Database Guide


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Basic guide to LexisLibrary and Westlaw

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Database Guide

  1. 1. The Library Gateway links to LitSearch, our database service
  2. 2. Open LitSearch using this link
  3. 3. Scroll down to Law in the Subject list and highlight it. Then click the blue Go button to open the list of Law databases
  4. 4. Use the links to open the databases. We will look at LexisLibrary and Westlaw The button gives you more information about a database
  5. 5. Clicking the logo on any page will return you to this page. Use the tabs to open the various search forms- we will look at cases, legislation and journals
  6. 6. To find a case when you know the names of the parties, enter the names in the case name boxes- here we are looking for Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company
  7. 7. The results are arranged with the most recent case first. Click on the link to find out more about a case.
  8. 8. You can now read the report of the case. You can also save and / or print it
  9. 9. To return to the Cases search form, click on Cases. You will need to clear any previous entries in the form.
  10. 10. To search for a case by citation, enter the citation in the Citation box, removing the [ ] from the date. Citation: [1991] 1 QB 1
  11. 11. Here is a summary of the case. To read the report, open the link- from there you'll be able to save and / or print the report.
  12. 12. To find an Act of Parliament, enter its name in the Title box and the year in the Year box.
  13. 13. To view the Act, open the link; you can also go to specific Parts of the Act.
  14. 14. From here you read the Act, or go to specific parts; save or print; and learn more about the Act, such as what parts are in force and what cases relate to it.
  15. 15. To find journal articles on a topic, enter a search in the Search terms box.
  16. 16. To open the article, click on the link.
  17. 17. From here you can save and/or print the article.
  18. 18. You can search in a specific journal by selecting it from the drop down Sources list or search for a specific article by using the Article title box
  19. 19. The main page has a Help link, and the search areas have their own help pages.
  20. 20. Here is the main Westlaw screen. Use the links to go to relevant search forms.
  21. 21. To search by party names, enter the names in the box.
  22. 22. Here we can see the results for Owens v Brimmell (1977) ‏ Westlaw provides further links in Case Analysis, such as relevant journal articles.
  23. 23. Here we can see the Case Analysis for Owens v Brimmell (1977), with links to the reports
  24. 24. Here we can see the report for Owens v Brimmell (1977), with links to related Case Analysis items. You can Print, Save or Mail documents.
  25. 25. We can search for the cases by citation. The citation pinpoints the report. Enter the details in the citation box, removing the [ ] from the date. Citation: [1992] 1 AC 310
  26. 26. Here is the result, with links to Case Analysis and the reports.
  27. 27. Since 2001 cases have been given neutral citations. These refer to the case itself, rather than a particular report. For example:- OBG Ltd and another v Allan and others Douglas and others v Hello! Ltd and others (No 3) Mainstream Properties Ltd v Young [2007] UKHL 21 A neutral citation gives:- Year of decision -here, 2007 Court- in this case the House of Lords Number- this was the 21 st HL decision in 2007 The case was reported at [2008] 1 AC 1 You can use neutral citations to search in the same way as other citations
  28. 28. To look at legislation- statutes and statutory instruments- open the Legislation area. Here we are looking for the Constitutional Reform Act 2005
  29. 29. To look at the Act, open the first link.
  30. 30. The Overview Document in Westlaw gives in force details and lists any amendments.
  31. 31. The General Materials list related legislation, cases and journal articles.
  32. 32. To search for journal articles, open the Journals area. You can now search for a specific article, or for articles on a topic. Here we are looking for articles on provocation as a defense in murder.
  33. 33. Here are the results. We can open the first article by clicking on 'Full Text Article' This link takes us to an abstract- the journal is not available in full text via Westlaw.
  34. 34. You can only get full text for articles we subscribe to via the database. LexisNexis gives access to the UK Journals Index and Westlaw to the Legal Journals Index. If you search by these you may get results for journals not in Lexis or Westlaw. You can the search the SHU catalogue to see if we have access to the journal.
  35. 35. You can get further help from: Advisers at the Learning Centre helpdesk. Advisers via email: [email_address] Online help and tutorials within the databases.