University of Wisconsin–Madison

5 Tips to Locate Legal Articles

Tip 1When you have the title If you know the title but don't have a full citation for your article, you can enter this title in the menu box located on the left-hand side of the UW Law Library Web site, under Law Journal Articles.  After you enter the title, select "go" and you will be provided with a full-text link to your article.

Tip 2.   When you have a citation: Try to locate an article by its citation.  is locate on the left-hand side of the UW Law Library Web site, beneath the menu box for Law Journal Articles.  This service searches across core legal databases and if it cannot locate the article in those databases, it will link you to Madcat, the UW Library Catalog, to check the library catalog for a paper copy of the journal. 

Tip 3.  When you want a scholarly legal article: Use Hein Online to locate copies of scholarly legal journal articles.  To locate Hein Online, go to the drop down menu on the left-hand side of the UW Law Library Web site, select Hein Online, then select Law Journal Library and scroll to your journal title.  Once you have located your citation, you can download or print your article in PDF format. 

Tip 4.  When you are searching for articles on a specific topic: Index to Legal Periodicals  is a legal database that indexes 750 legal periodicals, providing many articles in full-text.  Coverage is from 1908 to the present.  You can search this database by title, author or subject.  Index to Legal Periodicals also provides links to the library catalog if a full-text link to the article is not available online. 

Tip 5.  When to ask an expert for help:  When looking for information, give yourself a ten minute rule.  If you can't find what you are looking for in ten minutes, stop searching and ask for help from an expert.   In the Law Library, that expert is the Reference Librarian. 

The Reference Desk is located on the 5th floor of the Law Library, across from the Circulation Desk.  The Reference staff can help you locate an article, formulate a search strategy, suggest resources to locate information on your topic and provide tips for searching.  Hours of service are:  

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am- 9:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Saturday (fall & spring only) & Sunday: 1:00 pm- 5:00 pm

The Reference staff is also available by phone, chat and email.  See Research Help: Ask a Librarian for these services.

Submitted by Jenny Zook, Reference Librarian on October 17, 2011

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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