Tips from the Experts for Using the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

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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.

IFLP Browse by language screenshot

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.

IFLP search for german language article screenshot
Search results for German language articles in IFLP

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.

IFLP Subjects tab showing alternate language options

For example, if you go to 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.

IFLP search screenshot
IFLP Scope notes

Browsing by Country

You could also choose to begin with a Country Subject.

IFLP Browse by Country

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.

IFLP Browse by Country search results

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.

IFLP Keyword search screenshot

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.

IFLP searching screenshot

Users can also search digitized copies of the print volumes from 1960 to 2019 by clicking the “Print Edition (1960-)” tab.

IFLP Print Edition search screenshot

Learn More about This Resource

Want to learn more about the Index and how it can help you meet the needs of practitioners, faculty members, and students who are researching foreign, international, and comparative law topics? Watch the recorded webinar below on Maximizing the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals in All Law Libraries, presented by the IFLP Editorial Team.

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.

Maximizing the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals in All Law Libraries

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