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Research 101: How to Find Journal Articles

Journal Databases

There are several online collections of journals which can be used to find full-text articles by keyword.  In searching these journal databases, keep in mind that

  • the number of full-text Canadian legal journals included in online databases is still relatively small. Broader coverage is available through journal indexes;
  • full-text searching tends to retrieve a large number of irrelevant articles.

You may find that your search terms appear once or twice somewhere in the body of an article, but they are not be the main focus or subject of the article. To improve the relevancy of articles you locate when searching in a journals database, use the specific boxes or fields provided. For example, enter your terms in the title or subject field, rather than in the general / full-text field.

Full-text searching works well for unique keywords or specific names.

 The following is a list of the main journal databases.  All are available in the Great Library.

  • Law Source - Westlaw Canada Law Reports, Articles and Journals  

Select Law Reports, Articles and Journals on the LawSource home page.

This database includes the full-text of articles from a selection of Canadian law journals, as well as case commentaries published in Carswell topical law reports. Scope of coverage varies.

  • Lexis Advance Quicklaw All Canadian Legal Journals

Select the Law Reviews & Journals link in the Explore Content box on the Quicklaw homepage.

This database contains full-text articles since approximately 1990 from approximately 30 Canadian law journals.  

You can also select to look at only Secondary Materials on the left side of the search bar on the Quicklaw homepage. This will broaden your search to include selected texts as well as journals.

  •  HeinOnline Law Journal Library 

Select Law Journal Library from the home page.

This database contains more than 2,600 law and law-related periodicals. Subjects covered include criminal justice, political science, technology, human rights, and more. Coverage for all journals is from inception and goes through the most currently published issues allowed based on contracts with the publishers. About 90% of journals are available through the current issue or volume.