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Pritzker Legal Research Center

Writing a Law Journal Note or Comment

This guide is intended to assist members of law journals at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law with writing and publishing Notes or Comments.

Finding Books

When searching for books, first check NUsearch to see if it is available through the Northwestern University library system. If you do not find the book in NUsearch, check WorldCat. You can submit an interlibrary loan request for the item you find on WorldCat, and our library will attempt to borrow it from another library for you. 

Search Tips for NUsearch and WorldCat: 

  • Use subject headings. NUsearch and WorldCat use common subject headings connected by hypertext links, so once you find one work on your subject, use the subject links to locate other works.
  • Search both narrowly for your topic and more broadly for the overall subject. 
  • Use NUsearch limits. Occasionally NUsearch provides many results unrelated to your interest. You can limit by date range, by specific library, or even a part of the law library collection.
  • Browse the stacks. Other books on your subject and related subjects are likely located next to the book you identified through NUsearch on the shelf.
Library Catalogs and ILL

Finding Articles

To find relevant articles for your research, you should search indexes, full-text current sources, and full-text archives. You can also search NUsearch to efficiently conduct a search across articles contained in various subscription databases (e.g., JSTOR, EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete, etc.) at once. 

  • Indexes: Indexes, including LegalTrac and the Index to Legal Periodicals & Books, provide citations with abstracts to publications. Index editors apply consistent subject headings to articles, ensuring that you can locate many articles even when the title is obscure or the author uses different terminology. 
  • Full-Text Current Sources: Full-text searches on Lexis and Westlaw will help you locate additional articles that discuss your topic in part. Be sure to consider synonyms for your key terms so that you do not miss articles that use slightly different phrasing.
  • Full-Text Archives: Lexis and Westlaw journal databases date back only to the mid-1980s, but HeinOnline archive scholarship back to the mid-1800s. Find out what scholars said when your topic first developed.

For Recent Developments

SSRN and bepress allow scholars in various fields to post articles prior to formal publication, as a means to present their ideas to their colleagues and receive feedback. These resources allow you to view working papers and forthcoming articles. It can take up to a year for an article to be published in a law journal after it is accepted for publication. These resources offer access to scholarship that will be published in the future.