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Legal Research: Secondary Sources: Journals


Magazines and journals, are on level 4 of the Melbourne Law Library. The new journals display is in the High Use area on level 3.
See the Law Library website Research Databases by Type to search for journals and journal articles on law databases.  

Locating journals on your topic

Specific journals provide current scholarly opinion and analysis of specific aspects of your topic. To find particular journal titles in your area of interest use the following:

Ulrichs Web - the authoritative source of bibliographic and publisher information on more than 300,000 periodicals of all types, such as academic and scholarly journals, open access publications, peer-reviewed titles, popular magazines, newspapers and newsletters. 

Washington & Lee Law School Current Law Journal Content - an indexing (not full-text) database of legal periodicals from 2000-2011. It contains table of contents information primarily for English language law journals from 2005 onwards.

Calalogue - use the Library catalogue to search for journals, limit your search to 'magazine, serial or periodical'. 

Discovery - select 'e-Journal' and then select 'subject' and 'law'. This will list electronic journals relevant to law. If you are looking for e-Journals in other subject areas, omit the subject selection step. 

Finding free legal scholarship

In addition to searching our subscription databases, it is recommended that you also search databases that offer open access to scholarship.  The following are some of the databases we recommended:

Law Review Commons

The Law Review Commons contains over 75,000 articles from open-access law reviews with issues dating from 1904. You can browse by subject, review titles or works and author.  There is also an advanced search option.

AustLII Legal Scholarship Library

Full text of over 60 Australian and New Zealand law journals, many of which are not indexed in AGIS. Date coverage varies.

Google Scholar

Provides a search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles. Please note that not all works found using a Google Scholar search will be avaiable 

You can also use the Scholar Library feature to save articles right from the search page, organize them by topic.

Locating journal articles on your topic

The following are some useful sources which will help you find journal articles on your topic.  These sources include print and online indexing and abstracting services as well as full text resources.  This guide will also help you find journal articles on cases and articles related to legislation.


For Australian and New Zealand journal articles written between 1973 - 1987 use the print resource Current Australian and New Zealand Legal Literature Index (UniMelb Law Ref K28 CURR) - this title is held in the Library Workroom - please ask at the desk for access.

Australian journal literature prior to this time appeared almost exclusively in the university law reviews.  All of these are available on Hein in full text. Australian articles also appeared in major overseas journals. To find these use Index to Legal Periodicals or HeinOnline.  The Melbourne University Law Review is available on HeinOnline. From 1935 - 1957 it was published under the name Res Judicate and from 1957 onwards it is published under the title Melbourne University Law Review (MULR).  

Australian Law Journal in full text is on Westlaw AU from 1927 to present.

The INFORMIT online platform includes:

  • AGIS Plus Text  - the key resource for Australian legal journal literature. It includes citations and abstracts and some full text articles from 143 journals. There is limited coverage of articles from 1970, and comprehensive coverage from the mid 1980s.  
  • Other databases within INFORMIT also include Australian law journals and law related articles - some of which are not indexed on AGIS, and some of which have more up to date full text content of law journals. So our recommendation is that when you search INFORMIT, use all the available databases, not just AGIS.

AustLii Journals
full text of over 60 Australian and New Zealand law journals, many of which are not indexed in AGIS. Date coverage varies.

United States

Legaltrac provides citations and some full text articles from approximately 900 US and international journals. Coverage from 1980 onwards.

Index to Legal Periodicals provides citations and some full text articles from approximately 900 journals first volume of each title.

HeinOnline full text coverage of over 1200 titles back to the first volume for each title.

United Kingdom

Westlaw UK More than 110 journals, all in full text.

Westlaw Legal Journals Index, indexes 430 law journal.


Westlaw Index to Canadian Legal Literature, indexes 200 law journals. Coverage from 1985 onwards. 


Asian law Online developed by the Melbourne Law School Asian law Centre. It is a free bibliographic database of Asian law materials in the world. It is a collection of English language materials and includes books, chapters in books, journal articles and theses.

NB. Most important Asian law journals are indexed in several of the UK and US indexing services listed above.

Other jurisdictions

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals a subject index to selected international and comparative law periodicals and collections of essays. Includes resources from a range of jurisdictions, common law and civil law.  

Finding a journal in print and/or online

Look for the title of the journal (not the title of the article) in:

The library catalogue– this will provide the provide details of the print holdings and, if Melbourne University has access to the e-journal, there may be a link to the database offering the title and its online holdings. TIP – if no online holdings are shown, click ‘Find It @ UniMelb'.

Or use the Discovery 'A-Z ejournal list' tab to look for the electronic version of the journal.

Note that not all journal titles are reflected in the catalogue and A-Z ejournal list, so you may need to ask for help as to which databases to search to locate the title you wish to find. Please ask for assistance at the Information Desk. If the journal does not appear to be held at the University of Melbourne, you may be able to request the journal article you need via interlibrary loan.