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Recommended Databases and Search Tools


Books, DVDs, etc.


The purpose of this guide is to recommend print and electronic library resources for research in Law and Justice.  Click on the links on the left for suggestions about starting your research, getting books and articles, and finding other useful tools. I am also available to assist. Please email me with your topic or to make an appointment.

Subject Librarian

NGerolami's picture
Name: Natasha Gerolami, MLIS, PhD
Position Title: Bibliothécaire agrégée / Associate Librarian
Email Address:
Extension: (705) 675-1151 poste 3325
Office Location: Bibliothèque J.N. Desmarais Library 30-250

More Help

In the library: The Library User Assistance Desk to your immediate left as you enter the library is a good place to start.

By email: Email the librarian responsible for your faculty for a reply during regular working hours.

Research consultations: Book a research consultation with the librarian responsible for your faculty by Zoom or phone.

By chat: With our "Ask the Library" service. For more information, see About Ask a Librarian.

For Distance Education students: Telephone: 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2 or email:

Get Started

Legal Dictionaries


  • General

Black's Law Dictionary 1979.  Print.  To find more using the catalogue, click on the subject heading:  Law--Dictionaries.

  • Canadian Law

Canadian Law Dictionary.  2013.  Print.  To find more using the catalogue, click on the subject heading: Law--Canada--Dictionaries.


Canadian guide to uniform legal citation. 8th ed. 2014. Also known as The McGill Guide.

CanLII: Canadian Legal Information Institute. Legal cases, legislation, and related commentary.

Canadian legal research and writing guide. Open access ebook.

Cardiff index to legal abbreviations. Open access international index of short forms.

Labour law terms: a dictionary of Canadian labour law. 1984. Print.

Get Books and Theses

New books

If you want to recommend a book that the library should have, please contact me or fill out the  Please Buy This form.

Recommended E-Book Collections

Dissertations and Theses

  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses ?

    Description: This database includes 2.7 million searchable citations to doctoral dissertation and Master's theses from around the world from 1861 to the present day together with 1.2 million full text dissertations that are available for download in PDF format. Full text has been added since 1997 and strong retrospective full text coverage for older graduate works. Those not available full-text may be ordered privately; they are not normally available through interlibrary loan.

  • Theses Canada ?

    Description: "Canadian universities participate in the program voluntarily by submitting approved theses and dissertation to Theses Canada." Published by Library and Archives Canada.

  • Dissertations & Theses @ Laurentian University ?

    Description: This database gives access to the dissertations and theses produced by students at Laurentian University

  • DART-Europe E-Theses Portal ?

    Description: "The DART-Europe E-theses Portal is a searchable database of electronic research theses held in European repositories. The theses listed are open access - publicly available, in full, without charge." - publisher's info.

  • EThOS — British Library e-theses online service ?

    Description: EThOS is the UK’s national thesis service which aims to maximise the visibility and availability of the UK’s doctoral research theses. There are approximately 380,000 records relating to theses awarded by over 120 institutions. Around 120,000 of these also provide access to the full text thesis, either via download from the EThOS database or via links to the institution’s own repository.

  • Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) ?

    Description: aims to be the best possible resource for finding open access graduate theses and dissertations published around the world. - Publisher's description

Get Articles

Quick Tip

If you need to find an article--and you have the full journal citation--then you can often get to it quickly using Electronic Journals (A-Z).  Type in the name of the journal, click on the correct journal name, click on the appropriate year / volume / issue, then find your article on the list by starting page number. Please note that you cannot use the A-Z list to search by subject or by article title--the list only supplies access to known electronic journal titles.

Articles: Quick Tips

The databases to the right provide references to many scholarly journal articles and papers.

  1. Start off with keyword searches expressing your topic. Keyword searching crosses all fields.
  2. Use Search Operators such as "OR" and "AND" to expand or reduce your results.
  3. Review those items that look relevant, then, exploit the details within those entries to help lead you to other relevant articles.
    • Pay attention to the subject headings (often called "descriptors") to see how the database describes your topic and use them to find related articles.
    • Find other papers written by the same author; these will typically be on similar subjects.
    • Follow citation trails: other articles that have cited this article will probably be on a related subject and will include citations to other articles of interest.
  4. For more Secrets of Searching a Database, review that section in How to Research Like a Librarian.

Recommended Starting Databases

  • HeinOnline ?

    Description: Contains more than 1,400 law and law-related periodicals including most Canadian legal journals. Coverage is from the first issue published for all periodicals and goes through the most-currently published issues allowed based on contracts with publishers. This is to be preferred to Lexis-Nexis since the articles appear as they do in the print journal.

  • Nexis Uni ?

    Description: Nexis Uni is a rich source of news, business and legal information.

Subject Databases

  • bepress Legal Repository ?

    Description: The bepress Legal Repository is a network of law-related research materials. Law schools, research units, institutes, centers, think tanks, conferences, and other subject-appropriate groups post materials to specific publications (e.g., the USC Working Paper Series). This high-quality content may be downloaded freely by interested readers.

  • Canadian Business & Current Affairs™ (CBCA) Complete ?

    Description: More than 4.5 million records from 1,730 titles covering current events, business, education, science, the arts, and academic information as produced in Canada. The database also includes a few Canadian legal journals that are in neither Hein Online nor Lexis-Nexis, also full-text.

Some Related Databases

  • America: History and Life ?

    Description: Covers literature on the history and culture of the U.S. and Canada from prehistory to the present. The index includes 1,700 journals from as far back as 1910. Access is limited to 6 concurrent users.

  • Canadian Periodicals Index Quarterly (CPI.Q) ?

    Description: The CPI provides access to articles from a comprehensive list of Canadian and international journals, magazines, selected sections of the Globe and Mail, Canadian biographies and other reference content from Gale™, all with a Canadian focus. Indexing from 1980 to present; Full-text articles from 1983 to present.

  • EBSCOhost Platform Databases ?

    Description: Multidisciplinary platform containing many databases in different disciplines, such as the humanities, social sciences, education, arts and natural sciences.

  • Google Scholar ?

    Description: "Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature... across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites."

  • Historical Abstracts ?

    Description: Historical Abstracts covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more. This authoritative database provides indexing of more than 2,300 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955. Access is limited to 6 concurrent users.

  • ProQuest Platform Databases ?

    Description: Multidisciplinary platform containing many databases in multiple disciplines, such as the humanities, social sciences, education, arts and natural sciences.

Peer Review

Peer Review is the evaluation of creative work by scholars in the same field in order to maintain or enhance the quality of the work in that field.

In the case of peer reviewed journals, which are usually academic, peer review generally refers to the evaluation of the articles in them prior to publication. For more, check out this definition of peer review.

  • To ascertain whether a journal is peer reviewed, consult Ulrichsweb.

Citation Sources

When researching a paper, it is useful to consult the citations used by the author of an article that you find relevant.  But that article itself may have been cited by other authors after it was first written. Two sources help you identify such citations:

Getting Articles @ Laurentian

In any database, when you see an article that interests you, click on it and, unless the article is available within the database itself, within the record you will see an image that says "Get it @ Laurentian":

Get it at Laurentian

When you click on that,  you will arrive at a menu which will lead to an electronic copy of the article you want, or, if not available electronically, to Laurentian's catalogue which will allow you to check if the article is available in print in the library, and if not, to a final link which allows you to order the item through Interlibrary loan.

Get Cases

Canadian Cases


Use the library catalogue to find print holdings such as Supreme Court Reports, Ontario Reports, Canadian Criminal Cases, Reports of Family Law, Canadian Rights Reporter, Canadian Human Rights Reporter, Labour Arbitration Cases, and Canadian Labour Law Reports.

Provides access to primary Canadian legal material by jurisdiction, federal and provincial, including the full text of judgements as issued by courts, as well as rulings of boards and tribunals. Commentaries are also available from CanLII Connects.

All Supreme Court of Canada cases are available from 1877 in their official version as published in the Supreme Court Reports and in CanLII.

Nexis Uni (Quicklaw)
Court cases since the late 1800s.

