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October 9th, 2000
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Introduction to Legal Periodical Indexes

Have you ever tried searching for law review articles in the MadCat Library Catalog only to come up empty handed? That's because individual article titles are not cataloged in MadCat.

Finding an article in a law review or legal journal can be a multi-step process.

Step One:

First, you must use an index to identify articles on your law-related topic. Using an index, you can compile a list of citations to articles in your subject area.

The Law Library has both print and electronic indexes to legal periodicals. To decide which one is most appropriate, look at the types of materials indexed and the dates covered.

Indexes available at the Law Library include:

Current Index to Legal Periodicals
Electronic: Previous four months
Legal Journals Index
Print: 1986 to present
Current Law Index
Print: 1980 to present
Electronic: 1980 to present
Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
Print: 1960 to present
Electronic: 1985 to present
Electronic: 1980's to present
Index to Legal Periodicals
Print: 1880's to 1994
Electronic: 1981 to 1994
Electronic: 1980's to present
Index to Legal Periodicals & Books
Print and Electronic: 1994 to present

Some electronic indexes may include the full text of the article. If not, proceed to step two.

Step Two:

Next, when you have an article citation, search MadCat to determine if the UW-Madison Libraries own the journal.

If you know the exact title of the journal in which your article appears, do an Author / Title / Journal Title search in MadCat. Enter the name of the journal in the search box and select the "Journal Title" radio button.

If your search reveals that the journal is available on campus, proceed to step three. If you did not find the journal in MadCat, contact a librarian.

Step Three:

After you have determined which campus library owns the journal, go to that library and retrieve the article in print. The Law Library journal collection is located on the third floor.

Written by: Bonnie Shucha
Reference & Electronic Services Librarian

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