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Researching Topics in Health Law   Tags: health agencies, health law, illinois health law, medcial, nursing, public health law  

Last Updated: Feb 20, 2013 URL: http://law.libguides.depaul.edu/healthlaw Print Guide RSS Updates

Journal Articles Print Page

Health and Science Journals

Medical Journal ArticlesWhen doing research on health law topics, it is often useful, or even necessary to make use of primary source material in the health science field. Unlike the field of law, where the primary sources of information are found in statutes and case law, medical science relies on journal articles as a communication medium because they are published much more quickly than books, thereby rapidly disseminating the latest medical information. Textbooks are relied on secondarily, to provide a standard overview of a particular medical practice area, such as pediatrics or neurology. Since journal articles are the major source of current medical information, the subject indexes to these articles are extremely important. Medical indexes are highly sophisticated, in order to be sure that health care providers will be able to easily find every relevant article on a topic. Consult a reference librarian for information on indices relating to particular health fields


Academic Search Premier (1980’s-  ) - Provides full text for more than 4500 publications  (3700 which are peer reviewed) covering academic areas of study including social sciences, humanities, education, and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies.

 Contemporary Women Issues (1992- ) - More than 1500 sources published by over 200 organizations around the world. Coverage begins with sources from 1992 and expands through the present with more than 150 periodicals in addition to non-periodical source publications. Sources provide information dealing with women's issues in over 190 nations. Access is provided on an annual subscription basis.

Ethnic News-Watch – Is a full-text collection of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press. Includes articles editorials, columns, and reviews which provide a broad diversity of perspectives and viewpoints.

After having searched all the above databases, Check Find Journals & Newspapers - To locate subscriptions that include the journal you are seeking. If you can't find your journals on E-Journal Finder, you can request an interlibrary loan
Google Scholar- provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources for articles,theses, books,abstracts and court opinions from academic publishers, professional organizations, online repositories, universities and other websites..

The University libraries web page includes links to electronic subscriptions on covering a variety of research subjects.  Below are some of the featured sources.

Electronic Sources:

Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition

            Indexes scholarly journals in many medical disciplines; with full text. 


 Indexes biomedical journals from MEDLINE and additional life science journals. Also links to molecular biology databases of DNA/protein sequences and 3-D structure data. 


Social Sciences

Social Sciences Index (1983-   ) (Lincoln Park and Loop Campus Libraries- print ONLY) 
Indexes articles in all areas of the social sciences, from 350 English-language journals. It covers anthropology, ethnic studies, economics, environment, geography, health, law and criminology, public administration, political science, psychology, sociology, urban studies and women's studies.


Cover Art
Hospital and health administration index. - American Hospital Association.; American Hospital Association. Resource Center.; National Library of Medicine (U.S.);
Call Number: RA960 .H682
ISBN: 608342308
Publication Date: 1995
Formerly Hospital Literature Index- indexes journal articles on hospital administration and other health care institutions.

Cover Art
Excerpta Medica - Amsterdam : Excerpta Medica,
Call Number: PER. 570.5 I33
Publication Date: 1992
An important international index, it contains 55% European journals. Online version contains about 25% more citations. (This is available in print at Lincoln Park)

Full Set of the Excerpta Medica Abstract Journals contains forty-one printed current awareness journals, each devoted to a specific biomedical topic or discipline covering the entire range of basic and clinical aspects. Every journal contains bibliographic references and abstracts summarizing original articles from primary research and clinical journals. The records are carefully selected from 4,000 journals from 70 countries around the world, which makes the Excerpta Medica Abstract Journals very comprehensive. Furthermore, the journals are easy to browse as each issue contains a contents table, a subject index and an author index, which are cumulated at the end of the volume.

