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Law Library News for Jan. 8, 2007

Law Library News Archive

Cheryl Nyberg, editor.

Easy Access to Electronic Journals

You have a citation to a 1983 University of Pennsylvania Law Review article. Is it available online? Is there a fast way to find out?

Now, the answer is Yes!

The Gallagher Law Library announces a new service to help you quickly determine whether a legal journal is online. The service is called Electronic Journals and you will find it on the Law Library website under the Find Legal Databases heading.

Type in a complete title (“Title contains all words”) or the first word or two (“Title begins with”).

Or, browse the list of titles by choosing a letter of the alphabet.

The service displays a list of the commercial sources to which the Library subscribes that contain online articles for that title.

For example, Electronic Journals indicates that the Washington Law Review is available online:

  • from 1967 to 2005 in HeinOnline Law Journal Library
  • from 1980 to present in Westlaw for Law Schools
  • from 12/01/1982 to present in LexisNexis Academic
  • from 02/01/2006 to present in LegalTrac 

Click on an underlined link to go to the online source. You will need to sign in to Westlaw (always) and the Off-Campus Access link (when you are computing from home or Starbucks).

Although the Electronic Journals service has some glitches, we wanted to make it available to users quickly. One planned improvement is the addition of titles found on LexisNexis for Law Schools (most of the titles on LexisNexis Academic are available on the Law Schools site). Stay tuned to this station for further developments. And contact the reference librarians (lawrefst@u) with comments and questions.

Thomas Tests Trendy Tricks

Thomas, the best free website on Congressional activities and materials, has launched a beta version of several new features.

One option allows users to search virtually all Thomas content in a single search. Bills, committee reports, the Congressional Record, presidential nominations, and treaties under consideration are combined. A search for “Puget” retrieved more than one thousand items, including 387 bills and resolutions, 646 Congressional Record references, and 162 committee reports. This feature is extremely useful for finding obscure and rare words across an array of important sources.

Browsing pending legislation by topic is another choice. Broad categories include education, the environment, health, human rights, international relations, and military and defense. Topics are further divided for greater refinement. For instance, the science and technology topic includes these sub-headings:

  • communications
  • intellectual property
  • science policy
  • space activities
  • technology
  • telecommunications

The total number of bills is indicated after selecting a category. Browsing by subject is a useful complement to keyword searching to ensure that you haven’t overlooked a bill because you failed to search for the correct keywords.

Thomas developers are curious about user reactions to these proposed features and have included a “Please tell us what you think” link.

Library Lifesavers

Ahoy, mateys! We're baaaaack! The thirty-minute Library Lifesaver sessions that we launched last quarter are beginning again.

Same time, day of the week, and location:

12:45-1:15, Tuesday, Room 119.

January 9, 2007

  • Bluebook 101: Citing Secondary Sources: Books, Articles and Others
  • HeinOnline: Law Review Articles in PDF