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Preemption Check: Journal Research Guide

Journal Research Guide

Introduction

This page was created by the library to help UC Hastings journal members conduct a thorough preemption check. This page will help you check all the online resources available and make sure that an article has not already been published on your topic.

Seven Step Guide

STEP ONE: Index to Legal Periodicals

Search the Index to Legal Periodicals and Books Internet Database.
This first step is the best place to start becuase this database covers almost every law review article written in the United States since 1982. When you search this database you are searching only Titles, Authors and subject descriptors. Keep your search terms broad, if you are writing on a single specific case or statute, include it in the search. Results are returned by relevance, so change the results ranking to "Date Newest" to see the most recent articles

Example search: Standing and "Endangered Species Act"

If articles on your topic may have been published prior to 1982, then make sure you search the historical version of Index to Legal Periodical and Books. You can search for articles back to 1908 by selecting "Legal Periodicals Retro" at the Index to Legal Periodicals and Books Internet Database.


STEP TWO:  Full Text Law Reviews

Search Westlaw full-text law reviews.
Search Lexis Law Reviews and Journals.
For a full text search try to come up with search terms that are specific to your article, keep your terms narrow and focused. Sort by "Date" to get the most recent articles.

Example search: Standing /p "Endangered Species Act" /p trees


STEP THREE: Google Scholar

Search Google Scholar.
Google Scholar does a "Google Search" of  articles published in Law Review databases as well as other academic databases, open source scholarship websites, Google Books and online academic repositories.

Example search: trees and standing and "endangered species act"

Access to articles on Google Scholar depends upon the library's current online subscriptions and if you are on or off campus. Be sure to set your Google Scholar Preferences (-->see the box to your right -->). If you are unable to access articles that you find on Google Scholar, please contact a Reference Librarian for help.


STEP FOUR: Non-Legal Journal Databases

Search Proquest Central
Search Jstor
Search Academic Search Complete
Does your topic cover a non-legal issue, such as business, economics or social science? Use these databases to search in non-law journals.  There is also overlap to law reviews in these databases.

Example search: trees and standing and "endangered species act"


STEP FIVE: Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

If articles on your topic may have been published in a foreign legal journal, then you may want to search Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals.
This database is updated quarterly and covers 1985 to present. If you need to locate articles published prior to 1985, you need to search the IFLP archives on HeinOnline. [This step is only necessary if you need to check foreign journal articles.]


STEP SIX: Books (and Book Chapters)

If a book (or book chapter) may have been published about your topic, then you should search the Hastings Encore Catalog. You should also search WorldCat to locate books not available at Hastings.


STEP SEVEN: Your Results/Additional Help

Analyze the information you located above to make sure that an article on your topic hasn't already been published. If your topic merits publication, then use the print and electronic resources at the Hastings Law Library to research your article. The reference librarians at Hastings are available to help you plan your research strategy and to help you find the resources that might be useful in writing your article. Good Luck!

Subject Specialist

Chuck Marcus

Set Your Google Scholar Preferences

To set your preferences--

  • Go to Google Scholar
  • Click on "Settings"
  • Then click Library Links in the left column
  • Search for UC Hastings
  • Select "UC Hastings Law Library - Find it! @ UC Hastings"

This will add FindIt! at UC Hastings links to your Scholar results. Many articles that are part of our subscriptions will include a direct link to the full text. You will also see links to FindIt! @ UC Hastings, that will lead you to full text online