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Westlaw: How to use Westlaw

How to access the Westlaw database service and use it to find: case law, legislation, journal articles and more. This also includes information about how to access international materials on Westlaw.

Westlaw Journals Search

Westlaw UK's Journals search provides access to Full Text articles from many UK journals.

This search also provides access to Abstracts (summaries) of many more articles not available in full-text on Westlaw.

Although you may need to access the full text of these abstracted articles on from other sources (e.g. by using SUPrimo), the Journals search does provide a comprehensive way for you to identify articles published in UK legal journals.

You can access the Journals search from the Welcome Page, select the ‘Journals’ link at the top of the screen.

This takes you to the Journals search page, where you can search by Free Text terms, Subject/Keyword terms, Article Title and Author.

Select 'More options' for additional search options, including searching by Cases Cited or Legislation Title cited.

Once you have retrieved a list of results you can either access the full text of the article or use bstract to find further information about the article.

Westlaw Journals - training video

How to find Journal Articles on Westlaw

By Author

e.g. Douglas Brodie

You can search for journal articles by the author's name by entering this in the 'Author' box.

Select the 'Search' button.

A list of results matching your search will be displayed.

By Article Title

e.g. 'Fair dealing and the world of work'

You can search for journal articles by words in the article title by entering these in the 'Article Title' box.

Select the 'Search' button.

A list of results matching your search will be displayed.

By Subject or Free Text Term

e.g. Employment; Commercial law; Contracts for service; Fair dealing; redeployment; training programme

You can search for journal articles general subjects or a more specific keywords by entering these in the 'Subject/Keyword' box.

You can search for journal articles by any term occurring in the text  by entering these in the 'Free Text' box.

Select the 'Search' button.

A list of results matching your search will be displayed.

Tip: 'Subjects' (e.g. employment) and 'keywords' (e.g. contracts for service) are added by editors at Westlaw and describe the general subjects covered by an article.  'Free text' terms (e.g. redeployment) are any occurring in the full text of an article document - they may help find a relevant article, but may not be relevant to the main legal issues considered by the article.

By Case or Legislation Cited

e.g. Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, s.47 or Cadder HM Advocate [2010] UKSC 43, 2011 SC (UKSC) 13

Select 'More options' to search for journals which cite a section of an act or a particular case:

  • enter the title of the act in the 'Legislation Title' box and then select the provision type (section, regulation etc.) from the 'Legislation Provision No.' dropdown and enter the number in the box;
  • enter the party names (case name) in the 'Cases Cited (Party)' box; or
  • enter the case citation in the 'Cases Cited (Citation)' box.

Select the 'Search' button.

A list of results matching your search will be displayed.

Tip: You can also find articles which cite a section by finding the legislation using a Legislation Search and then looking at the 'Commentary References' for the section. You can also find articles which cite a particular case by finding the known case using a Cases search and then looking at the 'Commentary References' document to find 'Journal Articles' .

Search Results - Westlaw Journals

The results list displays the title, author, citation, subject and keywords for articles, as well as links to the ‘Abstract’ and, if available, the ‘Full Text’.

The 'Abstract' contains a summary of the article, information about cases or legislation referred to and, if available, a blue citation link to the full text article (e.g. J.B.L. 2018, 6, 485-511).

In the Full Text , the original page numbering appears as a green starred journal abbreviation and number (e.g. *Crim. L.R. 513)

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