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Guide to finding and using information supporting learning and research in Law.
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Research Skills

Cover Art
Legal Research Skills for Scots Lawyers (3rd edn) - Fiona Grant
Call Number: D 348.0318 FUL
ISBN: 0414018257
Publication Date: 2014

Cover Art
Effective Legal Research 4th Edn - John Knowles
Call Number: Online
ISBN: 0414051912
Publication Date: 2016
A practical guide to effective legal research, this new edition presents the information in a step-by-step format leading students through the world of legal research both in a law library and researching online.

Cover Art
Legal research : a practitioner's handbook, 2nd edn - Peter Clinch; Jon Beaumont
Call Number: D 345.08 CLI
ISBN: 085490123X
Publication Date: 2013


About this guide

This guide will help you discover and use Library resources to help with your assignments, dissertations, projects and research.

The guide is divided into topics: Databases, Books, Articles, Legislation, Cases , EU, International & Non-UK, Official Publications, Websites, Referencing, Theses and News.

This Home page provides some general resources to help you with the research process.

You will need your DS username and password to access some eresources on campus and all eresources off campus.

Please contact the Library if you need any help or advice in using the resources.


The Research Process

Your process for finding and using information in your work will depend on the type of learning or research you are undertaking.

There are nevertheless some key stages you should be aware of when undertaking research for an assignment, project or dissertation:

  • Analyse topic - identify different aspects
  • Select search terms - for each concept identify broader, narrower and related terms, synonyms (terms with the same meaning) and antonyms (terms with an opposite meaning)
  • Select search tools - use a variety that best suits your needs (Google and Wikipedia may be easy to use, but the Library’s databases may give better quality results and access to content unavailable elsewhere)
  • Plan your search strategy - which sources will you search first? how will you follow references in your reading?
  • Undertake searches -  you may need to run new searches in databases as you learn more about your research topic
  • Evaluate sources - who wrote it? when was it written? where (which countries) does it apply to? why was it written? what is the source? (is it relevant? is it accurate? has it been cited?)
  • Record sources - this helps you keep control of the research process, avoid duplication / missing out sources and make it easier to compile references
  • Reference sources - demonstrates work is properly researched and helps you avoid accusations of plagiarism

Subject Guide

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Gareth Ryan
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Legal Research Skills @ the Library

This Myplace class is not assessed but provides materials to help you develop your legal research skills.

To register:

  • Go to  log in, select on ‘Find a Class’ and in the search box enter ‘Legal Research Skills @ Library’ and click ‘Go’.
  • Once you have reached the class page you will see the option to enrol in the class.  Simply select ‘yes’ to enrol on the class. You can unenrol at any time.

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