Statutory Sources


  • United States Code (Relevant titles include: Titles 15, 21, 24 and 42)
  • Official and annotated codes in print – ( Law Library 5th floor)
  • Lexis: Legal > Area of Law-By Topic > Healthcare > Statutes & Regulations > Federal Legislative Materials
  • Westlaw: Directory > Statutes > All Federal
  • United States Code or http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode
  • Health Care Law Sources - Lexis: Legal > Area of Law - By Topic > HealthCare > Analysis, Law Reviews & Journals > Matthew Bender (R) > Health Care Law Sourcebook

 Proposed Legislation:

  • Thomas (for the full text and status of pending and recently enacted health legislation, try a word search in the current Congress)
  • Lexis: Legal > Legislation & Politics - U.S. & U.K.> U.S. Congress > Congressional Full Text Bills - Current Congress
  • Westlaw (CONG-BILLTXT)

Federal Legislative Histories:

  • For some federal health laws, there are compiled legislative histories available in the law library’s collection. These compilations usually include bills, Congressional Record debates, reports and hearings.
  • To find a compiled legislative history, try a keyword search in the catalog; such as “food drug and cosmetic act and legislation history.
  • Good starting places for legislative history research include the following:
    • United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCAAN) (KF48.U53) 5th Floor Stacks
    • Thomas (93rd Congress 1973-present)

State Legislative Materials:

·       Cornell's Legal Information Institute's State Statutes by Topic: Health  links to state health laws by state. The currency of the statutes varies by state.

·       BNA publications are another good source of state legislative materials, especially new legislative developments.

o   Major Health Care Policies: Fifty State Profiles (RA413.5.U5 H43 2000) provides annual update of significant health issues states addressed in that year.

o   Westlaw: SURVEYS database provides 50 state surveys on over 40 health care topics. Sources: National Survey of State Laws, Multi-jurisdictional Survey, and West Surveys. Currency varies.

o   National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. The NCSL Web site provides research results on various public policy issues. Sometimes, NCSL provides 50-state analysis.

o     Subject Compilations of State Laws (1981- ) [LAW REF. KF1 .F67] is an annotated bibliography listing journal articles or other publications that survey state laws on various topics.


    Locating Law Review and Journal Articles

    For recent articles, online sources are the most effective. You can use Lexis or Westlaw, for the full text of many (but NOT all) law journals, or you can use online indexes from the Library's database listing to get citations for articles in just about all legal journals.

    How to Locate:

    Index to Legal Periodicals and Books (formerly Index to Legal Periodicals- 1908-1993) [KF8.1561] Citations to articles from over 800 law and law related periodicals and journals; plus over 1400 monographs published in 1993 or later. The Law Library maintains a print copy at the Law Index Table on the 6th floor:

     Also available through:

    •  Westlaw: ILP
    •  Lexis: Legal > Secondary Legal > Annotations & Indexes > Index to Legal Periodicals

    LegalTrac (AKA Legal Resource Index)- Law Library subscription  

    Cumulative indexing of approximately 875 titles including major law reviews, legal newspapers, bar association journals and international legal journals. Each title included in LegalTrac™ is selected on the basis of criteria provided by a special advisory committee of the American Association of Law Libraries. LegalTrac™ also contains law-related articles from over 1,000 additional business and general interest titles. Coverage begins in 1980.

     Also available:

       Westlaw: LRI

       Lexis > Legal > Secondary Legal > Annotations & Indexes > Legal Resource Index

    If you are using an index that includes only citations, you can obtain the full-text of your articles by doing the following:

     Search in the library's catalog, VOYAGER under the title of the journal to see if it is in our collection. We have almost all scholarly legal journals

    The university library also subscribes to many mega-databases which include full-text journal articles; more are increasingly available in. pdf format. Below are some recently added links;

       Full-Text Medical Journals (beyond 2 years) LexisNexis Academic 

       Free Medical Journals Site  http://www.freemedicaljournals.com/

    1. Use the Find Journals & Articles to find electronic journals available either in various mega-databases or directly through different publishers. You can search by title or subject of the journal (not the article) you wish to retrieve, click the resulting search results to connect to the electronic version of that journal and open the correct issue to retrieve your article.
    2.     If you need an article from a journal that the library doesn't have contact a reference librarian at (312) 362-6894; or through Online Reference. (http://vrlplus.cb.docutek.com/depaullaw/vrl_entry.asp)
    3.  We can help you find a library that does have it; where you can go and photocopy the article, or we can show you how to request the article on interlibrary loan (You can request interlibrary loans online at (http://law.depaul.edu/library/student_services/interlibrary_loan.asp)


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