App of the Week: HeinOnline – Law Journals and Other Legal Research Materials
HeinOnline swims with the big legal research subscription-based sharks by filling a niche and doing it well. The service offers access to law journals and other legal research materials like the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Congressional Reports and U.S. Reports.
What sets HeinOline apart is comprehensive coverage – with the availability of titles back to volume 1, and exact page images of articles and documents rendered as PDFs.
Complete coverage of the U.S. Reports goes back to 1754 and and Federal Register and CFR from inception in the 1930s.
Billing itself as the world’s largest image-based legal research collection, HeinOnline’s PDFs provide exact page images of documents, preserving charts, graphs, tables, pictures, hand written notes, photographs, and footnotes, as they appeared in the original print copy.
If you want just one hard-to-find law journal article or piece of legislative history, you’re out of luck: HeinOnline doesn’t offer the option to purchase individual articles or documents. I railed against this policy during my law firm librarian days to no avail. Instead, you must purchase a subscription which is based on the size and type of your institution, as well as the length and content of the subscription. Short term subscriptions are available for individuals. But it’s all shrouded in mystery – you’ll need to request a quote.
The HeinOnline iPhone/iPad app is free, but you’ll need a subscription to the service, however much that is.
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