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Legal Research: Secondary Sources: Finding journal article when you have the citation

When you have the citation

  1. Go to the library catalogue
  2. Type in the name of the journal (for example International Journal of Refugee Law) and hit search.  Click on the appropriate journal title (choose the electronic version if you prefer).

  1. Sometimes you will find the journal is available through a number of online databases.  You must choose the right database with the right coverage, as shown below:

     4. Choose one database and sign on using your University of Melbourne username and password.

     5. Once you are in the chosen database you can search for your articles by browsing the appropriate volume.


If you have the citation but the journal title is abbreviated, you need to find out the full title of the journal before you can search the Library Catalogue.

1. Use, for example, Cardiff Index to Abbreviation.

2. Click ‘Search’ and you can see the full title of the journal.

3. Look for the journal title in the catalogue at: and follow steps above.

Westlaw and Lexis Journal Title

Sometimes a journal title does not come up in the Catalogue page. It does NOT necessarily mean that we do not have it but maybe it is buried in a database such as or Westlaw.   There are several approaches to deal with this:

  1. Check journal collections of or Westlaw. You need to search for the individual journal/periodicals that you are looking for.

a) Go to or Westlaw through the Library Catalogue or Law Library Research Databases

b) in, under ‘Search’ click ‘Find Sources’

c) Type the name of a journal title in the search field, as shown below, and hit ‘Find’.

d) In Westlaw, you can type the journal title in the main search field.

2. If you still cannot find the journal, contact us at and we  might be able to find it. If not, you can request the article through the inter-library loan service.