Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

Google Scholar and legal materials

Posted by Megan on July 7, 2011

Google Scholar is clearly a pretty awesome tool for research in many different disciplines. Over on the Slaw blog, law librarian Susannah Tredwell notes that “although the bulk of legal materials on Google Scholar are American, there are enough Canadian resources on it to make Google Scholar a worthwhile tool for Canadian legal researchers.”

However, she goes on to outline some of the difficulties with locating specifically Canadian legal materials with the search engine.

The “site” operator can be used to limit the search to materials published on the .ca domain, restricted to legal opinions and journals. For example:

immigration site:.ca

However, this obviously excludes articles published in journals whose publishers do not have Canadian websites.

Another possible tactic is to include the terms

can OR canada OR canadian

to the “publication” box on the advanced search options. Again, though, this would not retrieve journals that do not have the word Canadian or Canada in the title.

For Canadian case law, CanLII is still the best option, but Google Scholar does include options for limiting by American jurisdiction.

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