Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Space Law: The Law of Outer Space

This guide provides an introduction to researching the law that governs outer space.

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 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 and Databases for Space Law Research

You will find citations to articles written about space law and related 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 broaden your search, consider using one of the specialized journal databases and indexes described below.

  • Kluwer Law Online Journals
    This full-text database focuses on journals that publish articles on international economic law, including air and space law.
     
  • 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
    For best results, search for one or more keywords in combination with one or more subject headings.  To browse the alphabetical list of subject headings, click on the "Subject" tab.  When you find a relevant subject heading, enter it in the search box and select "Country/Subject Heading" as the search field from the menu before running the search.
     
  • Oxford Academic Journals Online
    Full-text database for journals published by Oxford University Press.  After running a search, use the filters on the left to limit by article type, subject, journal name, and date.
     


How to Retrieve an Article If You Already Have a Citation

If you already have a citation to a journal article, use the resources described below to retrieve the full text.  Keep in mind that electronic access to full-text articles varies by journal.  Some journals are available on multiple electronic platforms, but the dates of coverage often vary.  If the article you are seeking falls outside the dates of coverage for electronic access, you will need to access the journal in print, if available, or request a copy of the article via Inter-Library Loan.

  • Search by Citation
    If the article you are seeking is available in an electronic format from any Georgetown University library, you should be able to quickly retrieve the full text of the article by entering the citation information into this online form.
     
  • Journal Finder
    If the Search by Citation tool fails to retrieve the full text of the article you are seeking, search for the name of the journal in which the article was published in the Journal Finder.  If the Georgetown Law Library has the journal in print, the Journal Finder will display print holdings and dates of coverage.  It also willing display electronic holdings for the journal, along with the dates of coverage, for all Georgetown University libraries.
     
  • Inter-Library Loan
    If the article you are seeking is not available in print from the Georgetown Law Library, or in an electronic format from any Georgetown University library, you may request a copy of the article from another library by using the Inter-Library Loan (ILL) service.

     

Selected Journals Focusing on Space Law

  • Advanced Space Law, a peer-reviewed, open access journal available online from 2018-present.
  • Air & Space Law, available in print from 1992-2009 and online from 1975-present.
  • Air & Space Lawyer, available in print from 1983-2015 and online from 1983-present.
  • Annals of Space Law, available in print from 1976-present and on HeinOnline (2-year embargo).
  • German Journal of Air & Space Law, available in print from 1973-2012 and on HeinOnline (3-year embargo).
  • Journal of Space Law, available in print from 1973-present and on HeinOnline (2-year embargo).
  • Proceedings of the International Institute of Space law, formerly published as Proceedings on the Law of Outer Space, available in print from 2012-present and online from 1958-present (2-year embargo).