our Westlaw (International Materials) and LexisLibrary subscriptions.  Many of these are not easily found as they are not covered by Library Search.  This primarily applies to journals from the USA, Canada and Australia. Try the following, but if not successful, please ask the Law Librarian.
    • LexisLibrary offers 'Find a Source' from its front page.  Type the title of the journal (e.g., Australian Journal of Corporate Law)  into that box and if it's anywhere on Lexis this will find it.
    • For Westlaw's International Materials (click on the Services tab), type the journal title into the main simple search box (e.g. Canadian Family Law Quarterly).
  4. You may  be able to access the full text of an article via Library Search by typing the article title into the search box (e.g. 'The use of force and firearms by private security companies against suspected pirates'), but please note that this approach will not always work.
  5. If the article is online only in Westlaw, LexisLibrary or i-law, the link will not show at all from Library Search, although you may see references to such articles from other sources.  e.g. Library Search does include some references to articles from the LMCLQ (see, for example, one entitled 'Limits of contractual estoppel'), but as the LMCLQ is only available on i-law, Library Search does not provide a direct link to the full text.  You may see an option to check for full-text.  Following that link will sometimes take you directly to the article you want, but sometimes only to the main page for that journal, at which point you will need to search or browse for the article.  (If it's on i-law you will also need to login.)
  6. If the article is on HeinOnline, you may see a link to 'View Record from HeinOnline'.  This will open the full-text.  (e.g.  'Broken Windows, Zero Tolerance, and the New York Miracle'.)
  7. If you are working off-campus and have not yet set up VPN or SVE, linking from one service to another and opening full-text will be more difficult!  See Off-campus access box to the right.
  8. If you still can't find the journal or article you need, contact your Law Librarian

Library Search
The University of Southampton Library access and discovery system. It is a cross-searching tool that searches across the library’s printed and electronic resources as well as major subject databases and indexes.

Finding the Full Text of a Journal Article

Found a good article? Now you need to know whether you can get the full text.

If you've run a database search, the article's record may have a "Full Text" or "PDF" link - click to get the full text.

If you found the article another way, run a "journal title" search on Library Search to see if we have it in print or online. Note that you will need to search by the journal title, not the title of the individual article.

Unfortunately, you may have some extra difficulties with law journals, because of the way some of the law e-resources work!  See the big box to the left for some ideas.


Understanding the Details of an Article

A correctly formatted reference will contain everything you need to help you to find the full article:

J. Spencer, ‘Three new cases on consent’, (2007) C.L.J., 66(3), 490

This article was written by J. Spencer and the article's title is "Three new cases on consent". It was published in 2007 in the journal abbreviated as CLJ which the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations  tells us stands for the "Cambridge Law Journal". It was published in volume 66, issue 3, and the article begins on page 490.

Off-campus access

Very few of our resources are freely available to any web user. If you're at home, the easiest way around this problem is to sign into the University's VPN service.

Alternatively, some resources may have an "institutional" or "Shibboleth" login option. Use this and log in with your University username and password.