Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

United Kingdom Legal Research Guide

This in-depth guide will help researchers navigate legal materials for the United Kingdom.

Secondary Sources: Journal Articles

Table of Contents

Tools for Finding Journal Articles

Journal articles can be an excellent source for researching narrower, more specialized legal topics. Articles published in law journals include extensive footnotes with citations to primary and secondary sources that are relevant to the topic.  Two types of tools for conducting journal article research are described below.

  • Journal indexes include bibliographic information about an article, such as the title, the name of the author, and the name of the journal, as well as one or more subject descriptors.  Searching in a journal index usually retrieves more relevant articles than searching in a full-text database because the searches are run only on the bibliographic data and the subject descriptors.
     
  • Full-text journal databases allow you to search within the entire text of an article.  Most of them also include bibliographic information, as well.  It is easier to run searches in full-text databases, but they tend to retrieve many irrelevant articles in addition to the relevant articles. 

For more information on how to use indexes and full-text databases for journal article research, consult the following library research guide: Using Articles for Legal and Non-Legal Research.
 

Journal Indexes & Databases for UK Legal Research

You will find citations to articles written about UK legal topics in frequently used law journal indexes, such as LegalTrac and Legal Periodicals and Books; and in frequently used full-text law journal databases, such as those available on HeinOnline, Lexis, and Westlaw.

To restrict your search to journals published in the UK, use the following resources: 

  • Cambridge Core
    Search for all types of content, including journal articles, published by Cambridge University Press.  After running a search, use the filters on the left to limit by content type, subject, journal name, and date.
     
  • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
    Be sure to select "Country of Publication" from the search field menu and then enter UK in the adjacent search box.
     
  • Oxford Journals Online
    Full-text database for journals published by Oxford University Press.  To limit searches to articles published in law journals, open the Advanced Search template (link to the right of the basic search box) and select "Law" as the subject.
     
  • Legal Journals Index (LJI).  LJI is a Westlaw database that focuses primarily on U.K.-based journals but also includes citations to articles from English language journals published elsewhere in Europe. Not all of the articles indexed in LJI are available in full text on Westlaw.
     

If you already have a citation to an article and want to know if the Law Library has the article in print or electronic format, search the  library's online catalog for the title of the journal. The results will display both print and electronic options, along with the dates of coverage.  Alternatively, you may enter the title of the journal in the E-Journal Finder to determine if the journal is available in electronic format.  If the Law Library does not provide print or electronic access to the journal, you may request a copy of the article via interlibrary loan.
 

Selected UK Law Journals

Listed below are some of the most prominent and frequently cited law journals published in the UK.  For those journals that the library still subscribes to in print, current issues are kept at the Wolff Library circulation desk. Older issues are shelved on the upper level of the Wolff Library.  For electronic access, click on the appropriate link following the call number.