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Choosing a Topic for Your Journal Article

University of Minnesota Law Library Research Guide Series

Other Legal Texts

Commentaries in treatises are helpful for finding historical and background information about your topic. To find specific treatises available at the University of Minnesota, search Libraries Search - Catalog Mode using key words for your topic. To learn about works that may not be available on campus, search WorldCat. This source combines the listings of libraries throughout the United States as well as several major libraries abroad. It provides keyword access to authors, titles, and subjects.

American Law Reports (A.L.R.)

Also useful are American Law Reports (ALR) (Reporters KF 132). This series of reporters covers significant developments in American case law. Cases are selectively reported, but each case includes a helpful annotation which comments on the legal issues raised by the case with references to numerous other precedents and commentaries. Several digests exist for the various series. The series is also available on Westlaw and on Lexis.

Monitor Developments using Alert Services

It is possible to set up keyword search alerts on Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg Law to identify new legal developments related to your topic. 

Any cases, statutes, or regulations used in your article must be monitored closely using KeyCite on Westlaw and Shepards on Lexis. Both of these services provide later history and references and links to citing cases and secondary sources. These two services frequently provide different references to citing sources, so it is a good idea to monitor cases using both. It is possible to set up automatic KeyCite (KeyCite Alert) and Shepards (Shepards Alerts) searches that will report changes in a case's history and new citations to the case.

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