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George W. Hopper Law Library|College of Law

Which database should I use?

Our databases page is broken up into the following categories: articles & law reviews, citators, e-books, general primary law, media, subject-specific databases, and tools.   See the A-Z list of databases for individual descriptions of each database.  This page first outlines databases suited for specific research tasks.  View this comparison chart comparing specific coverage and materials available in Hein Online, LexisNexis Academic, LLMC-Digital, Loislaw, and VersusLaw. 

To find an article from a legal publication

Hein Online is an excellent journal archive which contains PDF scans of journal articles.  LegalTrac includes only selected full text legal articles but offers a refereed articles search.  Legal Scholarship Network and Bepress Legal Repository are both depositories for "open access" legal research.  LexisNexis Academic has the best searching capacity and a wealth of full text journals.  The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals will help you locate citations for publications with an international focus.  Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective is a great tool for locating older citations, particularly those between 1908-1981.

To citate law

Use one of our citators to see if your case or statute is still considered "good law".   Keycite and Shepard's Citations are only available on the three computers in library reference area.  Keycite is a Westlaw product and uses a flag system to warn you of bad law.  Shepard's Citations is a LexisNexis product with similar indicators.

To read a treatise online

Hein Online, LLMC-Digital, Loislaw, and Making of Modern Law Treatises are all excellent databases for reading treatises online.  Hein Online includes American Law Institute publications, legal classics, and foreign and international law titles among others.  LLMC-Digital contains state, federal, and international titles.  The Loislaw library contains treatises in ten+ subject-specific libraries.  The Making of Modern Law Treatises collection contains American and British historical works from 1800-1926.

To research primary law

Audio Case Files is unique in that it provides case law in a downloadable mp3 file. Hein Online, LexisNexis Academic, LLMC-Digital, Loislaw, and VersusLaw are compared in the following chart.   The UN Treaty Collection provides full text access to treaty documents.  Proquest Congressional leads you to house and senate documents and reports.  The U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs database gives you access to these hard to find records from 1832-1978.


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