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Journal Editor Resources: Researching Comments

This guide is intended to serve as a consolidation of content from several different guides to help Penn Law students as they approach the process of researching and writing a note or comment for their law journal.

Getting Started

Legal scholarship can come in a variety of formats:

1. Law review articles. These may be written by academics, law students (student notes), or practicing attorneys. 

2. Books. Frequently authored by academics, these provide in-depth analyses of particular issues. 

3. Current awareness/analysis. These are usually authored by practitioners and may appear in current awareness publications, such as BNA Law Reports, but may also appear in blogs or online supplements offered by law reviews.

4. Unpublished scholarship/working papers.

Below are some links to help you find these different resources. Always consider which formats may be most popular for your topic.  

Searching Journals, Legal Periodicals, and Other Scholarship

There are many different ways to locate relevant articles related to your subject. You can do full text searching in Lexis, Westlaw, Google Scholar, the library catalogs, or a number of other databases (for useful non-legal databases, see the Non-Legal tab). 

You might also be able to more efficiently locate material by searching specific fields in an advanced search. This will allow you to search for articles with specific words in the title or summary, or by a certain other. 


Legal Periodicals Indexes: A highly recommended resource is a legal periodicals index. There are several, each with different strengths. Search by subject or keyword, to locate articles that fall under your topic.

Searching for Specific Titles (Looking for a Book)

To locate books/monographs, just search the library catalog! Or, if you are looking beyond the library, check out one of the other resources listed. 

Legal Newspapers, Blogs, Other Current Awareness

Often, current awareness scholarship will be indexed and findable via the legal periodicals indexes listed elsewhere on this page. 

Working Papers/Unpublished Scholarship