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Locating International and Foreign Law Journal Articles: Law Journal Indexes

Describes sources and methods for locating journal articles on foreign and international law subjects.

Getting Started

To find all the articles relevant to your research topic, use one or more of the journal indexes described below. You should not rely solely on a full text database, such as Lexis and Westlaw, to find articles, because full text databases inevitably contain only a selection of articles that might be relevant to your topic. Aalthough they only provide citations, periodical indexes cover the breadth of journals in a given field. Moreover, by combining keyword and subject searching, you will be able to retrieve a comprehensive and precise list of relevant articles.

Index to Legal Periodicals

The Index to Legal Periodicals indexes law journal articles from 1981 onward. It indexes more than 820 journals, including virtually all American law school journals, which contain many articles on foreign and international topics, as well as some academic journals from other English-language countries. It also provides access to the  Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective, which indexes law journal literature, 1908-1981. Although the Index to Legal Periodicals is primarily an index, some indexed articles are available in full-text.

Legal Journals Index

Legal Journals Index indexes approximately 485 English-language journals published in Great Britain and Europe, from 1986 onward. The Legal Journals Index is available on Westlaw.

Public International Law

Public International Law : a Current Bibliography of Articles is published by the Max-Planck-Institut für Ausländisches Öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht. It indexes articles on public international law published in  English, French, German, Italian and Spanish periodicals. The online version provides access either through an index classification system or via keyword searching of the online catalog. It is possible to search whole categories of the outline classification in the online catalog by using wild card characters (e.g., 14.?.? for all articles indexed under human rights). Then you can refine your search with keywords. The electronic version covers the period from 1996 onward, The print version (Indexes KZ3092 .P82 ) covers the period from 1975 onward.


LegalTrac indexes more than 800 law journals from the United States and from other English-language countries, including Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. It also indexes bar publications, legal newspapers, and business and general interest periodicals.LegalTrac is also available on Lexis and Westlaw as the Legal Resource Index. LegalTrac is primarily an index, but some indexed articles are available in full-text.

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals indexes more than 500 law journals from countries around the world. It provides in-depth coverage of public and private international law, comparative and foreign law, and the law of all jurisdictions. The index is multi-lingual, but it is possible to search in English using English-language subject headings. The online index covers 1985 onward, but there are also electronic versions of the print index going back to 1960 for those wishing to do more comprehensive research.

Szladits' Bibliography on Foreign and Comparative Law

Szladits' Bibliography on Foreign and Comparative Law (Indexes K38 .S9) is an annotated index of articles in English on legal topics from 1790 onward. Originally it indexed articles and books dealing with non-common law legal systems and subjects bearing upon comparative law. In 1984 the index expanded its coverage to common law jurisdictions as well. Since 1990 the index has covered books but not articles.


The HeinOnline Law Journal Library is the most comprehensive full-text database of law review articles in English. It contains articles from more than 2,000 law and law-related periodicals. Coverage is from the first issue published for all periodicals and goes through the most-currently published issues allowed, based on contracts with publishers.

The Law Journal Library also has a search interface that allows the researcher to use it as an index to locate articles. The search syntax is described here. It is possible to do keyword searching of the title, author, and subject fields and to narrow by date.

Lexis and Westlaw

Lexis and Westlaw both have large databases of law review articles available in full-text. However, coverage is limited, both as to how many law reviews are included and as to dates of coverage. Periodical indexes provide a much more comprehensive overview of avaliable literature, but Lexis and Westlaw remain a good source of for the full text of many articles once they have been identified through an index search.

Finding the Full Text

Once you have article citations from one or more of the law journal indexes, search IUCAT by journal title to determine whether the full text is available, either in print or in electronic format. Many articles will be available in PDF in HeinOnline's Law Journal Library, which provides digital access to law journals going back in each case to volume one.

Lexis and Westlaw are also a good source for the full text of many law review articles.

If IU does not provide access to the journal you need, you can fill out an inter-library loan request using the citation information. Our Circulation Department will find a copy of the article and deliver it to you in most cases as an email attachment.