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Database Guides: LexisLibrary

Information about using the various databases in the A-Z Online Resources,


What is it?

LexisLibrary (formerly known as LexisNexis Butterworths) contains a wide range of case reports, including unreported cases, the full text of around 60 UK law journals, and the Butterworths Tax Direct service. The Index to Legal Periodicals was withdrawn on 2.12.2011 but access to content is largely unaffected.

What is it for?

Use LexisLibrary to find reported and unreported cases, journal articles on legal topics, and Butterworths Tax Direct material.

How to access it

Login to the Portal and then choose LexisLibrary from the A-Z List of Online Resources

How to search

See More Searching, below.

Full text?

Yes. (Some cases may be citation only)

Other useful resources

See the Law Subject Research Guide.

Further help

Click on "help" at the top of the LexisLibrary screen.

More Searching

Search operators

Within LexisLibrary, you can use the following operators in your searches:

AND to narrow your search, e.g., Scotland AND children

OR to broaden your search, e.g., offense OR offence

AND NOT to exclude results, e.g., fraud AND NOT mortgage (use this with caution, as it can often remove useful results)

W/# for within a number of words, e.g., doctor W/5 malpractice

W/S to find words within the same sentence

W/P to find words within the same paragraph

Truncation: use ! at the end of a word, e.g., mone! will find money, monetary, monetarism, etc.

An excellent guide on how to construct searches in LexisLibrary is available on their website at

Finding a case

Click on the cases link on the search toolbar near to the top of the screen (labelled 1 on the image below).

If you are looking for cases about a topic, use the "Search terms" box (labelled 2a on the image below). Enter your keywords carefully, using the search operators described above. (NB the truncation symbol in LexisLibrary is ! not *)

If you have a case citation, you should use the "Citation" search box (labelled 2b on the image below). You do not need to include any brackets or punctuation in the citation search box.

Screenshot showing position of case search boxes.

Finding a journal article

Click on the journals link on the search toolbar near to the top of the screen (labelled 1 on the image below).

To find journal articles about a topic, enter your keywords in the "Search terms" box (labelled 2a on the image below). You should link your keywords together carefully, using the search operators described above. (NB the truncation symbol in LexisNexis Butterworths is ! not *)

If you have an article citation, you can use the "article citation" search box (labelled 2b on the image below). Use the "citation help" link next to the citation search box for guidance on how to enter your citation - you do not need to include any brackets or punctuation in the search box, and you should enter citations using the journal's abbreviation, rather than typing out the full journal name.

Browsing for journal articles

Alternatively, instead of using the search box, you could click on the browse link (labelled 3 on the image below), and then browse to locate the correct issue of your journal. You can also use the browse link if you want to read a journal, rather than look for a specific article.

Screenshot showing position of journal search boxes.

Researching using International legal journals in LexisLibrary

LexisLibrary provides you with access to over 800 full text US law reviews and journals and a range of full text journals from Commonwealth jurisdictions including Australia and Canada. The simplest way to find and search this content is via the ‘Group Files’ we have on LexisLibrary. These large files combine all of the relevant law journals and reviews in a single dataset.

Examples of these Group Files are:

Law Reviews, CLE, Legal Journals & Periodicals, Combined

US Law Reviews and Journals, Combined

US & Canadian Law Reviews, Combined

One easy way to search this content is using the International Journals search screen to find full text law journal information across a range of different jurisdictions.

From the LexisLibrary homepage, you should click on the ‘Journals’ tab at the top of the page.

LexisLibrary Quick Find box

Clicking on that tab will take you the ‘Journals’ search page. Once there you will see a link to ‘International Journals’ on the left hand side of the screen.

QuickFind Box

If you click on that link, you will be taken to the ‘International Journals’ search screen. From here, you can search all individual full text journals from around the world and the large group files identified above. To do this, you should click on the ‘Sources’ drop down. This will provide you with a list of the top 25 most heavily used individual law reviews and group files.

LexisLibrary start page


Once you have chosen your publication or group file you can construct a search using search terms, or search by ‘Article title’, ‘Author’ or ‘Article citation’.

An alternative way to find these files is by searching through the ‘Find a Source’ box on the LexisLibrary Homepage

Alternative QuickFind

Add in some of the name of the group file and click ‘Find’.

Group File

If you have found the file you want to search, click on the box on the left to add a ‘tick’ and the file name will then turn red. To search that file, click on ‘Continue’ in the red box on the right hand side of the screen.

Find sources, continue

This will then place the file you have selected in the ‘Sources’ box on the General search form.

General Search Box

From here, you can construct any search you want and get results back from the 800+ US law reviews in that group file.

View tagged


If you do not want to search the full text of international and UK law journals, you can now search our improved ‘Journals Index *Plus*’, which indexes over 500 UK and international law journals from around the world.

To find the ‘Journals Index *Plus*’, you should go to the ‘Journals’ search page and click on the ‘Journals Index’ link on the left hand side of the screen.

All subscribed sources

Once in the Journals Index page, you will search ‘Journals Index *Plus*’ by default. You can search using a variety of different options as you can see below. If you want to know exactly which indexed journals you will be searching across, just click on the ‘What do we cover?’ link.

What do we cover