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HeinOnline

Wednesday, 01 June 2022

Sources of law from the USA, the UK and the Commonwealth

HeinOnline International Core’s 15 databases list current and historical sources of law, mainly from the US and the UK, for example:

  • Civil Rights and Social Justice (more than 4000 documents on American civil rights, such as publications from the Commission on Civil Rights, legal historical texts and briefs on relevant cases from the US Supreme Court)
  • World Trials Library (Sources going back to 1607: 6000 volumes of trial transcripts, court documents and related literature, including analyses of famous trials)
  • Women and the Law (Peggy) (around 4000 publications by and about women from over 200 years)


The university’s licensed databases are listed alphabetically and by category on the HeinOnline homepage. Click on the round information button next to the title to see an overview of a database, or on the title to go straight to the content.
You can search the whole of HeinOnline’s content or in each database individually. Please note that the research tools available vary depending on your chosen database. All the content is available in the original print layout, which is searchable thanks to OCR software. You can also select either PDFs or transcripts of texts to see the first page displayed. Above the PDF, you will find a page number for navigation within the document, plus other options for using the text. The breadcrumb trail at the top of the page will take you to the LibGuide or help page for the database if there is one.

  • The journal database Law Journal Library is one of the best-known resources in HeinOnline, with more than 3000 journals from over 40 different subject areas. It comprises more than 41 million pages in the original layout of the print version. The full texts are searchable. The Law Journal Library has grown from a collection of legal professional journals to a multidisciplinary database for academic journals. The journals are available from the very first issue to the current one. By clicking on the “?” to the left of a journal‘s name, you can find information about possible embargos.

Searching in the Law Journal Library:

  • Topic search: Search Help (below the search box) offers suggestions on using syntax when entering several search terms (parentheses for phrase searches, boolean operators). Results can be filtered using the options on the left-hand side, for example, by relevance, date, country, journal, publication type or peer review. Your search terms will be highlighted in the text in bold type. On the right, you will find links to sources that cite your selected article and the button to download it as a pdf. 
  • Path Finder Subjects: A team of experts has categorised subject areas and search terms to allow precise and comprehensive searches. On the homepage of your database, you can search using these pre-defined categories under Browse by. You can choose between a hierarchical view of the texts or a visual representation of the search terms under the Graphical tab. Using Path Finder Subjects can also make searches more precise: you can modify your search using the keywords (shown on the left) that match your search terms. For more information on PathFinder, please see the LibGuide. You can find an index of all the pre-defined keywords here.
  • Author Profiles: Authors whose publications are listed in HeinOnline are organised by institution and accessible via Path Finder Subjects. Each profile shows the author‘s research focus and bibliometric data like the H-Index.
  • More like this shows you articles with similar content as identified through a text analysis algorithm. You can adjust the relevance of the terms using the sliding buttons to get a better list of results.

User guides and help

  • To get a first outline of the site, try Getting Started and Searching 101Additionally, most databases have LibGuides, accessible from inside the database.
  • You can get to the help section from any page via the link at the top right. There you will find comprehensive information and instructions. The Knowledge Base contains training guides, information about the basics of using HeinOnline and articles on access and searching.
  • HeinOnline’s Suite of Tools presents the research tools common to all databases and artificial intelligence tools.
  • There is a HeinOnline Blog if you want information about changes and improvements, to find tips or leave comments and suggestions.
  • In MyHein you can personalise your access by saving searches and results to use later. You can also set up alerts. To use this feature, you need to register, which is free. The university library does not accept any responsibility for how Hein uses your data. MyHein has its own User’s Guide.

HeinOnline is licensed for the University of Graz by the university library. It is accessible via unikat and DBIS, and many of the journals in the Law Journal Library are listed in the EZB. Please pay attention to the terms of use. The database is accessible anywhere on campus and, for university members, remotely via VPN.

Please make use of our online tutorials on unikat, literature research and reference management, as well as the regular courses during the semester. For more information, please see the university library‘s course catalogue.

If you have any questions about this database, please contact ub.zeitschriften(at)uni-graz.at.

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