FAQs for LLM and MA Students

For an online introductory tour of the Library click here.

How do I know whether you have a particular journal title available electronically?

First check the web list of serials. There is a link to this from the electronic law library . This list contains links to electronic versions, where available, of titles which are held in hard copy in the Library. The list does NOT include titles which may be available electronically only ie where we do not hold a hard-copy version. You will need to look in the journal sections of the databases Lexis, Westlaw and HeinOnline for such titles. It is particularly worth doing this if the title is a US journal as these make up the vast majority of titles contained within these three databases.

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Which electronic resources can I get to offsite?

The following resources are accessible offsite to LLM students:

  • Beck Online (Selected databases)
  • Bermuda Law Reports
  • Foreign Law guide (Reynolds and Flores)
  • HeinOnline
  • IBFD Online
  • I-law: Maritime law resources
  • Index to Foreign Periodicals
  • International law in Domestic Courts
  • Internet Newsletter for Lawyers
  • ISI Web of Knowledge
  • Justis.com
  • LLMC Digital
  • Max Planck Encyclopaedia of Public International Law
  • Oxford Reports on International Law
  • OSO – Oxford Scholarship Online: Law 

To access these databases remotely, you will need to follow the link from our Electronic Law Library page, and log in using your IALS library card details. For further information regarding offsite to these databases, see the Electronic Law Library page, or ask at the Issue & Enquiry desk.

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How many books can I borrow?

THREE books from the main collection may be borrowed at any time during the day for use outside the Library. These books must be returned to the Issue & enquiry Desk, or the self-return machine on the 2nd floor, by closing time the next day (or on Monday if borrowed on Saturday). They can also be renewed up to a maximum of three times, reservations permitting, online via the Library Catalogue, over the phone, or at the Issue & Enquiry Desk. FINES are charged on the late return of main collection books of £1 per day to encourage their prompt return.

TWO books  may be borrowed from the Short Loan Collection at one time. Books are due back at 10am the next day or 10am on Monday if borrowed on a Saturday.

Books borrowed from the Short Loan Collection may be used outside the Library. Books borrowed after 4.45pm (2.15pm Saturday) are normally due back by 10am the next day (or Monday if borrowed on a Saturday). No serials or looseleaf books may be borrowed from the Library.

FINES are charged on the late return of all Short Loan books and serials of 50p per hour to encourage their prompt return.

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Does the library have Wifi?

Yes, wireless networking is available throughout the IALS building, although please note that you will need to be on one of our networked PCs in order to access the electronic resources. Please see our ‘Connecting to the IALS wireless network guide'

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Do I need an account for copying/printing/scanning?

Your full IALS library card already has a print/copy account attached to it – you will need to add money to this account in order to print, copy, and scan using our machines, either using the kiosk in the photocopy room, or at the issue and enquiry desk. The copy/scan machines are located in rooms 201 & 202 on the 2nd floor of the library, with an additional machine on floor L2, and printers are located in the Electronic Legal Research Unit on 5th floor and carrel 203 on 2nd floor. Each scanned/copied/printed page costs 5p. For further information on how to use the machines and manage your print/copy account, please see our ‘Library Printing, Copying, Scanning’ guide.

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How do I find out what an abbreviation of a series of law reports or journal title on my reading list stands for?

A good starting point is the list of selected legal abbreviations which can be found on the web list of serials and at the front of each wall list of serials in the Library. If this does not have the abbreviation which you are looking try the online Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations, (linked from our library catalogue).

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How do I find out whether there are any offprints held in the library for my course?

Go to Other Search Options on the front page of the library catalogue. Select the Offprint Course Search option and type in the name of your course to show a full list of all offprints held behind the Issue & enquiry desk for that course. You simply need to ask for the offprints by number (starting with an X) at the desk. You can take up to 5 offprints at one time for 3 hours.

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Is there any training available?

IALS library run a comprehensive training programme for LLM students every Autumn term covering basic orientation, use of databases and citations, with repeat sessions throughout the year. Additionally, in Spring and Summer terms students may make a one-to-one reference appointment with a librarian to discuss specific research needs. For further information, please see our ‘training’ guide.

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What format should I use for citations in my essay?

This may vary from college to college, so do check your home institution’s style guide and regulations. However, the most common system of citation for legal materials in the UK, and the one which we support here at the library is the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA). This is freely available online, and we run classes in the Autumn and Spring terms about how to use it. For further information, please see our ‘Referencing with OSCOLA’ guide

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Further information

For further information on the please see our general FAQs.

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Page last updated: 16th September 2022