US Cases

Nexis Uni


  • U.S. Supreme Court decisions from January 1790 to present, searchable by majority opinion, minority opinion, concurring opinion, counsel, or headnotes
  • U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decisions
  • U.S. District Court decisions from 1789 to present
  • Decisions from Bankruptcy Courts; U.S. Court of International Trade; Tax Courts; Courts of Customs and Patent Appeals, and Veterans, Commerce, and Military Courts
  • State court decisions at all court levels for all 50 states and territories



UK and Other Jurisdictions

Hein Online

Includes English Reports, Full-Reprint (1220-1867).  This collection contains over 100,000 cases, representative of 265 separate series of Reports, arranged by Courts.

Nexis Uni

Includes cases from most Commonwealth countrties. 

UK Cases cover from 1558 through current and include

  • All England Law Reports Reprints from 1558 (when available),
  • ICLR Law Reports from 1865,
  • All England Law Reports from 1936 and other law reports from 1945.
  • Scottish reported cases from 1982 and
  • Northern Ireland cases from 1945.
  • Unreported cases from England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 1980.

Get Statutes

Canadian Legislation


CanLII provides access to primary Canadian legal material by jurisdiction, federal and provincial, including current legislation and regulations.

Nexis Uni

Current legislation plus earlier legislation (from mid 1980s) from Canada, B.C., Alberta and Ontario. Regulations also available. 

Federal legislation is also available at: and Ontario provincial legislation at Current Federal Bills are available at and Ontario Bills at:

US and Other Jurisdictions

Hein Online

In Hein Online, the Session Laws Library provides access to federal legislation not only from Canada (1792 to within a year or so), but to Australia (1901 to a year or two), the Bahamas (1968-1996), and the United States (1789 to three years ago).

Nexis Uni

Searchable access to the most current US laws including federal statutes, codes and regulations as well as state statutes, codes and regulations.


Get Films

Online Film Collections

  • NFB (National Film Board) ?

    Description: The NFB's online Screening Room features over 3,000 films, excerpts, trailers and interactive works (including) documentaries, animation, experimental films and fiction (with a Canadian context or perspective.) Faculty can activate additional CAMPUS tools on their personal NFB account to create playlists of film snippets ("chapters") and entire films for classes; contact Alain Lamothe ( for details.

Need a Film Not in Laurentian's Online Film Collections?

​Consult: Watmedia (Provincial Multi-media Catalogue).  Material held by Laurentian may be signed out in the library. To order a film not available at Laurentian, please email and specify the date(s) you require the item.

Questions:  Please contact Ginette Gervais, coordinator of interlibrary loan.

The Best Internet Portals


Canadian Law
International Law



Citing Sources and Zotero

Publication Manual of the APA and Chicago Manual of Style

The Department recommends APA or Chicago style for citations and bibliographies.

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations (known as "Turabian" after its first author) introduces Chicago. 9th ed. 2018. Print.

The Chicago Manual of Style. 17th ed. 2017. Print. There also is this quick guide on the Chicago website.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Also known as the APA style manual. 7th ed. 2019. Print.

APA style and grammar guidelines.  The American Psychological Association's online guide to what you need to know.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab. The best open-access site for learning how to cite in APA, Chicago, and other styles.

Guides to Legal Citation and Research

The standard resource for legal citation is:

Canadian guide to uniform legal citation. 8th ed. 2014. Also known as The McGill Guide.

We also recommend:

Canadian legal research and writing guide. Open access ebook.

Managing citations with Zotero

Zotero is a free, web-based citation manager that allows you to: 

  • Directly import references from article databases, the library catalogue, e-book collections, etc.
  • Manage and organize your references.
  • Create a bibliography.
  • Share your references with others
  • Add in-text citation and a bibliography directly into your assignment 

To enable Zotero's Library Lookup service to find full-text documents licensed by Laurentian University, set Edit->Preferences->Advanced->General->Resolver to

Getting started with Zotero:

Law and Justice Databases

Some items are licensed for use by members of the Laurentian University community; use by others may be restricted.

Proxy server accounts

are available to Laurentian University members who wish to use licensed products from off campus.

= Recommended Starting Database

Subject Databases

Some Internet Portals


Book Reviews




Legal Citation