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Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals Reference Guide

The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP), the world’s only multilingual legal journal index, can help anyone who is seeking credible foreign-language secondary law sources. This Knowledge Base article will help users navigate the index. Check out the video below, and then keep scrolling for a written guide.

Browsing by Subject in Multiple Languages

In the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals database, filters enable users to browse entries and refine results by date, language of publication, subject, country, and geographic region.

image of Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals homepage

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.

image of search results 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.

language listing in IFLP

For example, if you go to and look for “Mergers,” it will direct you to the hyperlinked subject “Corporations: Consolidation and Merger.” This is an index term used by the IFLP. A scope note 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.

example of hyperlinked subject in IFLP
example of scope note in IFLP

Browsing by Country

You could also choose to begin with a Country Subject.

image of subject listing in index to foreign legal periodicals

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 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 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 Metadata 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.

image of how to search metadata in IFLP

For example, 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.

image of IFLP metadata search example

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