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Law Library Guide: Finding journals

This guide will help you understand and develop the skills necessary to conduct Legal Research

Using the e-journal portal

The easiest way to find journals is through UCT's e-journal portal. To find the e-journal portal - use the dropdown menu under 'Search and find' and click on e-journals.


The e-journal portal will open. Type the journal name (eg. African Journal of International and Comparative Law) within the search box and click 'go'. Make sure that next to the search box, the 'starts with' box is checked. Even if the box seems to auto-complete the journal title, still press 'go'.

If you are unsure of what the title is, type in the keywords that you know and make sure the 'contains' box next to the search box is ticked

A results list will show you the titles that you searched for. Underneath each title, information with regards to the issues will be shown - including that of the databases in which it is found as well as which editions those databases contain.

Click on the database name in order to open up the SFX linker to the database. A new tab will open with the linker - click on the hyperlink next to the database that you want (usually 'Full text available'). The database will then open.

Use your journal citation (the year and volume) to locate your issue on the database.

Finding physical copies of the journal

If you can't locate your journal or edition - it may be that the library has the journal in physical copy. In that case, use the Aleph catalogue to search for the title of your journal the same way you would for a book. Note down the shelf number if there is one and where the journal is located (whether it is on shortloan or not)

Using SA ePublications

Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a useful tool for general subject searches and it mines information from different databases, including the ones UCT subscribes to, making sure that  you can get access to something useful. For best results from off-campus, log into the off-campus access first and then access Google Scholar through the library homepage.

Test it below by putting in a subject (eg. contract validity) and then clicking search:

Still lost? Watch this video for a visual step-by-step

Using HeinOnline