Articles research may also be conducted by searching full-text databases. A full-text database contains the entire texts of articles, and can include bibliographic information (i.e, the same type of information found in an index database). The full-text articles databases in Lexis, Westlaw, and HeinOnline are the most popular for full-text searching of law articles. Some caveats when using full-text databases:
- Searching for a particular key word or phrase in full text databases will retrieve articles that contain the key word(s) or phrase anywhere in the articles that are retrieved. The search results are likely to include lots of hits that are not particularly relevant to your topic.
- Full-text databases tend to have more limited date coverage. Lexis and Westlaw both hold full-text articles mostly from the early 1990s, although coverage of limited titles goes back to the late 1970s.
- Lexis and Westlaw full-text databases cover only a percentage of the journals that are indexed in journal indexes. Relying solely on these databases will limit the sources you find.