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Staying Current

Resources for keeping up with new legal developments.


The Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP) is a weekly index of recently published law journal issues. CILP also includes law review tables of contents and links to the articles in HeinOnline.

Looking at all the new articles published in a week can be overwhelming. But SmartCILP lets you create a profile to get just the alerts you want--say, new articles indexed under Criminal Law and Procedure or International Trade, plus the tables of contents of the Duke Law Journal and the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society. I'm not sure what one researcher would want that combination, but that's the beauty of SmartCILP: you can select whatever you want and get alerts sent to your email each week.

Gallagher Law Library University of Washington School of Law

We at the Gallagher Law Library are proud of our history with CILP. The law library began in the 1930s as a service for UW Law's own faculty. In the 1940s, the library made CILP available to other libraries via subscription. (Why should every law school create the same service for its faculty?)

As law journals proliferated in the last few decades, CILP grew, covering more and more specialty journals. See Alena Wolotira, From a Trickle to a Flood: A Case Study of the Current Index to Legal Periodicals to Examine the Swell of American Law Journals Published in the Last Fifty Years, 31 Legal Reference Servs. Q. 150 (2012), [HeinOnline].

The library embraced new technology through the years, moving from mail distribution to electronic delivery and developing the customized SmartCILP service. CILP moved to HeinOnline in fall 2019, with editors who had worked on it for years when it was published by the Gallagher Law Library..


SSRN logoThe Social Science Research Network (SSRN) includes abstracts and working papers organized by field - including the Legal Scholarship Network (LSN), which "distributes quality research related to law, economics, and business in 61 different subject areas." Legal issues may also be addressed in papers in the Entrepreneurship Research & Policy Network, the Negotiations Research Network, the Political Science Network, or the Sustainablity Research & Policy Network.

Search or browse the collection of more than 625,000 abstracts (over half a million available in full text) for free. Most documents are also freely available to download. Users may also subscribe.

See SSRN guide.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides information on scholarly publications related to many broad areas of research, including legally-focused journals and books. More information bout Google Scholar's coverage is available hereYou can sign up for email alerts related to search terms relevant to your area of interest by selecting "create alert" on the left hand side of the screen after running a query (see below). Once your alert is created, you will be sent an email any time there is a new entry that meets your criteria.

Digital Commons Network

Law Commons logoThe Digital Commons Network from bepress "brings together free, full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide." The Law Commons has over 247,000 papers. You can search the site or browse topics (e.g., Civil Procedure or Civil Rights and Discrimination).

If you create a free account, you can follow a topic, an author, or an institution to get email updates.



Library Catalog Saved Searches

After you run a search in the law library (or UW Libraries) catalog, you can save it to use again later. You can also set up an alert so you will get an email notification when something new satisfies the search.

Note: you must be logged in with your UW NetID. After you click "Save Current Search" you'll have the option to make it an alert.

screen snip showing search and option to save search

Periodical Indexes

Most periodical indexes enable you to save a search (to update later) or to set up an alert (to push new information to you). So, for example, if you are tracking a business topic in Business Source Complete, you can ask for new items to be sent to you ask they appear in the index.

Full-Text Databases

Westlaw, LexisNexis, HeinOnline, and Bloomberg Law all have databases with the full text of law journal articles. You can run a search and set up an alert to be notified when new articles with your search terms have been loaded.

HeinOnline Table of Contents Alert