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Keeping Current On The Law: Articles & Working Papers

Many online resources enable readers to create alerts to keep current on the latest legal information.

Push Services for New Articles

You can find new articles by searching for them in various sources (consult research guides, especially those on finding articles & books) but there are also tools that will "push" content to the users. Some are outlined below:

  • SmartCILP Profile: You can set up a SmartCILP profile. That service will email you list of new articles on subject headings select you select. Over 650 periodicals are indexed.
  • Search Alerts. You can set up search alerts in various databases. Search alerts retrieve new material that matches a search string saved by the user. When deciding which database in which to place a search alert, consider which journals might likely offer writing on your topic and which databases offer those journals. If appropriate to your project, consider setting up alerts in databases that aggregate content from various publishers, including HeinOnline (particularly the Law Library Journal library), EBSCO Discovery Service, and large legal research platforms like Westlaw and Lexis Advance.
  • Subject Heading alert: Some databases will permit users to create alerts for subject headings or subject tags associated with articles. Legal Source (Index to Legal Periodicals & Books (ILP)) permits this type of alert. 
  • Google Scholar and Google alerts can pull material from various online sources so they can be a helpful tool to alert you to new articles on a topic. Note though that they may not pull content from certain proprietary databases, such as Lexis and Westlaw. 
  • Publication Alert: If it's likely that a particular publication will offer writing on your topic, publication alerts can alert you to new issues of the periodical. Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg Law as well as many other databases offer publication alerts. 


Push Services for New Working Papers

You can find new working papers by searching for them in various sources (consult research guides, especially the articles guide) but there are also tools that will "push" content to users. Some are outlined below:

  • Google Scholar and Google alerts can be particularly helpful in being alerted to working papers. 
  • Users can subscribe to SSRN "eJournals" and networks. Refer to this page for instructions.
  • Blogs, such as those within the LawProfessorBlogs network, and forms of other social media can report on and link to new pre-publication scholarship Some current awareness services might also report on significant working papers. You can often sign up for email receipt of new postings of these materials. 
  • If you know that a particular publisher often publishes books on your topic, go to the publisher's website and see if it's possible to pull up a list of books on your topic or the broader topic, or search by a particular author, and then see if you can sort the list by newest titles first to retrieve a list of forthcoming and recent books. For example, Oxford University Press Academic has a Law section divided into numerous specific topics.
  • Look at the book reviews and lists of new and forthcoming books in the major journals on your topic, for example, the American Journal of International Law.
  • Many journals may now list forthcoming articles as well, e.g. AJIL Accepted Manuscripts. Subscribe to the alerts of each publication where available.