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LAW792-AA Seminar Handouts & Assignments
Stephanie Davidson firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Instruction Session:
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 10a in Rm. J (Normal Class meeting time)
Topic Selection: Week of 2/4 (sign up here)
Draft: Week of 3/11 (sign up here)
U of I Main Library's A-Z Database and Resource List
Use this page to find a database by subject. For instance, browse the list of Social Sciences and choose Social Work, then choose MEDLINE PLUS or SocINDEX to search for articles.
Use this to search across all library materials when you are unsure where to start
Find Online Journals & Databases
Use this to search by name or subject for online journals and databases.
For links to the Library catalog, WorldCat catalog, online journals, databases by topic, and Interlibrary Loan.
Covers general academic journal articles, including science, social science, arts and humanities.
Social Sciences Citation Index
Part of the Web of Science, focusing on social sciences.
U of I Catalog
This includes only the holdings at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.
Web of Science
Leading index/database for articles from the sciences.
Provides law reviews and journal articles prior to the dates traditionally covered by Lexis and Westlaw. Provides full text search capabilities.
PsychINFO is a database of journals and articles in psychology.
Sample Research Plan Outline
It's important to begin your research with a plan. That plan should include both your goals (what are the questions you hope to answer?) and methods for accomplishing those goals (what are the sources you plan to find and examine?).
While your initial instincts to run some searches in Google and in Westlaw or Lexis' caselaw databases may yield some promising results, your plan should be much richer and more detailed in terms of the specific sources you plan to search, and should include the sources most likely to yield the types of materials you need for your research.
If you're having trouble getting started, take a look at the Tips: The Problem of Being Too Interested: How to Focus handout (link at left).
- Read several articles on the topic.
- Figure out which disciplines outside law are implicated by your topic, and determine which databases you ought to search
- Initial scope ideas are usually too broad; use this search to help narrow your scope, and revise your searching as necessary.
- Consider what other resources are implicated by your topic.
- Is there a Federal or state agency involved? Look at their website, and/or at documents on Westlaw/Lexis
- Are there any organizations or associations that are involved? Find them, and see if they have compiled any resources (e.g., 50-state surveys)
- What is the relevant law that you need to consider? Look for both secondary sources about the topic, and gather the primary resources as well.
- Continuing Research
- What questions do you need to answer through your continuing research?
- What sources do you plan to consult?
- Be sure you have what you need to answer your question or support your argument
- Ask yourself whether there are materials you still need
- Read, read, read, and reformulate your scope
Complicated areas of the law, or highly regulated areas may prompt more time with the librarians than just your required meetings. You are all welcome and invited to seek guidance on your research plan before your scheduled meeting. You can visit the reference desk or contact me directly for a meeting.