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Keeping Up to Date in Law

Explore your options for setting up and managing alerts for case law, legislation and other legal scholarship


To set up article alerts on your topic, irrespective of the journals the articles appear in, it is best to use an article index such as Index to Legal Periodicals or LegalTrac. These databases include content from hundreds of law journals.

These journal article databases allow you to conduct a sophisticated search, which you can then save and be notified each time a new article meeting your search criteria is added to the database. You can usually choose to be notified by either email or RSS feed. When you get an alert, you will be able to link through to the article record. The article may be available in full text, or only as an abstract - but if it is not in full text you will be guided to the full text through the 'Source it at Melbourne' button, if we subscribe to the journal. If not, you can request the article via inter-library loan.

We have given some examples of the main law journal databases on this page - Index to Legal Periodicals, LegalTrac and INFORMIT, but there are others, such as Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, which allow you to save searches and set up alerts on the searches.

Australian Articles on Informit 

Select the databases you are interested in on INFORMIT - this is usually AGIS (law) but you may also want to search other relevant databases which may have content not in AGIS eg: CINCH (criminology), AUSPORT (sport), APAIS (politics and current affairs) etc. All the selected databases can be searched together.

Once you are happy with the search and results, you can set up an email alert (there are no RSS feeds for saved searches in INFORMIT). 

  1. Click on the 'Save Search' icon at the top of the list of results. 
  2. You will be taken to the Create Alert page. Simply add your email address, select the expiry date (the default is 3 months, but the alert can be set to expire in 1, 3, 6 or 12 months) and click 'create alert'.

You will be notified by email of new articles that are added to the database that meet your search query. You can link to the full record on INFORMIT from the alert. 

Multijurisdictional Journals - Index to Legal Periodicals

Index to Legal Periodicals is a database which provides citations and abstracts (and in many cases full text) of articles from over 1500 law journals; over 400 in full text. This is the most comprehensive database of legal scholarship, and setting up an alert in ILP is highly recommended.

After conducting a search, click on the down arrow in the 'share' box - you can then create an alert. Each time a new article is added to the database, you will receive an email or RSS feed and will be able to link through to the article record.


LegalTrac provides indexing and selective full-text for over 1200 law reviews, law journals, specialty law and bar association journals and legal newspapers. The database offers coverage of US, British Commonwealth, European Union and international law. 

After performing a search and ensuring you are happy with the results, click on the 'Search Alert' button at the top right hand sidebar menu on the search results page. From here you will be able to set up an email alert or RSS feed, so that you are notified of any new articles meeting your search query.

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