Academic journal article from a database: different from print version [from Electronic source using OSCOLA]

Overview

This is an interpretation of OSCOLA guidance. Check with your lecturer before using this suggestion, which is based on the scheme's guiding principles of consistency and consideration for the reader.

Generally, there is no need to give details of the database you have used unless the origin of the source affects your reference (e.g you are unable to pinpoint as no page numbers are available or the database notes illustrations/diagrams are not available).

Databases such as Westlaw & Lexis Library usually give identical text and page numbers to the printed journal article, but adopt their own format so that the page numbers may be harder to spot. Reference the journal article in the same way as the printed version but take extra care to identify the starting page number and any pinpoint references.

Other databases may show identical text but only the first page number, so it is impossible to provide a pinpoint page (although it may be possible to provide a pinpoint paragraph). In either case, include the name of the database and the date it was accessed in the reference. 

Databases such as HeinOnline give scanned versions of journal articles that are identical to the print version. Reference the journal article in the same way as the printed version.

Make sure you understand the pattern of the journal - does it have a volume number which remains the same throughout the year, or does the volume number increase during the year? Do the page numbers in each issue or part restart at page 1 or do they increase through each succeeding issue or part?

Give the publication date in square brackets if it identifies the volume (and omit the volume number) and in round brackets where the journal volumes are numbered consecutively during the year (and include the volume number). The issue/part number of a journal should NOT be included unless each issue/part within a volume of a journal starts at page 1 (i.e. are not consecutively paginated): in that case put the issue number in parentheses after the volume number.

Place a comma between the number of the first page of the article and the pinpoint. When the pinpoint is to a paragraph number, put the number in square brackets and omit the comma.

Standard Form

As a footnote:

If page numbering is clearly shown (even if not in page format).

Author, 'Article Title' [(Year of publication in square or round brackets as above)] Volume/Issue/Part number if necessary (see advice above) Title of journal (abbreviated as above) first page number of article, pinpoint page.

If page numbering is not shown and articleis obviously ;onger than a single page.

Author, 'Article Title' [(Year of publication in square or round brackets as above)] Volume/Issue/Part number if necessary (see advice above) Title of journal (abbreviated as above) first page number of article, pinpoint page or pinpoint paragraph e.g. para/s Name of database accessed date as day Month year.

Examples

An item retrieved from HeinOnline:

AE Bottoms, 'The Suspended Sentence in England 1967-1978' [1981] Brit J Criminol 1, 18.

This is a scanned page identical to the printed version. This also applies to articles in PDF format.

An item retrieved from Westlaw:

Paul Almond, 'Public Perceptions of Work-Related Fatality Cases: Reaching the Outer Limits of "Populist Punitiveness"?' [2008] Brit J Criminol 468, 477.

Westlaw inserts an asterisk, the abbreviated title and a page number in purple at every page break. Therefore, there is no need to include details of the database you retrieved it from because you can include pinpoint page numbers.

Items retrieved from Lexis Library:

C Crosby, 'Recklessness the Continuing Search for a Definition' [2008] JoCL 313, 314.

David Burrows, 'An Unhappy Witness' NLJ 160(7408) 370, 372.

Lexis shows page breaks with a right aligned journal title  and page number.

Reference List

List journal articles alphabetically by author's last name under the heading Secondary Sources.

In your bibliography, the author's surname should precede his or her initial(s), with no comma separating them, but a comma after the first initial. Only initials should be used, not forenames, e.g. Burrows D, 'An Unhappy Witness' NLJ 160(7408) 370 Lexis Library database accessed 30 April 2010

 

Notes

  • Treat multiple authors in the same way as multiple authors of books. If there is no author, follow the same example as book with no author.
  • Based on: Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, OSCOLA: Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (4th edn Oxford University 2010) 37-38.

LIJ