Studying law at Salford?

By Feb.08, 2017

Nicola Sales

Nicola Sales, Academic Support Librarian for Law

If you are studying law at Salford then you may have a few questions about how to go about finding legal information resources for your studies, assignments or dissertation.

I look at answering some of them in this blog post, if your query isn’t covered here please get in touch with me at

There are four main types of information resources that you will need to consult during your programme. These are:

  • Books or eBooks
  • Legal case materials
  • Legislation (such as Acts of Parliament)
  • Legal Journal articles

See the boxes below for discovering how you would find these four main types of legal information resources.

Information on referencing using OSCOLA is also listed below.

You may also want to find out other information about:

Books or eBooks

stack of book

Find the books and eBooks you need using Salford Library Search

Clifford Whitworth Library, based on the Clifford Whitworth Library is open 24/7 all year. You can borrow up to 25 books if you are an undergraduate student or up to 35 if you are in your final year of your undergraduate degree or studying for a postgraduate qualification. If you are study or live away from campus however we have thousands of eBooks that you can access directly from your computer or mobile device.

You can discover what we have in stock by searching the Library Search system. This one minute guide will quickly show you how to get started searching for the books and eBooks you need.

There also also additional features you can use on the Library Search system to manage your research, discover how to save your favourite items for future quick reference and see exactly where your item you want is held in the Library by reading this blog post about Library Search’s additional features:

button to tutorial on advanced features of library search

discover how to get the most our of Library Search










Legal case materials

Picture of a filing cabinet

A database is just like an electronic filing cabinet

You will also need to find information about legal cases. To find the highest quality academic legal information it is best to use a database. Westlaw is a great database to use if you are new to studying law. It is easy and quick to search and unlike content you may find through using Google you can guarantee that it is the latest legal information available.

 Westlaw is a database…

…it is like electronic filing cabinet and holds lots of   information on a subject area in one place.

…it holds a range of information, e.g. all UK and EU   cases, international materials, legislation and journal   articles, and more

…it allows you to search many resources all at once!

Westlaw can be accessed from off-campus using your network username and password.

To access Westlaw

  1. Search for ‘Westlaw UK’ in Library Search
  2. Click on ‘Online resource’
  3. Enter your network username and password

If you are new to searching for cases on Westlaw UK, take this 5 minute tutorial by clicking on the image below to discover all you need to know to get hold of the legal case material you need:

Screenshot of Westlaw UK elearning module

Click image to access training lesson


Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Act of Parliament

Front page example of an Act of Parliament

You will also need to find Legislation. These could be Acts of Parliament, also known as Statutes, or Statutory Instruments such as regulations or orders. Just like with cases the best place to find the most recent version of a statutes is using a database like Westlaw UK. Westlaw is updated a few times a day so unlike the legislation you may find via Google, you can guarantee that the version of a statute you are reading on screen is current.

If you are new to searching for legislation using Westlaw UK, take this 5 minute tutorial by clicking on the image below to discover all you need to know to access the legislation materials you need:

To access Westlaw

  1. Search for ‘Westlaw UK’ in Library Search
  2. Click on ‘Online resource’
  3. Enter your network username and password
Westlaw legislation elearning module

Click on the image to access the Westlaw Legislation eLearning tutorial

Legal Journal Articles

What are journal articles?

Legal journal article examples

An example of a Legal Journal Title. A weekly magazine covering reports on the legal profession

Journal articles are really useful when you are studying as they are short pieces of text covering very focused topics.

They are the same as magazines that you may read in your leisure time however they contain academic articles about topics in your subject area rather then fashion pieces, television reviews or recipes.

The benefits of using journal articles that you find via the Library Search system is that you can guarantee that they are written by experts.

In law this may be legal academics, judges, solicitors, barristers and leading legal commentators.

Many journals have to go through a process called ‘peer review’. this means that before a legal journal article is published its contents is checked and verified for accuracy by other leading experts in the field.

As journals are published weekly, monthly or quarterly the articles within the journals cover more up-to-date and current topics than the information you may find in textbooks. This is because textbooks can take over a year to be published where as journal articles are published much sooner.

This one minute video illustrates what journal articles are:

The Library has access to thousands of journal articles for you to search online to find evidence to support your arguments. To search for journal articles, access Westlaw UK.

To access Westlaw

  1. Search for ‘Westlaw UK’ in Library Search
  2. Click on ‘Online resource’
  3. Enter your network username and password

Westlaw UK contains the Legal Journals Index, this is a catalogue of all the journal articles published in the UK in law related journal titles. Westlaw has access to many of these articles in full text for you to read on screen.

Find Law Journal Articles

Westlaw has a tutorial which will take you through how to find journal articles. You can access it here:

[This link may not open in Google Chrome browser, please use an alternative browse if the tutorial does not appear]


What if the journal article I need isn’t on Westlaw UK in full text?

Although Westlaw UK has hundreds of journal article in full text, there may be times where only a summary of the article you want is provided. Westlaw UK is one of many online legal information products that we subscribe to at the Library. It is likely that we have access to the journal article you need via another source. Always check Library Search for the title of the journal you need and follow the links from here to access the full text of the individual article.

  1. Check on Westlaw for the title of the journal that your article is published in
  2. Go to Library Search and search for the title of the journal (not the article)
  3. If we subscribe to the journal article electronically the journal title will be listed in the list of your Library Search results.
  4. If we subscribe to the journal you need in print, details of where this is located in the Library will be listed. If you are registered on a distance learning course the library can scan a journal article to you via email. Please contact me using the email above if you need this service.

What if the journal article I need isn’t on Westlaw UK or available via Library Search?

Need something library request service

Request a article we don’t have using the ‘Need Something…?’ service


Occasionally the journal article you need may not be available via Westlaw UK or any of the other legal information sources we have available via Library Search.

If this is the case you can request the item via the ‘Need Something’ Library service:

You can apply for a set number of items for free each academic year. Discover by following the text link above or clicking on the above image.



Referencing your work using OSCOLA

For a guide on referencing your work using the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities [OSCOLA] please check the following online guide:

Image of front screen of OSCOLA FAQ presentation

Have you got questions about OSCOLA? Check the FAQs, it may have the answer









You can find a web guide to referencing different types of information sources such as books, cases, legislation, journal articles and websites online at: [Click the OSCOLA tab]



Remember you can also get support by the following ways:

Check out the Law Support subject page on Skills for Learning: or by contacting Nicola Sales, the Academic Support Librarian for Law

Nicola Sales

Email: Nicola Sales, Academic Support Librarian for Law





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