Journals and Periodicals – The Two-Step Approach
The Brian Dickson Law Library has a large collection of printed periodicals, most of which can be found on the 5th floor in the Periodicals section.
- The University of Ottawa Library Network offers a brief instructional page on how to locate periodical literature. It is available here.
- You should familiarize yourself with the location and arrangement of periodicals within the library.
- Try consulting a printed periodical index to learn how they work!
STEP 1: Locate and Record an Article's Citation
You may search a printed periodical index by:
- The Title of the Journal
- If your research topic is sufficiently narrow, and you know the title of a potentially relevant journal, then it is sometimes more efficient to locate the periodical itself to leaf through its index or recent tables of contents.
- The Author or Title of the Article
- Legal scholars typically have a particular area of specialty or interest. If you know the name of an author who writes frequently about a certain topic, try searching for articles by that author. Similarly, if you have found a great article, it is always worth searching for more literature written by that same author!
- If you know the title of an article, the full citation can be found using a periodical index.
- The Subject
- The subject index categorizes periodicals into different legal subject areas. However, the method of categorization differs from index to index.
- The subject index is an excellent starting point because it will show you how legal subjects are categorized.
- You can also browse the subject index for keywords to be used in subsequent electronic index searches.
STEP 2: Locate the Article using its Citation
Remember, many periodical indexes only provide article citations. Once you've found a useful citation, you must locate the actual article using its citation.
- Search the library catalogue using the title of the journal. This will tell you whether or not the periodical is available through the Brian Dickson Law Library.
- If the journal is available in printed format, you can locate it using its call number.
- If the journal is available electronically, then you will notice an icon. Click on this icon or follow the instructions to locate the full-text electronic version of the article.