How to use LexisLibrary

  • You can find the database here. If prompted, enter your Brookes ID and password.

    English case law

    • From any page in LexisLibrary, click on Cases in the light grey menu bar.
    • You can search for cases by party name, case citation (e.g. [1967] 1 WLR 716) or by subject. To search by subject, use the search terms box. Type your query into the appropriate box and click Search.
    • The screen displays the list of references matching your query. Click on the case name to view the full text.
    • You may get multiple results for the same case in your results list, if the case was reported in more than one place. If you have a reference, look back at it and see if you can find one of the results that matches the citation in your reference.
    • On the search page, there are also some advanced search boxes at the bottom. You can use any of these alone or in combination with the boxes above. The advanced search boxes allow you to search for cases in a specific court, with a specific judge or on a specific date.

    European case law

    • From any page in LexisLibrary, click on Cases in the light grey menu bar.
    • Click on international cases to the left of the search boxes. Select EU cases in the sources box.
    • You can search for cases by party name, case citation or by subject. To search by subject, use the search terms box. Type your query into the appropriate box and click on Search.
    • The screen displays the list of references matching your query. Click on the case name to view the full text.
    • You may find it helpful to look at the library's guide to Resources for EU Law (PDF).

     International case law

    • From any page in LexisLibrary, click on 'sources' in the light grey menu bar. 
    • For US cases, select United States in the Country drop-down menu. In the All Regions drop down-menu, choose US Federal All. Click on F in the alphabetical index above and you will see a list of federal resources appear on screen. In the left-hand list you can scroll down and find the Federal &State Cases, Combined resource. Click in the tick-box next to this and press the OK - Continue button. You can now do your search.
    • For other international case law, you need to look for your country of interest by opening up the drop-down menu next to Country. You then need to use the alphabetical index above to locate the case law for that country – it can usually be found by clicking on the first letter of you country’s name. For example, under Australia, A in the alphabetical index will take you to the Australian Commonwealth, State & Territory Case Law resource. Click in the tick-box next to this and then press the OK - Continue button. You can now do your search. (Not all countries are available on LexisLibrary and not all have case law.)

    Tips on searching for case law

    • English cases are published in law reports and there are many different series of law reports - some databases only contain certain law report series. Sometimes you will need to try more than one database to find your case. LexisLibrary does contain a wide variety of cases but does not contain all case law. Have a look at the library's case law page to learn more about law reports and case law.
    • If you have a long or complicated case name, try just using a couple of keywords from your reference. Alternatively you can search for the citation e.g. [1981] 1 WLR 711
    • There are a huge amount of cases each year. Not all cases are reported. You can still use unreported cases in your work, but do ask yourself if there is a more appropriate, reported case that you could use instead. Look at the unreported cases paragraph in section 3.1.4. of the OSCOLA handbook for advice on referencing unreported cases.

    UK legislation (Acts of Parliament and statutory instruments)

    • From any page in LexisLibrary, click on Legislation in the light grey menu bar.
    • If you know the name of the Act or SI you are looking for, type it in the title box and click on Search. You will get multiple results. The top result should be the Act/SI in its entirety, and then each of the following results is for a specific section of the Act/SI. No matter which result you click on, you can use the table of contents tab on the left of the page to navigate between sections.
    • If you know the number of the section you want to look at you can put the name of the Act/SI in the title box and then the section number in the provision box. You will then skip the results screen and be taken directly to that section. As before, you can still use the table of contents tab on the left to move around the document.
    • If you don't know the name of what you want, you can use the search terms box to search for legislation on a particular subject.

    European legislation

    • From any page in LexisLibrary, click on Legislation in the light grey menu bar.
    • Next, click on International Legislation on the left hand side.
    • You can search for European legislation or treaties. Click on the Sources menu arrow to select your option.
    • Type your search query into the appropriate search box. Use keywords in the search terms box at the top of the screen, if you do not know the name of the legislation or treaty you are looking for.
    • Click on Search.
    • The screen displays the list of references matching your query. Click on the title of any result to see the full text.
    • You may find it helpful to look at the library's guide to Resources for EU Law (PDF).

    International legislation

    • From the any page in LexisLibrary click on the Sources tab at the top of the screen. Click on Browse Sources near the top of the page. The bottom half of the screen will now display a set of folder icons.
    • For US legislation: Choose the United States in the Country drop down menu. Change the All Regions drop down menu option to US Federal All. Click on Legislation and then Statutes (Statutory Codes). On the right you can see the USCS - United States Code Service: Code, Const, Rules, Conventions & Public Laws’ resource. Tick the box next to this entry, then click on the red OK-Continue button. Alternatively click the browse link next to this entry to see what it contains.
    • For other international legislation: Select your particular country of interest in the Country drop down menu. Click on the Legislation folder in the bottom half of the screen to see what legislation resources are available. (Not all countries are available on LexisLibrary

    Journals covering English and EU law

    • From any page in LexisLibrary click on journals in the light grey menu bar.
    • LexisLibrary contains a large number of full-text journals. To see a list, click on browse to the left of the search boxes. (Full-text means you can read the articles in full on LexisLibrary without needing to go anywhere else).
    • If you click on the title of any journal in this list you can either search within it for a phrase or name, or you can navigate to a particular issue by using the date list. 
    • You can search for articles across all full-text journals in LexisLibrary by clicking on journals in the light grey menu bar and then using the search boxes. If you want to search for articles on a subject, you can use the search terms box. 
    • You can also use the Journals Index option down the left hand side of the search screen. This searches more journals than the regular journals search, but do be aware that it will pick up results from journals that we don't have access to via LexisLibrary. 
    • Have a look at the library's law journals webpage to find out more.

