Journals and Periodicals – Using an Electronic Periodical Database

The Brian Dickson Law Library subscribes to a large number of electronic periodical databases.

However, many periodicals are not available online in full-text format.

See Fig 1.1, below, which displays the results of a LegalTrac search using the keyphrases "wrongful life” and "wrongful birth”.

Video 1.1 LegalTrac for Finding Articles

LegalTrac can be used to search legal periodicals. Start by using the search options available, for example, searching for key phrases "wrongful life" or "wrongful birth". The search assist makes this easy. You can choose to narrow your results now or later.

On the left of the results page, you can search within these results to narrow your search. You can also limit your results by subject, to "peer-reviewed only", "full-text", "must have images", or by document type and more. You can then sort your results by date or relevance.

Each result includes the article title, author, document type, source and links to what is available on LegalTrac. Clicking on an article title provides more information about the article with the most information available at the top of the page followed by the article, or abstract or whatever is available, with the citation information at the bottom of the page. When recording the citation, make sure to include the volume, issue and page number of the journal where the article is printed. It is important to note that the format of this citation is rarely in compliance with the McGill Guide, so be prepared to modify it for citation purposes! Note that your search terms are clearly identified either as links or in red.

Going back...

You can view the full articles by clicking on either "PFD pages" or "Full-text". When viewing the "full-text", you can listen to the article being read, although this can sound somewhat unnatural. Options for obtaining and sharing copies of the file are to the right.

Back to results...

The "afficher! get it!" link indicates that the full-text article is not available directly through LegalTrac. However, by clicking the link, you will be directed to the library catalogue which may provide the full-text version available elsewhere. So here it is available on HeinOnline and EBSCOhost Legal Source. If no full-text version is available then click the "Citation" link, record the citation, and use it to locate the printed copy of the journal in the library.

You can do this using the library catalogue and searching for the article title obtained from LegalTrac. For example, for this article from Contemporary Issues in Law (which we'll copy), the catalogue was unable to locate the full text electronically. But you can search the library catalogue by journal title, pate the title, and search. Although you cannot see the specific volume you want (which was volume 9 from your citation information), near the top of the entry, it says that the library has volumes number 2, issue 1 through 11, issue 4 and has the most recently received one was the first issue of volume 13.

The Call number you will be looking for is KD 7100 .A13 C65, followed by the year, which was 2007 and v.9 for volume nine. Once you have located this item, the article should be on pages 153 to 182, as indicated by the citation information you received from LegalTrac. Note that if you are having difficulty locating more recent or older volumes, they may be catalogued under a newer or older title. This would be indicated by a continued by or continues, followed by a link to the related entry. For example, when searching "Business Law Reports", if you are looking at the second series, it continues Business Law Reports and is continued by Business Law Reports, third series.

Good Luck!

Remember, every database is different, so it is important to get to know each in order to familiarize yourself with the various layouts and offerings!