The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP), the world’s only multilingual legal journal index, can help you assist patrons who seek credible foreign-language secondary law sources, from attorneys with transnational practices to students or faculty members researching comparative law topics. Established as a print resource by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) in 1960, IFLP has since migrated to HeinOnline’s electronic research platform, making it even easier to use.
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How to Use the Index
BROWSING BY SUBJECT IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES
In the IFLP, filters enable users to browse entries and refine results by date, language of publication, subject, country, and geographic region.
The language metadata comes from IFLP’s indexers who assign one or more subject headings in English, Spanish, French, and German to each article they index. This allows users to search or browse by subject in these languages for articles published in the same or any other language.
If you only speak English for example, but are looking for articles in German, you can use English index terms to find those German-language articles.
To browse the alphabetical list of subject headings in each of the four languages, click on the Subjects tab in the center of the IFLP database landing page. You’ll see that it is cross-referenced.
For example, if you go to M and look for “Mergers,” it will direct you to the hyperlinked subject “Corporations: Consolidation and Merger,” which is the index term used by the IFLP. You’ll also notice a scope note that gives the various subjects for which the index term is used. For example, “Corporations: Consolidation and Merger” is used for the subjects “takeovers,” “fusión,” and “rachat de sociétés,” among many others. You’ll also see broader and more narrow related index terms that you might be interested in.
BROWSING BY COUNTRY
You could also choose to begin with a Country Subject.
Say you wanted to research women’s rights in Uganda. You could click “Country Subject” then navigate to Uganda. This creates a results list of 224 articles predominantly about Uganda.
If you use the filters on the left and narrow your results to those having the subject “women,” you will find 24 on-point articles. You can also combine browsing by subject with keyword searching by clicking the “search within results” arrow icon.
keyword and field searching
The database’s search interface also supports keyword searching and field searching in multiple languages.
When you click the “Search IFLP” tab, you can perform a keyword search across all fields and use Boolean operators such as “AND,” “OR,” and other connectors to link your terms. You can also choose to restrict your search terms to particular fields, including author, journal title, or article title. The hints on the search page advise you that for author searches, you should search by last name or last name and first initial.
So if you wanted to see all of the articles by Philippe Malaurie, you could select the “Author” field from the drop-down menu and type “Malaurie, P.” into the search box. If you were only interested in Malaurie’s articles relating to contracts, you could additionally type the term “Contracts” into the next field, changing the drop-down to “Subject.” You could also instead use the post-search filters to refine your results after searching by author.
Users can also search digitized copies of the print volumes from 1960 to 2019 by clicking the “Print Edition (1960-)” tab.
Learn More about This Resource
Want to learn more about IFLP and how it can help you meet the needs of practitioners, faculty members, and students who are researching foreign, international, and comparative law topics? Join AALL and HeinOnline for a free webinar this January.
Marci Hoffman (Editor-in-Chief of IFLP) and members of the IFLP Advisory Board will explain how to effectively search and browse this essential legal resource, while also answering any questions you may have about the Index.