Finding online journals

By | 1 December 2008

By Angela Carritt

It is now possible to find online journals on OLIS and SOLO as well as Oxford University eJournals. All three services will help you to locate journals by title and are useful if you’re looking for a journal title listed on a reading list or bibliography.

Please note that these services are not suitable for searching for journal articles by subject, keywords, author, article title or citation – they may only be used to find journals by journal title. If you need to search for articles by subject, keywords or author you should use an indexing services or a full text service that allows keywords seaching.   There will be a post on searching for articles by subject and author in the future.

This post looks at searching for journals by title.

Which service to use?

Contrary to earlier reports the three services all cover more or less the same journals.  The only difference in coverage is that SOLO and OLIS do not include a small set of journals whose titles include non Roman characters (e.g. Chinese characters) which have not yet been transliterated on our system.

In terms of functionality the advantage of using SOLO or OLIS is that you can search for online journals and print titles at the same time. On the other hand if you are only interested in online journals then Oxford University eJournals may be a better option as it will return fewer results.  In addition, Oxford University eJournals includes a browsable A-Z of journal titles.


5 steps to finding journals on OLIS, SOLO and Oxford University eJournals

1.  Connect to the OLIS, SOLO or Oxford University eJournals

Which ever service you choose start by entering the journal title in the search box.  Alternatively if you are using Oxford University eJournals you can browse the A-Z of journals.    Please note:

  • Enter the journal title not the article title.
  • Enter full words from the journal title not an abbreviation. If you are not sure what the abbreviations stands for check the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations
  • Oxford University eJournals also offers subject and citation search options.   You are advised not to use these when seaching for legal journals

e.g. searching for Human Rights Quarterly on SOLO

Solo screenshot

e.g. searching for journals on SOLO. Click “Online access (Get it)” to link to full text

e.g. searching for Human Rights Quarterly on Oxford University eJournals

Searching using Oxford University eJournals

Searching using Oxford University eJournals

2.  On the results screen follow the link to the appropriate journal.   (On SOLO click “Online access (Get it)” or on OLIS click “Find it @ Oxford”).

3.   No matter which service you use you will see a list of one or more databases that hold the journal e.g.

choosing a database

Beneath each database you will see the date coverage (e.g. “available from 1995”, “available from 1981-2004” etc).  Be sure to pay attention to the date range covered by each database before making your selection.  Some databases will have back issues but not necessarily the most recent issues, whilst others will have recent issues but not nessarily older ones.

4. Select the best database for the period you want and follow the link.  (If you have a citation you can fill in the year, volume, issue and start page using the boxes provided if you wish. However, entering these details will often not give you any benefit).

5. You will now be connected to a web page for the journal. From here use the “browse” options to find the article you want by volume and page number or use the “search” options to locate the article by author or article title.

Do OLIS, SOLO and Oxford University eJournals cover all online journals?

Unfortunately not.    As of 1 December 2008 they include links to over 28,000 online journals on 954 databases.   However, they do not cover journals on Westlaw or some non UK titles on Lexis Nexis Butterworths. Law students looking for online journals are advised to use the following strategy:

  1. Check Oxford University eJournals, SOLO, or OLIS (you only need to check one of these as the coverage should be the same)
  2. If it is a UK journal check the list of UK Journals on Westlaw.
  3. If it is a non UK journal check “World Journals” on Westlaw and the “Sources” directory on Lexis Nexis Butterworths

What if the journal I want is not available online?

If the journal you want isn’t available online then we may have it in print. If you are using OLIS or SOLO you should find the print edition in your results list, but if you’re using Oxford University eJournals you will need to do a new search for the print edition using OLIS or SOLO.

If you want to check the availability of a journal with a member of staff , to suggest a purchase or if you have any questions please contact the Law Library.

One thought on “Finding online journals

  1. Pingback: Accessing OXAM and legal databases when you are off campus « Law Bod Blog

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