German Legal Research Guide

This in-depth guide will help researchers navigate the German legal materials.

Finding Journal Articles on German Law

Tools for Finding Journal Articles

Journal articles can be an excellent source for researching narrower, more specialized legal topics. Articles published in law journals typically 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: Articles for Legal and Non-Legal Research.

Journal Indexes & Databases for German Legal Research

You will find citations to articles written about German 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.  Among the full-text journal databases, HeinOnline’s coverage of German law journals is the most extensive.

The following resources focus primarily or exclusively on journals published outside the U.S.:

  • 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
    This HeinOnline database is the best option for locating articles published in German. It is also the only journal database that enables you to limit searches to law journals published in Germany. To do so, select “Country of Publication” from the search field menu and then enter “Germany” in the adjacent search box. All articles are assigned subject headings in English, French, German, and Spanish.  Click on the Subject button to view the list of subject headings. If you find a citation to an article that is not available in full text on HeinOnline, you may request it through Interlibrary Loan.
  • 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 Interlibrary 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 will display electronic holdings for the journal, along with the dates of coverage, for all Georgetown University libraries.
  • Interlibrary Loan
    If the article you are seeking is not available 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 Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service.

Selected German Law Journals

Current editions of journals that are still collected in print are available at the Circulation Desk in the atrium on the second floor of the Williams Library; older editions are shelved on the first floor (lower level).

  • Anglo-German Law Journal, Call No. K1 .N454 Electronic
    Published by the Anglo-German Law Society. Articles in English & German. 2015–present.
  • Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht (GRUR), Call No. K7 .E651 
    Intellectual Property and Copyright Law. Holdings in print: 1993–2012.
  • German Law Journal, Call No. KK883 .A15 Electronic
    English language journal covering developments in German and European law and legal culture. 2000–present.
  • Monatsschrift für Deutsches Recht, Call No. K13 .O45 
    Monthly Journal for German Law (general interest legal journal). Holdings in print: 1987–2012.
  • Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (NJW), Call No. KK6 .N48 
    New Legal Weekly (general interest legal journal). Holdings in print: 1947–present.
  • Neue Zeitschrift für Arbeitsrecht, Call No. K14 .E291 
    New Labor Law Journal. Holdings in print: 1993–2008.
  • Neue Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht (NVwZ), Call No. K14 .V85 
    New Journal for Administrative Law. Holdings in print: 1992–2009 .
  • Rabels Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht, Call No. K18 .A24
    Rabel’s Journal of Foreign Law and Private International Law. Holdings in print: 1962–present.
  • Rechtstheorie, Call No. K18 .E282; also on HeinOnline
    Legal Theory. Holdings in print: 1991–2013.
  • WIRO: Wirtschaft und Recht in Osteuropa, Call No. K27 .I74 
    Economy and the Law in Eastern Europe. Holdings in print: 1994–2008.
  • Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, Call No. K30 .E42; also on HeinOnline
    Journal of Foreign Public Law and International Law. Holdings in print: 1929–2011.
  • Zeitschrift für Luft- und Weltraumrecht, Call No. K30 .E4731; also on HeinOnline
    Air and Space Law Journal. Holdings in print: 1966, 1973–2012.
  • Zeitschrift für Rechtspolitik, Call No. KK6 .Z4
    Journal of Political Rights. Holdings in print: 1986–2012.
  • Zeitschrift für Unternehmens- und Gesellschaftsrecht, Call No. K30 .E479 
    Journal of Business and Corporate Law. Holdings in print: 1979–2009.