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Law and Legal Studies

This guide lists American University Library databases, print sources, and free Web sites of use to research in Legal Studies.


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Ari Hilliard
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The databases in this page provide the citation, abstract, and in some cases, the full text of journal and magazine articles, books, and dissertations. They are sorted by order of prominence and then alphabetically. 

Use only articles from scholarly journals for literature reviews, not those from newspapers or magazines or technical reports.

Law Journal Articles

History Journal Articles

Latin America and the Caribbean Journals Databases

The following databases have journal articles that focus on Latin America and the Hispanic population. Many of the journals are from Latin America. Unless listed as a "free resource," all the databases are restricted to AU-only icon.

How to get the full text of articles

American University users can obtain a copy of almost every published article or book in these databases.

For AU Library databases, if the full-text article is not available, click on the button. Or use the Interlibrary Loan form. The article can be obtained through the Consortium Loan Service (2 business days) or Interlibrary Loan (longer than 2 days).

Multidisciplinary Bibliographic Databases

AU-only icon

More Multidisciplinary Bibliographic Databases

Use these databases if a comprehensive search is needed. They are not a good place to start one's research. AU-only icon

Search Tips

Boolean operators:

AND - use to narrow a search and get fewer and more relevant results.
elections and voters

OR - use to broaden a search and get more results. Good for synonyms and words with variant spellings. Add parentheses when using OR.
(latin america or argentina or colombia)
(organization or organisation)

NOT - use to narrow a search to get more relevant results
mexico not new mexico


Use to find words with different word endings.
e.g. immigrant* yields immigrant, immigrants
e.g. immigra* yields immigrant, immigrants, immigrate, immigration, immigrating, etc.

Truncation (or wildcard) symbols:

• Most databases use an asterisk (*).
• LexisNexis uses an exclamation mark (!).
• AU Library catalog and World News Connection use a question mark (?).
• iPolls & RoperExpress use a percentage sign (%).
• Ovid databases use dollar sign ($).

    Proximity search:

    Use to find words that are close to each other on a page.
    It is one way to find more relevant results.

    Each family of databases has its own command words.

    nnumber=words near another word in any order, within a certain number
    fundamental* n3 islam*

    same=words in same paragraph
    sex trafficking same ngo*

    nearnumber=words near another word in any order, within a certain number
    president* near3 speech

    =words near each other in any order, within a certain number
    "watershed planning"~10

    w/number=words within a specified number of words, in any order
    human rights w/2 violations

    w/s=words within the same sentence
    crime w/s (dc or district of columbia)

    w/p=words within the same paragraph
    gays w/p military

    near/number=words near another word in any order, within a certain number
    renewable energy near/5 viable

    =words near another word in any order, within a certain number

    Web of Science:
    Web of Knowledge:
    Social Science Citation Index:
    near/number=words near another word in any order, within a certain number
    government near/3 fund*