• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


Keeping Current with the Law

Page history last edited by Cecilia Tellis 11 years, 9 months ago

With so many information sources available, it can be difficult to keep track of the most relevant places to search. Aimed at students and faculty of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, this guide illustrates various methods of finding up-to-date legal information (journal articles, books, working papers, court cases, etc.) and creating alerts in the major legal databases and indexes. [Guide created July 2008]



Journal Table of Contents Services


Current Law Journal Content 

i. Current Law Journal Content covers 1375 law journals. Scanned journal contents pages are supplied by the University of Texas Tarlton Law Library, Washington & Lee Law School, and other libraries. This table of contents service:

*       Displays all the tables of contents for issues added during a user selected date range.

*       Searches for words in article citations (author/title/abstract/journal-name fields).

*       Links to tables of contents for any one of the 1375 individual law journals.

*       Links via an openURL server from authored article citations to corresponding retrieval possibilities in Lexis, Westlaw, BEPress, SSRN and other full-text databases (passwords may be required).

*       Supplies an RSS feed of contents for all, selected, or an individual law journal, or else an RSS feed for the results of a word search.

To subscribe to this service, follow the steps outlined below:

1. Visit this website: http://lawlib.wlu.edu/CLJC/index.aspx


2. At the top of the page, click on “Create”. Note that you can also subscribe to this service via an RSS feed (more details in section F of this guide).



3. Enter your e-mail address and decide if you’d like to also create a “Saved search”. If not, skip ahead to the TOC Profile section of the page.



4. To receive Tables of Contents for all 1300+ journals, leave all of the journals checked. To receive Tables of Contents for only select law journals, click "uncheck all" then check off your selected journals. To view the journals by country, click "Country" and then "Re-sort the journal List". Make any changes to your TOC Profile (e.g. exclude non-English journals) then click “Submit”.



5. Messages are sent each Sunday if a Table of Contents is generated for the journals you've chosen. You will receive an e-mail from: JDoyle (the law librarian at Washington and Lee University Law Library). The e-mail will contain a link to Table of Contents elements: e.g. the journal title, author names, article titles and page numbers.


If you require any assistance in accessing the full text of an article, please contact us at: droitlaw@uottawa.ca or call 613-562-5812 and ask to speak to a Librarian.

Social Science Research Network - Legal Scholarship Network

SSRN is a collaborative effort of leading scholars devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research. There is no charge to join. The Legal Scholarship Network distributes research related to law, economics, and business in 61 different subject areas. Go to http://hq.ssrn.com/ to subscribe to SSRN journals.


ResearchNow: a bepress portal

ResearchNow is a database of scholarly information drawing its content from several primary sources:

*       the roster of peer-reviewed, Berkeley Electronic Press journals

*       all working papers, preprints and other “grey literature” content from institutional repositories hosted by bepress that have opted for inclusion,

*       materials from the bepress Legal Repository and the New England Law Library Consortium, a consortium of 100 institutions

You may sign up for a variety of automatic updating services by clicking on My Account link on the ResearchNow homepage: http://researchnow.bepress.com/ and then clicking on the create a free account link and completing a brief form. Once logged in, you may opt to receive announcements of new articles or other news pertaining to specific journals. You can also save searches and have bepress notify you when new content is published that matches your search criteria.

uOttawa Library Catalogue

A list of new acquisitions is generated from the catalogue on a weekly basis, every Sunday night. This list is organized by subjects with associated call numbers adjacent. After selecting a heading, click on resulting title links to view item descriptions and availability in the library catalogue.


Creating Alerts in Legal Databases / Indexes

Instead of constantly searching the legal databases or indexes to find current material (journal articles, case commentaries, decisions, etc.), you can create alerts on specific topics of research. You will automatically be informed via e-mail if any relevant documents have appeared in your chosen databases.

LexisNexis Quicklaw

i.  Quicklaw Alerts come in two forms: scheduled searches and legal updates. When you run a search that you may want to update periodically, you may save the search as a scheduled search that runs at pre-defined intervals. You may also set up a legal update, which is a periodic search on specific legal topics. To view your current list of scheduled searches and legal updates, click the History & Alerts tab, then click the Alerts sub-tab.

