Databases in law

  • What is a database and why are they so useful for law students?

    A database is an organised, searchable collection of high-quality resources. For law, the two most useful databases are LexisLibrary and Westlaw. You can use these to find case law, legislation and journal articles. LexisLibrary and Westlaw are widely used across the legal sector, so it is a good idea to get comfortable with using them while you are a student. There are a number of other useful databases which you may find helpful when looking for journal articles on a legal topic.


  • Other than LexisLibrary and Westlaw, what databases are good for law?


    Two additional law databases you may want to explore are HeinOnline and Lawtel. 

     

    • HeinOnline - includes a large collection of full-text journals, and is particularly useful for international law.
    • Lawtel - U.K. cases, legislation, journal articles, command papers and parliamentary bills. It also includes a human rights section from the European Court of Human Rights. Other subject areas covered include local government, personal injury and employment. 


    There are a number of multi-disciplinary databases that include journal articles on legal topics. These are good places to search (in addition to one or more legal databases) if you are doing socio-legal research.


    • Academic Search Complete - a multi-disciplinary database which includes legal journals.
    • JSTOR- a multi-disciplinary database with in-depth, high-quality, and scholarly academic research into legal topics. JSTOR is particularly good for older material.
    • Factiva - International news database. Includes leading national newspapers, local newspapers, trade and professional journals and the BBC Monitoring Service transcripts of world radio broadcasts.
    • Sociological Abstracts - covers a broad range of subjects including some aspects of law.
    • Web of Science - contains the Social Sciences Citation Index which provides bibliographic information and abstracts from a range of key law journals.

    Oxford Brookes students and staff have access to all of these databases (and more!) using their student/staff number and password.