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Law: Journal articles

A guide to finding information relating to law. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.

Journal articles are usually short papers on specific topics. They are published in issues or parts of journals (also called periodicals) which appear regularly. Use articles to find:

  • up-to-date research in your subject
  • reviews of developments in your subject - these review articles include extensive lists of references

Journal articles generally go through a process called peer-review, meaning they are moderated by other academics before publication. This makes them a key source for considered, in-depth scholarly analysis of legal topics for study and research, in particular when compared to most materials you may find freely on the Web e.g. on a law firm's website.

Finding journal articles

Search the Enterprise catalogue to find out if we have a specific journal (in print or online):


Or search the Library's E-journals Finder for online availability: 



If you do not recognise the journal referenced in a legal citation, use a legal abbreviations index, such as the online Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations, to determine its full title before searching. For example:

  1. Citation is Dewar J, ‘The Normal Chaos of Family Law’ (1998) 61 MLR 467
  2. Abbreviation MLR = Modern Law Review

Search subject-related databases (listed on the right of the screen) or the Summon discovery service for relevant articles or to find references to journal articles - they may also give you the full-text of the article, or at least link you to the full-text if available online. A Summon search box is provided below.

Search Summon discovery service

Search Summon to find online journal articles by topic or by article title.

Getting articles not held at Reading

Our Inter-Library Loans service can get articles not held at Reading from other libraries (usually from the British Library).

For more information see our pages on requesting inter-library loans.

You might also consider the Access to Research scheme, which offers you onsite access to a large collection of academic journal articles in local public libraries, including libraries in the Reading and Wokingham areas.

Key databases for finding journal articles