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Finding & Accessing Law Review Articles

Finding Law Review Articles by Citation

If you already have a citation and need to obtain a copy of the article, you can just copy the citation you have and paste it in the box below.  If the article is available on HeinOnline, you will be able to access it and download a PDF version of the article.


HeinOnline One Box Citation Widget


Finding Law Review Articles

Full Text Searching

There are a number of resources available for searching full-text legal periodicals. Both Westlaw and Lexis have law review and journal databases that can be searched using natural language or Boolean searches. Researches can search all law review and journals or search a single journal title. It is important to note that neither Lexis nor Westlaw contain all legal periodicals and even if they include a law review or jounal, they may not have every article from every issue. Dates of coverage will vary by title with coverage of some titles beginning in the early 1980's but most are not available before the mid 1990's.  

For more comprehensive coverage of legal periodicals, we recommend HeinOnline. HeinOnline has nearly comprehensive coverage of U.S. law reviews and journals and includes some international coverage. HeinOnline goes back to volume 1, issue 1 for most of the law reviews it covers. You can access HeinOnline via the link in the Databases box on the law library's homepage. Once in HeinOnline, select the Law Journal Library


Finding Articles by Citation on HeinOnline

If you have a citation to a specific law journal article, you can use HeinOnline's Citation Navigator to retrieve a PDF of the article. Once in the Law Journal Library, click the link to the Citation Navigator. You can then enter your citation and pull up the article to print or download in PDF format.


Searching for Articles on HeinOnline

If you need to search for law review articles by topic you can run a keyword search in HeinOnline. To locate articles written by a particular author or appearing in a specific law journal, use the Advanced Search option and type the search criteria you have into the applicable field. If you need assistance structuring an accurate search, contact your faculty's Library Liaison or another member of the Teaching & Research team.

Using the BC Library Catalog

If you have a citation to an article but no link to the full text, how can you determine if it is available at Boston College? Just search the BC Law School Library catalog to see if the library has the journal in print or makes it available through an online subscription.


For the most efficient search, we recommend that you search by the title of the article. First select the Articles tab and then click on the Advanced Search link.



Then from the Search Filters pull-down menu, select Title and type in the title of the article you are looking for and run your search. 



If the article is available at Boston College it will appear in your results list. From your results, click on the title of the article to display the full catalog record. If the article is available through an online resource, the record will provide links to the online version of the article through the database on which it is available. If the journal is available in the print collection, the record will have information on where you can locate it in order to scan a copy of the article or check it out to your faculty member.


Using Periodical Indexes

If your research involves identifying all articles on a legal topic, consider using a legal periodical index instead of searching full-text articles. Periodical indexes allow researchers to identify what articles have been written on a topic and where they have been published. They will help identify articles that are not searchable through online databases or without a subscription.

What is a Periodical Index? 

Periodical indexes are databases that catalogs published articles by subject, author and other bibliographic data allowing researchers to search by specific criteria. Indexes do not contain the full text of articles but often include an abstract of the article's contents written by the author. There are a number of legal periodical indexes available at Boston College Law School which you can find listed below.

Why use Periodical Index?

Using a periodical index can be more efficient than running a full-text search. In an index database you will only be searching the subject descriptors (e.g. first amendment and commercial speech) and bibliographic information so your results include more relevant articles and won't include articles that just include your terms in passing. Once you find a relevant article, you can then use its subject descriptor to run searches for additional relevant articles with the same subject descriptors.  In order to conduct a comprehensive search, you may need to search multiple indexes, particularly if you need to research historical coverage of a topic or multi-disciplinary issues.

Searching Periodical Indexes

For tutorial on searching periodical indexes to locate law review articles watch this short video.

Links to Periodical Indexes

Obtaining Articles Through ILL

If the journal that you need is not available at a Boston College library, you can use WorldCat. WorldCat is a catalog that contains information on materials held by libraries all over the world. WorldCat let's you determine if the journal you need is available at another library and place a request for a copy of the article you need. You can access WorldCat from the Law Library's website in the Databases box. 

Searching WorldCat

When searching for a specific law review or journal article, we recommend that you conduct an Advanced Search for the title of the journal. Contact a Teaching & Research librarian if you need help searching WorldCat.


Placing Copy Request

Once you have located the law review or journal title in your list of results, click on the title to view the full record. To request a copy of the article you need, click the blue Request Item button on the right.

You will then be prompted to login to ILLiad with your BC username and password. Once you are logged in, the Copy Request form will display and some bibliographic information will be prepopulated. You will need to add information including the title, author, year and pages. If you have the volume and issue number include those as well to ensure you receive the correct article. The articles will be delivered to you via email. If you want them to be sent to your faculty member, include that information in the Notes field. Once you have completed the Copy Request form submit your request.