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Research Starting Points for Graduate Students in Law

This guide provides a curated list of research tools and library resources that graduate students at the Faculty of Law may find useful.

Contents of this page - Sources for locating secondary sources

Books

Legal books or "monographs" are essential starting points in the legal research process. They include formats such as textbooks, treatises, e-books, and loose-leafs. You should include books in any comprehensive review of the legal literature on your research topic. Books on specific legal topics can be found using the following research tools:

Journal articles

Start with Omni to find journal articles and more. However, since Omni may not include all relevant legal literature, you should also use law journal indexes (see below). Particularly if you are trying to do a comprehensive literature search, you should not rely on just one index or discovery tool.

See the library guide Finding Journal Articles on Legal Topics for further detailed instruction on locating law journal articles at Queen's University Library. 

 

Law journal indexes

Here are the major periodical indexes for legal literature:

  • Index to Canadian Legal LiteratureThe ICLL is the only comprehensive index to Canadian journal articles, books, conference proceedings, collections of essays, and book reviews in the field of law and law-related topics. It is available on Westlaw Edge Canada.

  • Index to Legal PeriodicalsThe Index to Legal Periodicals indexes over 1000 legal journals, yearbooks, institutes, bar association journals, university publications and law reviews, and government publications from the United States, Puerto Rico, Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The database also indexes approximately 1,400 monographs per year.

  • Index to Foreign Legal PeriodicalsThe Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals is produced by the American Association of Law Libraries and indexes articles published in hundreds of legal journals emanating from countries around the world. Articles about the legal systems and practices of all countries are indexed EXCEPT for those pertaining to the common law systems of Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

The IFLP provides in-depth coverage of international, comparative and foreign law in many languages. Also indexed are individually-published collections of legal essays, festschriften, and congress reports. Updated several times a year.

  • LegalTracLegalTrac indexes approximately 875 titles including major law reviews, legal newspapers, bar association journals and international legal journals. This index also contains law-related articles from over 1,000 additional business and general interest titles. It has excellent international English-language periodical coverage and includes abstracts and some full-text articles in many citations.

Queen's holds older editions of the index in print, under the name "Index to Canadian Legal Periodical Literature" (1961/70 - 1981/85 ; 1986-2003).