ILP (along with ILP Retrospective) and LegalTrac provide a searchable index of approximately 1,000 legal periodicals and other legal works. Each service provides abstracts and citations; full text of select works may be available. Although both ILP and LegalTrac have extensive coverage, their coverage does not fully overlap. Therefore, search both indexes to be as thorough as possible.
These indexes are useful to:
Both ILP and LegalTrac are subscription databases that can be accessed via Tarlton's website, either through TALLONS, the online catalog, or on the Databases page. (Tarlton no longer receives these in print; Current Law Index is the print equivalent of LegalTrac.).
Lexis Advance and Westlaw also provide access to LegalTrac (known instead as the "Legal Resource Index"), but not the ILP. However, the indexes are most user friendly when accessed via their customized subscription databases.
Both ILP and LegalTrac cover periodicals back through at least 1980. (Lexis's version of LegalTrac coverage extends to 1977.) Additionally, ILP Retrospective, a separate database, provides coverage from 1908 through 1981.
There are a variety of search options for each index. Not only can you tailor your search terms to a variety of fields, such as keyword, author, or title, but you can also limit your searches by date or by document type. Once you run the search, you can also organize your search results in a variety of manners, such as by relevance, date of publication, journal, subject, or the frequency with which the publication is cited.
When you do not have a specific citation in mind and want to find whatever relevant articles are available on a given topic, doing a general keyword search is best. Then, once you find an article that is on point, look for a hyperlinked "subject" to find similar, related articles.
You can often access the full text of the document online through either index. If the full text is unavailable, you must try other databases, such as HeinOnline, Lexis, Westlaw, or the journal's website to see if it has an online archives. Failing that, check the library's online catalog, TALLONS, to check availability in print.
Relative advantages/disadvantages of ILP & LegalTrac: