Frequently Asked Questions


Which databases should I use to find journal articles?

Our answer:

Law students have access to a wide range of databases which containing the full text of journal articles, such as:

  • Lexis+: which includes the full text of journals published by Butterworths, one of the major legal publishers in the UK, e.g. New Law Journal.
  • Westlaw: which includes the full text of journals published by Sweet and Maxwell, another major legal publisher in the UK, e.g. Criminal law review.
  • HeinOnline: which includes many U.S. law journals, but also some important UK titles, e.g. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. This database is particularly good for historical coverage. Please note, however, that recent issues are not usually included.
  • Academic Search Complete: this is not a specialist legal database. However, it does include the full text of some law journals, e.g. Harvard law review.

The question is, which database should you use? This will depend on whether you already have a reference to a specific journal article, or, alternatively, whether you are simply looking for articles on a topic (without having any specific references).

Have you searched Summon the Online Library search engine? Summon searches across your Online Library databases (for journal articles, eBooks and newspapers), from a single search box. The How do I search Summon for legal resources? FAQ has more detail.