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United Kingdom Law: Journals

English law journals & finding articles on English/UK law

A journal is a regular publication (monthly, yearly, etc.) in which you will find academic and research articles. The articles present current research and quick (but thoughtful) responses to legal developments, such as Case Comments..
Journals which are peer-reviewed submit potential articles to evaluation by other experts before publication, so you can be confident of the quality of those finally included in the volume. 
The majority of journals held by the Bodleian Libraries in both physical and electronic formats can be searched via SOLO, however you may find the Law Library's own database easier to use.

Use the other tabs in this box to find recommended journals and guidance on the special online tools to help you find articles on English legal developments in law journals published both in the UK and abroad.


Holders of an Oxford SSO have online access to the majority of English law journals (at least when comes to volumes published in the current century via the following databases. Note that the journal content of Lexis and Westlaw does not overlap. Should you wish to read articles from the journals Public Law (abbreviated in citations to PL) or Criminal Law Review (CLR) you will have to log in to Westlaw Edge UK.

But there are other journals which are (at least for part of their run) available via other databases or journal platforms.
Should you want to read articles published in the LLoyds Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly (LMCLQ) then you will need to register with the database called i-law.

Tips for finding law ejournals and journals using SOLO:

1) Use the Advanced Search screen
2) Change  Resource type to Journals
3) Search for the full title of the journal - NOT the abbreviation used in the citation

In other words to find the Law Library's holdings (in print and onlline) for an MLR citation you need to ask SOLO to find Modern Law Review.
If you don't know what the abbreviation in your citation stands for, use the free online Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations. 
Please ask at the Enquiry Desk if you are having any problems.

For older issues of  English law journals, the following databases are often helpful:

Available on the free web

The principal collection of UK law journals in LawBod have shelf marks beginning Cw UK 300 and are located on Level 2, the floor at which you enter the library.
The most recent issues to have been received in print are displayed in the "Just In" corner, immediately to the left of the entrance gates. The main run of volumes are on the book cases across the other side of the main reading room. In both runs the journals are arranged alphabetically by journal title.

If you are looking for a issue that does not appear in either place please ask staff: some journals are now only being received online. 


Legal databases and ejournal platforms offer ways for you to set up customised alerts and/or an RSS feed. Look out for "Current Awareness,"  "Stay up to Date," "Create Alert" or the bell icon: instructions are usually clear. If you do encounter difficulties please contact us.
Note that Westlaw Edge UK also includes the formerly separate LawTel service
An ETOC or TOC option provides the entire table of contents of each new journal issue.
If you come to the Law Library, check out the Just In Corner on Level 2 (the entrance level) which has a display of the most recent issues of those law journals still received in print. (This display is updated weekiy.)

In addition (especially if you have inter disciplinary interests) 

Some researchers may remember ZETOC. In its place we recommend  the open access service JournalsTOCs - "the largest, free collection of scholarly journal Tables of Contents (TOCs): 32,312 journals including 15,741 selected Open Access journals and 11,834 Hybrid journals, from 3333 publishers."
Please note this requires you to register as an individual - it is not an Oxford SSO related eresource.

Finding articles in Law Journals

SOLO's article search function is a tempting place to start - but as some legal databases do not allow deeplinking within their content, SOLO's search results can be misleading.

The following specialist indexing services are recommended:

Indexing tools on the free web

There are too many for any list to be comprehensive. If you are studying a particular legal topic, or a foreign jurisdiction, it may well be worth considering which law firms have gained a distinguished reputation in the same topic/jurisdiction, they may well have partners/practitioners posting news and comment.

Citation style OSCOLA

Articles in UK legal journals are usually cited in a certain way.  Under the standards set down in OSCOLA (4th ed) the format should be:

Author, / 'title' / [year] - if no volume number OR (year) if there is a volume / volume number if present / issue number only if pages start from 1 for each part/ journal name in full or abbreviation/ first page of article.

Example of OSCOLA styled citations for a journal which does not have volume numbers:

Kate Hofmeyr, 'The problem of private entrapment' [2006] Criminal Law Review 319 
or Kate Hofmeyr, 'The problem of private entrapment' [2006] CLR 319 

Example of  OSCOLA styled citations for a journal which does have volume numbers:

NW Barber, ‘Laws and Constitutional Conventions’ (2009) 125 Law Quarterly Review 294
or NW Barber, ‘Laws and Constitutional Conventions’ (2009) 125 LQR 294