    Journals covering international law

    • From the any page in LexisLibrary, click on the Sources tab at the top of the screen.
    • Click on Browse Sources near the top of the screen. Change the country to All Countries. The bottom half of the screen displays a list of source options including Legal Journals. Alternatively you can select a particular country of interest. 

    Journals covering US law

    • From the any page in LexisLibrary, click on the Sources tab at the top of the screen.
    • Click on Browse Sources near the top of the screen. 
    • Change the country to the United States. Click on Legal Journals.
    • Under group sources, select US Law Review and Journals Combined then click the red OK - continue button.
    • You can now search the US journals. Type your search query into the Search Terms box and click on Search. If you want to view a list of the US journals, go back to the screen on group sources and click the ‘i’ symbol next to 'US Law Reviews and Journals, Combined'.

    Tips for finding journal articles

    • Remember, if the full text of an article isn't in LexisLibrary we may still have access to it through one of our other providers. Make a note of the reference, then search for the journal title in the Journal Titles tab on the search box on the library homepage.
    • You can get more information and advice about using journals and journal articles on the law journals page.

     

    • From any page in LexisLibrary, click on News in the light grey menu bar.
    • The bottom of the screen displays a list of the full text UK national and regional newspapers you can search on LexisLibrary. You can either search all these newspapers or pick a smaller selection. By default, LexisLibrary searches all UK newspapers. It may be quickest to pick a group of newspapers from the sources drop down box (e.g. regional or broadsheet) then choose whether to use that whole group or select individual title(s) within it.
    • Enter your search term(s) in the white box(es) at the top of the screen and click on Search.
    • You do not have to use the index terms tick boxes, but if you're looking for information about a particular industry or sector then they can be useful.
    • You can make your search more precise by changing the options in the dropdown boxes labelled anywhere or by picking an option in the specify date box.
    • The screen displays the list of references matching your query. Click on the headline link to view the full text.
    • You can change the order the results are sorted in, so that either the most relevant or the most recent is at the top.

    All of the search tips below work in any of the search terms boxes on LexisLibrary. Have a look at this video or book yourself on to a LexisLibrary and Westlaw: Advanced Searching workshop if you want to learn more about using these really powerful tips.

     

    Finding words near each other

    • Use W/nW/P or W/S to specify how close together you want your search words to be in the results.

      Copyright W/5 infringement will find references where copyright occurs within 5 words of infringement. 
      Copyright W/P infringement will search for references where copyright and infringement occur within the same paragraph
      Copyright W/S infringement will search for references where copyright and infringement occur within the same sentence.

    • Use quotation marks " " to search for words as an exact phrase. For example, "copyright infringement" will find references where the words occur as a phrase and not where they occur separately. 

    Combining words

    • Use AND to combine words and narrow down your search. For example, arbitration AND medical will find references where both words occur in the same document
    • Use OR to broaden your search. For example, ‘arbitration OR mediation’ will find references where either word occurs .

    Truncation

    • Use an exclamation mark ! at the end of a root of a word to retrieve all possible endings. For instance, employ! will find employ, employee, employer, employment.

    Universal character

    • This works like the blank tile in Scrabble. The symbol * represents 1 character. For example, wom*n will retrieve woman or women. When you place the character at the end of a word, you specify the maximum length of the word. For example, object*** retrieves object, objects, objected, objective, objection and objecting.

     Print your results

    • Carry out your search
    • Select the document you wish to print. Click on the printer icon. A new window should open, where you can select what to print, before you see the standard print dialogue box.

    Email your results

    • Carry out your search
    • Select the document you wish to email. Click on the envelope icon. A new window will open where you can specify format and delivery. Enter your email address. Click 'Send'.

    Save your results

    • Carry out your search
    • Select the document you wish to save. Click on the download icon. A new window will open where you will be able to specify format. Click 'Download'.

    There is a 'Help' link in the footer of every LexisLibrary page, which provides further details on searching and using the database. 

    You may also want to look at the Lexis help webpage too, or print out the library's  PDF guide to using LexisLibrary for English law.

    If you are a GDL, LLB or LLM student you will be given training at the start of your course. The slides from this training will be available in Moodle for you to refer back to.

    The library runs Lexis and Westlaw workshops, at both a basic and advanced level. You can find out more and book a place. If you want to come to the advanced workshop without attending the basic one first, make sure you are comfortable with what the basic workshop covers as the second workshop builds on this. 

    And, of course, you  can always get in touch with Charlie Brampton, the Academic Liaison Librarian for Law. Charlie can see you individually or in small groups.

     

     

  • Advanced searching on LexisLibrary

    This video will show you how to use the search tabs in LexisLibrary. It will explain how to use connectors and how to add topics to your search. This video is produced by LexisNexis UK.