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Human Rights Research - The Basics

Sources and techniques for getting started with human rights research - especially for the International Human Rights Clinic and other students and faculty at the Univ. of San Francisco School of Law.

Interlibrary Borrowing

If the USF libraries don't have a book or an article you need, we can arrange to borrow books or get copies of articles for you from another library.

Scholarly Articles & Human Rights Research

Scholarly articles on human rights topic can carry more authoritative force than news reports, and their voluminous footnotes will lead you to other useful sources. This page features several good tools for finding articles about human rights. The Zief Library's Finding Articles guide has links to all the article-finding tools available to USF law students.

To see if USF has the journal online or in print, use the Journal Finder. (See the Is the Journal I Need at USF? box below.) Law students, law faculty, and law staff can request copies of articles not available at USF via interlibrary borrowing.

Law Journal Articles - Full Text

These are good tools for searching full-text articles. HeinOnline has by far the largest collection. Lexis and Westlaw are not as comprehensive, but they do well for recent articles.

Index to Legal Periodicals & Books Retrospective

Index to Legal Periodicals includes citations to almost all articles from almost every U.S. law review or journal for the time periods it covers. Searches using broad, general terms — searches that often get too many irrelevant results in full-text search tools — often succeed in Index to Legal Periodicals.

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP)

Try the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals if you want to find articles published outside the United States. IFLP has citations only (not full text), but the Zief Library can arrange to get copies from other libraries for USF law students, faculty, and staff.

Legal & Non-Legal Articles - Google Scholar

Google Scholar, while not comprehensive, provides a quick way to get a cross-disciplinary set of articles. It can be especially useful as you start your research and are still refining your search terms.

Non-Legal Scholarly Articles

To find non-legal articles, start with these sites. 

For scholarly articles, look for a way to limit your search to or filter your results for "peer reviewed" articles.

If you find a citation to an article but no working link to the text, use USF's Journal Finder to see if USF has the journal in print or digital format.

Is the Journal I Need at USF?

So you have a citation to a great-sounding article — but not direct link to the full text....

How do you tell if the article is available at USF?

Just use USF's "Journal Finder" to look up the title of the journal that published the article. If that journal is available at USF, it will (usually) show up in the journal finder.  

(One caveat: the Journal Finder doesn't tell you if a journal is on Westlaw or on Lexis Advance.)

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