Law journal databases  Australian Law Postgraduate Network

Law journal databases Australian Law Postgraduate Network

Home › Guide for postgraduate students › Mastering the literature

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

identify the different types of journal databases which are available

describe the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of journal databases

find the appropriate journal databases for your research.

The most effective way to find articles in legal journals is to use one of the many journal databases available. There are two types of journal databases: (i) citation/abstract or bibliographical databases; and (ii) full text databases.

Citation/abstract databases provide bibliographical details of individual articles and often include brief descriptions (abstracts) of article contents. When you search these databases, you will typically retrieve a list of references and not the full text of each article. Full text databases contain the complete text (usually in Adobe Acrobat and/or HTML format) of individual journal articles.

It is tempting to limit your search to full text databases. At a postgraduate level, this is usually a mistake. No full text database contains everything. Most provide only a small selection of journals from a few publishers, some from a single publisher. There are a very few full text databases which provide access to a wider range of content, but none are sufficient on their own for thorough research into a particular topic. Citation/abstract databases tend to be far more comprehensive. If you are researching a topic in depth, they are almost always your best starting point.

The traditional distinction between citation/abstract databases and full text databases is becoming less important. Many citation/abstract databases now contain links out to full text, and there are a large number of databases which provide both a mixture of citations/abstracts and full text.

AFPD: Australian Federal Police Digest AFPD indexes and abstracts articles on criminology, law enforcement and related fields. This database is available to subscribers through Informit.

AGIS Plus Text Full TextAGIS indexes Australian, New Zealand and Pacific law journals, as well as relevant articles from major law journals in North America and the United Kingdom. AGIS Plus Text includes full text from approximately 200 journals. AGIS Plus Text is an Informit database available only to subscribers.

APA-FT: Australian Public Affairs Full-Text Full TextAPA-FT provides online access to full text articles from nearly 400 journals relating to Australian social sciences, as well as indexing a wider range of journals. APA-FT is an Informit database limited to subscribers.

Asian Law OnlineAsian Law Online is a free index of English-language materials on Asian law. It covers books, book chapters and theses as well as journal articles.

Australasian Law Journals Library Full Text Part of AustLII, the Australasian Law Journals Library provides a searchable database covering 45 academic law journals in Australia and New Zealand. This is a free database.

Australian Legal Journals Index (ALJI) The ALJI contains more than 100,000 abstracts from over 400 journals. It contains links to 20 full text online journals and specialist law reports. ALJI is available through LawBook Online. Access is limited to subscribers.

Index to Canadian Legal Literature (ICLL)ICLL indexes more than 200 Canadian legal and law-related periodicals, as well as books, book chapters, official publications and theses. In Australia, ICLL is a subscriber-only database available through Westlaw.

CaseBase Journal Articles CaseBase contains references to articles from over 100 Australian and overseas legal journals relating to specific cases. CaseBase is accessible through LexisNexis and is available by subscription only.

Click on the Play button below to find out how you can find articles on legal topics using CaseBase in LexisNexis. This example shows how to find full-text articles on medical negligence.

CINCH: Australian Criminology Database CINCH indexes and abstracts articles on all aspects of crime and criminal justice in Australia. CINCH is available to subscribers through Informit.

CINCH-ATSIS: Australian Criminology Databas Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Subset CINCH-ATSIS indexes articles dealing with all aspects of crime and criminal justice relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. CINCH-ATSIS is an Infomit database restricted to subscribers.

CINCH-Health: Health Issues in Criminology CINCH-Health indexes articles on mental health, medical and medicolegal issues, drugs and alcohol, suicide, HIV/AIDS, corrections health, euthanasia and occupational health and safety. CINCH-Health is available to subscribers through Informit.

Criminal Justice Abstracts Full TextCriminal Justice Abstracts includes Criminology: A SAGE Full-Text Collection and National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts. This source is available on subscription through CSA.

