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Research Support Guide for Law Postgraduate Students and Academic Staff

Research support assistance and useful library resources for Postgraduate students and Academic Staff


HeinOnline contains US materials (cases, legislation) as well as some international materials and classical legal materials. It also contains a large number of law journals, including South African law journals.

Heinonline is a useful database for researching law - especially with regards to journal articles, treaties, foreign case law (especially US) as well as other international materials.

HeinOnline has an easy-to-use search box at the top that can be used to conduct a quick search.

Alternatively, you can select the area which you want to search within (eg. Law Journal Library) from the contents on the left of the screen.

Search for journal articles quickly by typing in your search query at the top search box, then using the dropdown option and select 'Law Journal Library' instead of 'All subscribed collections'.

If you want to search for articles within a specific journal - you can look for the journal by selecting "Law Journal Library" from the contents and then using the A-Z list to locate your journal. Once you have clicked on a journal title, a list will open which allows you either to search through the contents of different volumes or to conduct a search within the title by simply typing in your query and clicking 'search'.

If you are interested in finding articles by a specific author that you know (such as Dr Chuma Himonga) you can access the 'advanced search' option under the search bar and then in the 'author' box type in the author's surname only. If it is a common surname, you can add the authors' name after the surname (eg. Himonga, Chuma).

The results list will then display only articles written by your chosen author.

By using the 'Citation Navigator' tab it is possible to quickly access an article if you know the citation. Simply type in your citation and click 'Get Citation'

A citation in HeinOnline should look like this (using Volume 7 of the Journal of Comparative Law as an example):

7 J. Comp. L. 1

It can be broken down into Volume Journal Abbreviation Page Number

To find the citation of a journal you can click on 'Find Bluebook Citation' which allows you to browse alphabetically the titles and find their citations.

Once you have conducted your search you can refine your search by using the options on the left - hand tab as follows:

Section Type - this refers to the type of document such as an article vs a case. You can filter this to only view the type you are searching for

Subject - this refers to the subject area within which it falls in such as company law

Titles - refers to where it is published so you can filter by title

Country Published - you can refine this to only look at specific countries' publication (such as South Africa)

State - this allows you to refine to a specific US state in which it is published in

Dates - you can refine to reflect certain periods (such as 2010 - date)


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