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Finding Law Journal Articles

Using Electronic Databases

Probably the best place to search for articles on particular topics is electronic databases. A law database contains, among other materials, journal issues. You may find these databases very useful: Westlaw Classic, Lexis Advance Hong Kong, HeinOnline, etc. These and others can be found on our web site, Constructing a meaningful search is both a science and art. You need to choose the right terms, use synonyms, be able to broaden and narrow your search as well as to familiarize yourself with the functions of respective databases. For instance, searching with the term ‘policing’ will return with 2255 results while ‘policing and crime rate’ will bring it down to 114 entries which is a more manageable size. To master the skills, please attend our training or come and talk to us at Law and Reference Help Desk.

Using Law Books

Law books will give you discussion of different topics. In there, you can also find citations to journal articles. One particularly useful type of law book is books titled as “texts, cases and materials”.

Through Other Journal Articles

Once you find some relevant articles, you may expand your search within the articles. The process is, look for relevant passages with citations. Next, take the citations and follow the steps mentioned in "Finding a Specific Article" section to retrieve the full text of the papers.  

Free Internet Resources

Google Scholar ( provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. You may also want to use it for finding law journals. Yet a word of caution, always use Internet resources with care as some materials may lack academic scrutiny.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

More Search Tips

When using library subscribed databases or free search engines, there are ways to make your searching more productive:

  • Choice of keywords
    Choose your keywords thoughtfully.  Use specific keywords.  Be flexible and try a variety of keywords that you may have selected while developing your topic.
  • Advanced search option
    Use the advanced option to confine your search to certain domain type, date, file type, and more.  You can also broaden or narrow your search by including all of the terms that you enter, eliminating words, or adding the various forms of words (like using wild cards or truncation symbols).