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Legal research guide: Secondary sources: Articles considering cases

Learn how to develop an effective search strategy and then use it to locate relevant secondary sources to support your research for law assignments.

A step by step guide to locating articles considering cases in two key databases.

CaseBase journal articles considering cases

  1. Go to Lexis+
  2. Search for your case either by citation, party name; Or you can even search for articles on a topic
  3. The citator record will include a link that will list Publications referring to this case
  4. Check each record for relevance
  5. If the full text of the article is not present, then follow the instructions below under What if it's Not There!

In Lexis+ you can even search for cases on a legal topic! Just type the topic in the search box and select AU Cases from the All Content filter. Then look for any cases that suit your needs. From there, you can see if any publications have been written about the case. 

Westlaw AU journal articles considering cases

  1. Go to Westlaw AU
  2. Click on the Secondary Sources link in the Content types section of the Westlaw AU Database home page
  3. Click the Law Law Reviews & Journals link in the By Type section

You can also use this method:

  1. Click on the Secondary Sources link in the Content types section of the Westlaw AU Database home page
  2. Select the Advanced link located to the right of the single search box
  3. Scroll down to the Document Fields (Boolean Terms & Connectors) section
  4. Add the title of the case in the Title Field

Third method:

  1. Search for a case in Westlaw AU
  2. Look out for the Citing References link in the record of the case and click on the Secondary Sources link to reveal journals etc that discuss the case


Some results will be full text while others will be abstracts. To locate the articles mentioned in these abstracts follow the instructions below under What if it's not there!  

What if it's not there!

If you find a reference to the perfect journal article in a database, as often happens in CaseBase, for example, here is the process you use to check if full text is available somewhere, anywhere!

  1. Make a note of the full citation. For example, Aboriginal land rights after Mabo (1992) 66 LIJ 1105.
  2. Identify the full title of the journal from the abbreviation. In this example LIJ  is the abbreviation representing the full title of the journal. To find the full title you will need to check an abbreviations list.
  3. If you are in Lexis+, you can hover over the abbreviation to see the full title of the journal. In this example, LIJ is Law Institute Journal (Vic).
  4. To help you decipher abbreviations, you can use either the Legal Research Guide: Abbreviations or Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations and search By Abbreviation. In this instance, if you knew the publication was from Victoria,  that would help in locating the correct title in Cardiff.
  5. Go to OneSearch and enter the title of the journal e.g. Law Institute Journal. Use the drop down menu to limit the search to Journal titles.
  6. If you find an entry for the journal, click on Check Availability to see volumes held or View Online if an online version is available. In this case the journal is available on the shelf. The holdings indicate that volume 66 (1992) is available
  7. This article would be located in the Law Journals collection on level 3 of the Beasley Law library. Locate volume 66, page 1105, and read or photocopy the article

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