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Finding a Paper Topic

Instruction on Process and Resources for Finding a Paper Topic

Searching Law Reviews for Paper Topics

Using Law Journal Articles and Prepublished Papers to Locate Paper Topics

Some of you will undoubtedly want to search law review and journal articles for ideas for paper topics.  Always ask yourself, am I too late to write on this topic?  Does this article suggest new areas for research?  How can I avoid simply rewriting a good article already posted on the subject?  To the last question, one way is to mine the footnotes for information and find a new angle. 

BePress' Digital Law Commons is an example of a great source for articles on particular topics.  Below is an example from the Science and Technology Law Commons

Science and Technology Law Commons

I also recommend searching articles on Google Scholar.  It mines articles from HeinOnline, SSRN, BePress Law Commons, and newcomer, LawaXiv. Of course you can also search Lexis+ and Westlaw Edge for articles (in Westlaw you have to filter for "law reviews and journals" among secondary sources).  Finally, I also recommend JSTOR and Academic Search Complete (on the library subscription databases page at for journals that are "peer reviewed," are of a high quality, and are interdisciplinary in nature.

Westlaw Edge Law Review search using ATLEAST5() command