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Copyright Law - Research

Research Guide Created for Prof. Callister's Copyright Course

Researching Scholarly Articles - Commonly Known and Not-So-Well Known Subscription Resources.

The basic subscription sources for academic and professional articles on copyright can be found using the three major services - LexisWestlaw, and Bloomberg. HeinOnline has the most comprehensive collection of journals, both historically and in terms of breadth.  For Lexis and Westlaw, law journals are found under "secondary materials" or "secondary sources." Bloomberg's articles tend to be news oriented, and the other services can provide either news, professional or academic articles. They are found under "News and Law Reports."

Below is a powerful search of Westlaw Edge's Secondary Sources - Law Reviews & Journals that uses the atleastN( word ) command.

Searching Law Reviews & Journals on Westlaw with atleastN( ) command 

Besides the traditional services, Fastcase can provide articles by linking cases and statutes with HeinOnline. See for example, the figure to the right.  These journal articles are a result of searching for the case, Cambridge University Press v. Becker. The same can be done by searching copyright statutes. In many ways, HeinOnline provides the best access because the articles are in PDF format, and Journals are covered back to their inception (unlike Westlaw or Lexis).

Besides searching for articles in traditional legal online services, two other services are noteworthy - Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) and JSTOR. Both of these services are interdisciplinary, but with numerous law reviews and journals. Searches on Academic Search Complete tend to focus on the abstract for the article, and this decreases the number of irrelevant hits. It is an excellent tool for finding the most relevant articles. JSTOR tends to have journals that are very pricey (and high quality) and not available from other sources.

Screen shot of searching Academic Search Elite showing both law and non-law journals

All of these subscription services services are available on the law library's databases page

Screenshot of Fastcase search HeinOnline results matching case law search.

Using Google Scholar to Research Free Digital Repositories and Online Subscription Services

Authors of copyright articles increasingly place their articles in digital repositories that provide free access. Besides searching these repositories directly it Google Scholar indexes many of these repositories.  See  However, Google also indexes subscription services like JSTOR and HeinOnline.

Google Scholar results showing links to free and subscription versions of the same article.  Also show number of citations to article and possibility of filtering by recent date.

Using SSRN to Locate Articles on Copyright Law

SSRN results can be ranked by number of downloads or based on how recent the article was uploaded.

SSRN for Copyright Journal ranked by downloads

Link to SSRN

Using BePress Digital Commons Network to Research Intellectual Property

Like SSRN, BePress provides a repository for legal scholars.  

BePress Intellectual Property Articles

Link to BePress Intellectual Property Digital Commons