This guide is intended to help patrons locate law review articles. It has been designed for use by students, faculty members, lawyers, and the general public.
The articles contained in legal periodicals can be a great source for finding background information on a legal topic that may be new or obscure. They can also be highly useful in finding information about an important case or topic. Footnotes or endnotes in the articles can be especially helpful in leading the researcher to even more sources.
General periodical indexes and databases cover broad subject categories. This can be useful when performing multidisciplinary research. Topic-specific periodical indexes or databases, on the other hand, cover specialized subject areas and will typically contain more periodicals that are relevant to the subject than a general periodical index or database.
WorldCat is a catalog of books, internet resources, audio visual materials. articles, and other materials held by over 20,000 libraries. This is a great resource for finding articles as well as treatises on particular topics.
The Washington and Lee University School of Law ranks law reviews and journals based on the number of citations to current scholarship. This can aid the researcher in locating those journals and law reviews that have been heavily cited by other scholars.
Legal periodicals, such as law reviews or law journals, are secondary sources that discuss and analyze different areas of the law. They consist of articles, comments, and notes written by law faculty, attorneys, law students, or other experts in the law.
Keep in mind that with electronic resources, some databases only provide titles to the journals and articles, while others provide full-text access to the articles. Also, it is helpful to know what your resource is indexing. Some indexes are searchable by title of the journal, while others are searchable by topic.
Know the coverage provided by the index you choose. Coverage is how extensive the holdings are for that index. Some indexes include the very first issue of a journal and are current, while others may have a more limited date range of journals available.
Using a research guide can be an excellent way to find topic-specific periodicals. There are many research guides available that discuss a specific topic in depth and provide a list of secondary sources (including periodicals) that can aid the researcher.