A quick way to see which databases are available at IALS is through the Electronic Law Library. Here the databases are listed alphabetically with useful background information about their content and ways to access them. It is also possible to do a title or keyword search on the main library catalogue. This guide gives you a basic introduction to three of the most popular guides. It is important to note and remember that these electronic resources, particularly Lexis and Westlaw, are only available for use by academic staff, students and researchers, and not for legal practitioners. Please consult the Electronic Law Library to see which databases are freely available to all users.
IALS Library is not able to offer offsite access to Lexis/Westlaw to students based at the University of London Colleges and other universities. Ask your college library about offsite access to these databases. However, many other databases are available remotely. For full details of the resources available offsite, please check the accompanying link. Please ask at your own college about offsite access to Lexis and Westlaw.
The opening screen on Westlaw provides access to UK and European Union journals only. To find articles for other jurisdictions, please select Services from the toolbar at the top of the screen. A drop down will allow you to select the Directory which will take you to the International and US collections.This introductory guide focuses on the UK and EU journals.
Select the journals option at the top of the Westlaw screen. When searching for UK journal articles on Westlaw, it is important to note the following points.
Westlaw includes the valuable search tool Legal Journals Index which allows you to search by keyword across a huge selection of journals. However not all the journal articles will be available in full text. Don't give up! Many of the articles will be available within IALS Library either as a printed resource or on a different database.
The collection of full text journals held by Westlaw is completely different to the collection on Lexis. This only applies to UK and European titles, not American journals.
If you are searching for a phrase which needs to be in the text of an article, always use inverted commas. Eg. "child negligence"
Try using subject keywords offered by Westlaw as this may give you a more focused search.
Lexis has now made it possible to search for both UK and some US/international articles from the front screen without the need to browse individual sources in detail. The following points may help you to start your research.
Hein Online is a valuable resource which differs from Lexis and Westlaw. Important points to note include the following: