Why use journal articles?
Journal articles can provide up to date, in-depth, authoritative analysis of legal topics. If you are investigating a very specific point within an area of law, only journal articles may be available.
For a list of Journal Article databases recommended for law, visit the Research Databases - by Type page on the Law Library website.
Scholarly / Academic Journals
Professional / Trade Journals
|Journals articles offer a high academic standard as they are reviewed by academics in the field (a process known as peer-review).
|These are journals that are targeted towards practitioners working in that profession or trade. The articles often contain jargon specific to the profession.
|Well researched articles can give more credibility to your research.
|Can be an excellent source of information on a topic you are unfamiliar with.
|Articles published in scholarly journals often explore very specific topics in great detail.
|Professional journals are often published more frequently, so may contain articles on recent changes to legislation or case notes.
|Contain bibliographic information such as title, author, publication, as well as abstract and subject headings for each article. However, indexes do not always link to full text copies of articles.
|Great to use if you have specific facts you are looking for that would not necessarily fall under a subject heading.
|Indexes aggregate information from a large number of journals (often print and online journals).
|If you have already searched an index, you can then use the full text database to locate the articles (for example HeinOnline or Westlaw databases).
|Excellent place to start researching journal articles as you can search by subject area or key word across a large range of publications
|Examples include Informit, Lexis+ Australia, and Westlaw Australia.
|Examples include Index to Legal Periodicals, AGIS Plus Text, LegalTrac, and Australian Legal Journals Index (via Westlaw Australia).