Creating a Scheduled Search

You may create a scheduled search in several ways:

► From any Search form, click the Save This Search link. On the Save Search form, select the Save as an Alert checkbox.

► From the Results page, select the Save Search option from the Next Steps drop-down list. On the Save Search form, select the Save as an Alert checkbox.

► From the Results page, click the Create Alert icon.

► From the Results page, select the Create Alert option from the Next Steps drop-down list.


Click the History & Alerts tab, then click the History sub-tab. Click the Recent Searches or Saved Searches tab. Click the Alert link next to the recent search or saved search that you want to set up as a Scheduled Search.


From there:

1. Name the scheduled search (the name may be no longer than 255 characters).

2. Select how often you want to run the scheduled search.

3. Enter an email address to specify where you want the results to be sent, or choose to view the results online only.

4. To receive your results in an email, specify your notification and results format preferences.

5. Click the Save button.

Creating a Legal Update

1. Click the History & Alerts tab, then click the Alerts sub-tab.

2. Click the Legal Updates tertiary tab to access the list of your current legal updates.

3. Click Legal Update Wizard and follow the step-by-step process to create your legal update.




WestClip is a current awareness serviceto keep you abreast of legal developments in specific practice areas, or to automatically update you on any new results for a search you have done. You can access the WestClip entry page in two ways: from your search results or the Alert Centre link in the top toolbar of any WestlaweCARSWELL page.

Creating a WestClip Entry

In the WestClip page, fill in the following fields:

1.       Name of clip: Assign a name to your WestClip entry (up to 10 characters long).

2.       Client ID: Enter a client ID or accept the default.

3.       Database: If you're creating a new WestClip entry, enter the identifier for the database you wish to monitor. If you came to WestClip from a search, this will already be filled. You may also use the Find a Database link to assist you in choosing a database:

  1. To find a Canadian database, choose Publication or other source from the first screen, then click Next.
  2. Choose Canada from the second screen and click Next.
  3. At the third screen, enter keywords in the database name and click Next to get a number of possible choices.
  4. Check off the ones you want, and click Finish.

Note: Some databases cannot be used for WestClip. You will receive a warningmessage when you try to save or run the entry with an invalid database.

4.       Query: Enter a Terms and Connectors Query in the Query box. If you came to WestClip from a search, this will already be filled, but you can edit the query if you wish.

5.       Full Search Editor: Click this arrow to check your query syntax and see a list of connectors/expanders and database field restrictions to use in your query.

6.       Save: Click Save to accept default Delivery Settings.

7.       Edit: Click Edit (on the far right) if you want to change Delivery Settings.

Index to Legal Periodicals Full-Text & Retrospective

Within these legal indexes available through WilsonWeb, you have the option to create alerts from your search. As new documents matching your search are added to the database, WilsonWeb will automatically send new results to the email address you provide or it will create an RSS feed that you can add to your feed reader.






Index to Canadian Legal Literature

See the instructions above for WestlaweCarswell. Note that the database identifier for the Index to Canadian Legal Literature is ICLL.


Blawgs = blogs + law


DEFINITION: a weblog with emphasis on the law or legal related issues and concerns, often maintained by an individual who studies, practices or otherwise works in the legal field


You may have already bookmarked or subscribed to feeds from several blawgs of interest but you can find more by perusing these lists:


Using feed readers: news updates all in one place!

A feed reader or news reader is a tool that collects syndicated content from disparate sources and provides a single consolidated view. You subscribe to a particular web feed, and thereafter receive updated contents every time updating takes place. Feed readers may be online or offline. Online services give you the advantage of being able to access your feed updates anywhere you can find a web browser. One of the most popular web-based feed readers at this point is Bloglines.



Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com) is a free online service for searching, subscribing, creating and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content.





Other free web-based feed readers include:


You can find a more complete list of feed readers at RSS Compendium: http://allrss.com/rssreaders.html


Creating custom RSS feeds & alerts from any website

RSS feeds on websites are becoming much more commonplace.

Just keep a look out for one of these many icons. If some of your favourite websites still aren't RSS enabled, you can create your own RSS feeds and alerts by using tools like:



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.