How to search

Unfortunately there are no international databases for law that contain all the important publications and documents. Most databases are limited to a specific country or geographical area, containing both legislation, jurisdiction and legal doctrine for that region. Therefor you will have to thoroughly consider which database(s) to consult. In the overview of databases you can find a list of all the databases available at the university. The most important ones are listed again on the webpage Databases in detail with more detailed information on their content and use.

When searching for law literature, the Discovery Service doesn’t always provide a good solution because many law databases aren’t included. A search in the Discovery Service can certainly yield interesting information but will never provide a complete overview of existing literature. It will also not contain any legislation or jurisdiction. You will therefore often have to supplement the Discovery Service with a query in other databases. More information on the use and contents of the Discovery Service can be found under Search – How to search? – Search in Discovery Service.

When looking for a specific journal (article) or a book, you can best use the catalogue, which will guide you to the correct database or website. More detailed information on how to search for a book, article or dissertation can be found under Search – How to Search?.

When looking for a good textbook on a specific law specialty, the online guide for legal searches by the KULeuven,, can be of some help. You can look up the titles you find there in our catalogue to see whether we have a copy in the library. 

Finally, the library also offers a general course on information literacy in Blackboard, with information on how to search efficiently in scientific resources, besides other types of information such as tutorials, instructions, powerpoint presentations and news.