Criminology: SAGE Full-Text Collection Full TextThis database includes the full-text of 24 journals published by SAGE, covering such subjects as criminal justice, juvenile justice, penology, policing and forensics, and family violence. The Criminology Collection is limited to subscribers.

Duke University Law Journals Full TextDuke University hosts eight open-access law journals.

Family & Society Plus Full TextFamily & Society Plus provides full-text articles from 11 journals on research, policy and practice issues about Australian families. This is an Informit database limited to subscribers.

GALS The Globalization and Labor Standards (GALS) Bibliographic Library is a free database providing abstracts of recent English-language law journal articles on the topic of international labor standards and rights in the global economy. GALS contains direct links to full-text content in Westlaw and Lexis.

HeinOnline Full TextHeinOnline includes the full text of over 1,200 law journals. In most instances, coverage begins with the first volume up to (but not including) the current year. Access is limited to subscribers to HeinOnline.

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP)IFLP provides citations to articles about foreign, comparative and international law from 450 journals and other items. It does not, however, include articles relating to common law jurisdictions (eg Great Britain and Commonwealth countries). The database is available through LexisNexis.

Index to Legal Periodicals and Books (ILP)ILP is produced by H W Wilson Company, although access is generally through LexisNexis or Westlaw. The database indexes some 1,025 law journals from common law countries such as the United States, Great Britain, Canada and Australia. This database is available by subscription only.

Index to Legal Periodicals RetrospectiveThe Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective is available to subscribers through 19th Century Masterfile and covers legal journals from 17861922.

JSTOR Full TextJSTOR contains the full text of 41 law journals. Most titles are subject to an embargo on the latest issues, but coverage goes back to the first issue. Access is by subscription only.

Jones & Chipman''s Index to Legal Periodical Literature Jones & Chipman''s Index to Legal Periodical Literature covers 235 British legal periodicals and 67 Law Report titles before 1922. The Index is available through 19th Century Masterfile. This database is secured to subscribers.

Lawbook Journals Online Full TextLawbook Journals Online is a full-text collection of 11 Lawbook legal journals. Topics include business, financial, tax, criminal, environmental planning, medical, administrative and trade practices law. Access is by subscription only.

LegalTracLegalTrac indexes 1,000 legal titles, including major law reviews, legal newspapers, bar association journals and international legal journals. LegalTrac is also available throughh LexisNexis and Westlaw under the name Legal Resource Index. This is a subscription-only database.

LexisNexisIn addition to other sources in law, LexisNexis contains full text content from law journals, mostly from the United States. Access is by subscription only.

MAIS: Multicultural Australia MAIS indexes and abstracts articles on Australian immigration and related multicultural issues. This is an Informit database secured to subscribers.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Abstracts DatabaseThe NCJRS Abstracts Database is a free database containing abstracts of the more than 195,000 resources on topics such as criminal justice, juvenile justice and substance abuse housed in the NCJRS Library collection in the United States. In addition to abstracts, the database contains links to the full text of publications produced by a range of US Government agencies. This database is free.

Native Title InfoBase The Native Title Infobase covers all aspects of native title. It indexes journal articles, book chapters, books, conference papers, reports and press clippings. In addition, it includes relevant items from overseas jurisdictions, including material from New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Africa and Asia. This is a free database.

University Law Review Project Full TextThe University Law Review Project provides access to the full-text of millions of articles from online law journals. Access is free.

Westlaw Full Text Westlaw''s World Journals and Law Reviews Library contains the full text than 700 international journals on law and related subjects. Access is by subscription.

Kluwer Law International Full TextKluwer Law Online is a collection of 21 journals covering a range of legal subject areas from space law to world competition law. These titles are available on subscription only.

Oxford Journals Law Full TextThese are journals on law and related subjects published by Oxford University Press. Access is limited to subscribers.

This module dealt with the following:

the different types of journal databases

the advantages and disadvantages of each type

the range of journal databases with legal content.