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Legal Research Manual

This edition of Legal Research Manual builds on many previous editions. While the manual is designed principally for use with the first year legal research classes, upper year law students will also find it a useful reference.

Journal Literature

Law journals are a rich source of scholarly writing. Specialized topics that are too narrow for publication as monographs are typically published in law journals. Although some are published commercially, many emanate from law schools and include articles on a broad range of subjects. Queen's University Library has a journal collection which includes titles from Canada, the United States, and other countries. Access to most journals can be found online via databases such as HeinOnline, the Index to Legal Periodicals, Legaltrac, as well as WestlawNext Canada and Lexis Advance Quicklaw. In addition, the library also maintains a collection of print journals as needed, which is located in the stacks at the south end of the main floor.

Finding Law Journal Articles at Queen's

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. Particularly if you are trying to do comprehensive literature search, you should not rely on just one index or discovery tool.

Periodical indexes can include references to (and sometimes the full-text of) various types of legal literature including journal articles, books, conference proceedings, collections of essays, and book reviews. Indexes usually provide the titles, names of authors, and citations for these materials. The advantage of indexes is their comprehensiveness -- they will point to the existence of materials that they have rights to but also to material they do not own. This means that once you have located titles of articles which interest you, you may still have to find the actual article from a different system. Most of the time this will be a simple matter of clicking on the "Get it at Queen's" button in the index, which will then take you to a database that contains the full-text of that article.

Here are the major periodical indexes for legal literature:

Index to Canadian Legal Literature
The 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.

Available on WestlawNext Canada and Lexis Advance Quicklaw.
In Print: located in the Law Library's Reference Section

Index to Legal Periodicals
The 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 Periodicals
The 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.

LegalTrac 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.

Scott's Index to Canadian Legal Periodical Literature/Index Scott des périodiques juridiques canadiens
This is the oldest continuously published index to Canadian legal literature. In addition to journal articles, essays, case comments and book reviews are also indexed. Provided open access from the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique (CAIJ), It contains more than 30,000 entries.

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).

Canadian Law Symposia Index (CLSI)
CLSI, available on Lexis Advance Quicklaw, is an index to papers presented at legal seminars and continuing legal education conferences since 1986.

Other Options

Check our Legal Databases by Subject or Jurisdiction for more specialized options.

WestlawNext Canada

If the Library does not subscribe to the journal you require, you can try searching for your article in WestlawNext Canada. Here is a list of all journals included in WestlawNext Canada.

Lexis Advance Quicklaw

If the Library does not subscribe to the journal you require, you can try searching for your article in Lexis Advance Quicklaw

Interlibrary Loan

If none of the above strategies work, then you can request a copy of a journal article through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). It will be sent to you via email.