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Indexes to Legal Periodical Literature

What is a legal periodical index?

Articles in law reviews, bar association publications and legal newsletters are an excellent source of information on the developments, issues, and trends in various areas of law. Articles can be found by using a legal periodical index.

A legal periodical index contains data about the articles. The data includes information on authors, titles of the articles, where the articles are located in the legal periodicals, and dates of publication.

The main legal periodical indexes are Current Law Index and Index to Legal Periodicals & Books. These legal periodical indexes are available in print, as web-based Law Library subscription databases, and on LexisNexis and Westlaw. The web-based Law Library subscription databases do contain some full-text articles.

Why use a legal periodical index?

A legal periodical index can be used to locate articles by subjects and sub-topics within subjects and is not limited to a particular term used in the article. Cross-references within the index help ensure a comprehensive search. A legal periodical index provides tools for locating articles on a particular case or statute. Also, legal periodical indexes can be used to find citations to articles that are not available on LexisNexis or Westlaw.

INDEX TO LEGAL PERIODICALS & BOOKS

Index to Legal Periodicals & Books (H.W. Wilson, 1926 -).

In print.

Indexes current American, British, and Commonwealth periodicals. Issued monthly (except September) and cumulates quarterly. The annual volume is a bound volume covering September to August issues of ILP&B.

  • Search by subject or author in a combined "Subject and Author Index." It is helpful to first consult the "List of Subject Headings" for specific subject headings and for cross-references to other subject headings used in ILP&B if you are searching for articles by subject.
  • Search by case name using the "Table of Cases." The "Table of Cases" is arranged alphabetically by name of the case and provides law review/journal cites.
  • Search by statute using the "Table of Statutes." The "Table of Statutes" is arranged alphabetically by name of the act and provides law review/journal cites.

Index to Legal Periodicals & Books. Coverage is from August, 1981 to present.

As a database.

  • Search by author by selecting Advanced Search and then selecting Author, Personal or Author, Corporate from the All-Smart Search pull-down menu. Type in the authors name.
  • Search by subject by selecting Advanced Search. Next, select Subject(s) from the All-Smart Search pull-down menu and type a word or phrase. You can search by keyword(s) the fields of all the documents by selecting Basic Search and typing in your search terms. To browse a subject listing, select Browse and then Subject(s) from the pull-down menu. Type in a keyword. To use boolean operators, select Advanced Search or Basic Search. A search can be limited by publication year.
  • Search by case name or statute by selecting Advanced Search and restricting your search to Court Cases or Statute from the All-Smart Search pull-down menu. Type in your case or statute.

On LexisNexis and on Westlaw.

  • On LexisNexis and Westlaw, search by keyword(s) using the Terms and Connectors or using the Natural Language Search method. You can limit a Terms and Connectors search by date and segments (a portion of the document).
  • On LexisNexis, search by author by restricting your search to the segment AUTHOR or on Westlaw by restricting your search to the field AU.
  • On LexisNexis, search by subject by restricting your search to the segment DESCRIPTORS or on Westlaw by restricting your search to the index field IN.
  • On LexisNexis, search by case name by restricting your search to the segment CASE-CITE or CASE-NAME or search by statute by restricting your search to the segment STATUTE-CITE or STATUTE-NAME.
  • On Westlaw, search by case name or statute by restricting your search to the summary field SU and include the word caseor statutealong with the terms describing the case or statute.

CURRENT LAW INDEX

Current Law Index (Gale Group, 1980 -).

Indexes current American, British, and Commonwealth periodicals.  Issued monthly and cumulates quarterly.  The annual cumulation consists of two bound volumes covering January to December issues of CLI.

Search by subject using the separate "Subject Index."

Search by author or title using the combined "Author/Title Index."

Search by case name using the "Table of Cases." The "Table of Cases" is arranged alphabetically by name of the case and provides title of the article and law review cites(s).

Search by statute using the "Table of Statutes." The "Table of Statutes" is arranged alphabetically by name of the act and provides title of the article and law review cite(s).

LegalTrac (Current Law Index) 

LegalTrac is the electronic companion to Current Law Index and indexes all the material covered in CLI plus legal newspapers and law-related articles from popular newspapers. Legal Resource Index is available on LexisNexis and on Westlaw. Coverage in all three databases is from 1980 to present.

Legal Resource Index (web)

Search by author using the Advanced Search feature. Select Author from the pull-down menu and type in the authors name.

Search by subject using the Browse Subjects feature and either type in a search term or browse an alphabetical listing of subjects.

Search by case name or statute using the Advanced Search feature and type in the case name or statute.

You can conduct a keyword search of individual fields of the document or search the full-text of the document by using the Advanced Search feature and then selecting the desired field from the pull-down menu.

Legal Resource Index on LexisNexis and on Westlaw

On LexisNexis and Westlaw, search by keyword(s) using the Terms and Connectors or using the Natural Language search method. You can limit a Terms and Connectors search by date or restrict your search by fields (a portion of the document).

On LexisNexis, search by author by restricting your search to the segment AUTHOR or on Westlaw by restricting your search to the author field AU.

On Westlaw, search by subject by restricting your search to the index field IN.

On LexisNexis, search by case name or statute by restricting your search to the LEGAL-CITATION segment or on Westlaw by restricting your search to the summary field SU and include the word caseor statutealong with the terms describing the case or statute.

Other Indexes

Current Index to Legal Periodicals 

 A service of the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library of the University of Washington. Weekly publication supplementing ILP&B and CLI. Search by subject heading. Entries under subject heading include author, title, and citation. Several current issues are available on Westlaw in the CILP database. You can read them like a text file or use the LOCATE feature for a specific subject. Available on the web, coverage from CILP is from January 1, 1999 to present. Presently, there is no keyword search capability of these issues.

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (AALL, 1960 - )

Coverage includes all countries except the United States, Great Britain and the English Commonwealth. Subjects include public and private international law, comparative law, and municipal law. Search the "Subject Index" which provides cross-references. Entries under the subject heading contain country, author, title, and citation. Use the "Author Index" which refers you to subject heading and country. The Law Librarys web-based subscription to the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals offers basic, advanced and field searching. There is the ability to find a citation to an article if some information about the article is known.

Other Internet Sources for Periodical Content

Contents Pages from Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

A service of the Tarlton Law Library of the University of Texas. Provides the contents pages from over 750 journals. The contents can be viewed by journal title and can be keyword searched. Updated daily, the database lists journal issues received over the past three months by the Tarlton Law Library.

Current Law Journal Content

This service, provided by the Washington & Lee University School of Law Library, provides the contents pages from over 1500 journals. The contents can be viewed by journal title and can be keyword searched. Coverage varies with most titles available from 2005 forward. A project is currently underway to extend coverage back to 2000.

Updated December, 2010