The advantage of HeinOnline over Lexis and Westlaw is that it has full runs of law reviews – that is, back to the beginning and it provides them in .pdf. The American Journal of International Law, for example, goes back to its first issue in 1910. Older articles can often be quite useful.
HeinOnline also includes a Foreign & International Law Resource Database that provides the full-text of international yearbooks, law digests, and international tribunal decisions.
Its Foreign Relations of the United States series includes the official documentary historical record of U.S. foreign policy decisions from 1861.
Its extensive Treaties and International Agreements Library provides treaties, historical and current, from authoritative sources. Last (but not least), HeinOnline’s Philip C. Jessup Library has the International Law Moot Court Competition Compendiums from 1960-present.
If you search this database from outside Wayne you will need to use a proxy server. Logon to WSU Academica using your Access ID and password. Then you can connect from the Law Library’s web site.
After general books, periodicals are the best place to look for sources. Articles usually contain discussions of general issues in the context of a specific problem. There are a number of on-line resources to find periodicals.
LEXIS (LAWREV database) and WESTLAW (JLR database). Do searches in these law review databases. (Don’t limit yourself to the sub-category of international law reviews, since useful articles often appear in general journals). It is strongly suggestted that you start with searches only in the title of articles. If you do full text searches you will get far too many hits. Also start by limiting yourself to the last 5 years or so.
In Westlaw, try the LRI (Legal Resource Index/Legaltrac) database. It searches titles and abstracts of articles, and links to the full text of the article if it is available on Westlaw. If the item is not available on Westlaw, try looking for a PDF version in HeinOnline.
Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law. The Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg, Germany is the premiere research institution in the world for public international law. It has developed a comprehensive outline of all international legal subjects and index articles under each outline heading. This database is really useful because it covers many journals not picked up in the major U.S. databases. It’s a little difficult in that you need to know the exact outline heading to look under. But you will master this quickly. It’s definitely worth spending some time getting to know.
This is the most comprehensive listing of legal periodicals outside the U.S. (U.S. publications are included as well). Many are in English and of very high quality. In particular, look at any article in the relevant field appearing in the International and Comparative Law Quarterly and the European Journal of International Law.
The Law Library has this resource in print from 1960-2006 and online (via the Law Library web site) from 1985-2009. You can find the print indexes in a carrel next to the Rare Book Room on the second floor of the library.