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Online Resources: Westlaw

Learn about the library's online resources: what types of sources they contain, search strategies, and unique features.

About Westlaw

WestlawNext Campus Research is a comprehensive legal research database, providing access to:

  • The complete laws and statutes of the federal government and all 50 states, as published in the United States Code Annotated
  • All federal regulations published in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations
  • All precedent-setting court decisions of the federal and state courts, as presented in the National Reporter System
  • KeyCite, an integrated tool that shows whether any case, statute, or regulation is still good law
  • American Law Reports, a unique research tool that collects and analyzes every court case decided on a particular point of law
  • American Jurisprudence, a comprehensive encyclopedia of state and federal law
  • Current and archived articles from hundreds of leading law reviews and journals

Accessing Westlaw

Log into Blackboard.  Offsite users may need to enter their Single Sign-On username and password.

Find the Library tab on top. Then click on Find Journals and Other Online Resources; then click on Westlaw.

You may have to turn off your pop-up blocker and enable cookies to access Westlaw.

Westlaw basics

On the home page, you can use the search box to find a document by citation or name. You may also browse content using the links in the Browse section.

In searching, you can connect your keywords with Boolean Operators.  The Westlaw Campus Help Guide (linked above) explains the operators; or the Advanced Search option provides multiple search boxes to help you with this.

The search engine examines all core legal content for the jurisdiction you choose. The result is organized by content category, with the most relevant documents listed first.

After you have search results, it is possible to narrow your search by using the filter in the left column. Under VIEW, click on the type of content you wish to see.

You can return to your previous research at any time. Point to History at the top of the page. Your five most recent searches will be displayed until the end of your Westlaw session.

The video below from Thomson Reuters is a good introduction to how to use Westlaw. They do discuss a few features we do not have.

After you have retrieved a search result in Westlaw, you can print, email, or download the documents.  Click on Print, Email, Download or Kindle icon on the toolbar or click on the arrow next to the delivery icon and choose the action you wish to take.

If you wish to continue your research and print or download your documents at a later time during your session, click on Minimize and Continue Researching. Print and download requests are saved in the delivery queue in the lower-right corner of the page. To view the items being saved, click on the View delivery queue icon. To print or download an item, click the button next to the item.

Additional guide pages for deeper searching in Westlaw:

  • For more search tips, including screenshots of search results, please see the Searching Westlaw page.
  • For help with Westlaw Head Notes and Key Numbers, please see the Head Notes and Key Numbers page.
  • For help with KeyCite, please see the KeyCite page.

Chat with a Librarian

Contact the Library

Library hours:

Monday  - Thursday: 8am - 6pm

Friday: 8am - 3pm

Additional hours are available by appointment.

Contact:

Email: Library@centralpenn.edu

Phone: (717) 728-2500

Text: (260) 2ASKREF

​         (260) 227-5733