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Law Library

Secondary Sources in Legal Research: Full-Text Periodicals Online

Full-Text Periodicals in Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, Westlaw & HeinOnline

In Westlaw, Lexis Advance,  Bloomberg Law and HeinOnline it is possible to search across all databases and then use both pre- and post-search filters to find law reviews and other legal periodicals. 

In Westlaw, you may select secondary sources and limit your search to a database containing law reviews.  Coverage is selective (not comprehensive) and begins in the 1980s.

In Lexis Advance, you may select secondary sources as a pre-filter and then limit your search results using post-search filters to law reviews only. Coverage is selective (not comprehensive) and begins in the 1980s.

In Bloomberg Law it is also possible to limit your search to ‘Law Reviews and Journals.’  At the home page, scroll down to ‘Secondary Sources.’  Coverage is selective (not comprehensive) and begins in the 1980s.

For more detailed information on HeinOnline, see the HeinOnline tab.

Full-Text on the Free Internet

Some law schools place the contents of their law reviews on their public websites.  Others place them in a digital repository that is also freely available. Google Scholar indexes this content and provides links to the full-text when available but this is small sub-set of the whole universe of lega periodicals.  In some instances, it is possible to link through to HeinOnline from an article located through Google Scholar but this is dependent on whether or not your supporting institution has a HeinOnline subscription. For more details see the HeinOnline  tab.

Lexis and Westlaw vs. HeinOnline for Full-Text Articles


  • HeinOnline will have the complete publication going back to the original issue (Volume 1, Issue 1) for most English-language legal periodicals
  • Lexis and Westlaw coverage begins in the 1980s


  • HeinOnline has unformatted text and PDF facsimile versions of the articles available. The PDF files include images and graphs.
  • LexisNexis and Westlaw provide only unformatted text, with no images or graphs.