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Durham University

University Library

Legal research skills

Search strategies

Use the links on the right for tips on effective search strategies, so that you find relevant academic information quickly.

Online tutorials for Law databases

Westlaw UK includes current UK and EU legislation, full text law reports and articles from selected legal journals. The Legal Journals Index is very useful for finding articles in Westlaw journals and articles published in journals by many other legal publishers. There are student training tutorials on selected legal topics. The Inner Temple Library also provides guides to using Westlaw to locate case law and legislation.

Lexis Library includes current UK legislation, full text law reports, articles from selected legal journals and legal commentary including Halsbury's. The Help section including search tips, and also online tutorials.

HeinOnline offers many full text journals (though not always the most recent articles), e-books in the Legal Classics section, Treaties and Agreements, and the US Code. The Help section including search tips, and a training section, and videos.

Referencing for legal sources

The principal referencing system for Law in the UK is OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities). The full guide covers writing styles as well as examples for citing specific legal information sources. Cardiff University Law School have produced a very useful online tutorial called Citing the Law. Legal citations use a system of abbreviations for journal titles and case report titles, for example MLR is the abbreviation for Modern Law Review. Use the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations to identify the full title of the journal or case report series you are reading, or to find the agreed abbreviation when you are citing legal publications in your work.