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Reference & Research Services

Full-time, professional reference librarians, specialized in legal research, are available to assist you in accessing the library’s services and resources to find the information you need. Please visit, phone (416-736-5207) or email the library’s Reference Desk to take advantage of their assistance. Students and faculty are advised to book appointments with reference librarians for extensive and time consuming consultations.

Library Advisors

All Osgoode graduate students – both LLM and PhD candidates – are assigned a specific reference librarian to provide personalized advice and guidance in their research and to help them access specialized library services. Your assigned Library advisor is a professional librarian specialized in both legal and interdisciplinary research using the full resources of the Osgoode Law Library and other York University libraries; additionally, whenever possible, s/he will have a recognized specialization in your particular field of research. Your Library advisor can help you with many tasks, including:

  • Direction in identifying and using Library resources, both print and electronic, specific to your research
  • Direction in identifying and accessing foreign, comparative and international legal materials (FCIL)
  • Assistance in finding and obtaining difficult texts and documents
  • Assistance in conducting interdisciplinary and empirical research
  • Demonstrating and assisting with Lexis (Quicklaw), Westlaw and other electronic resources
  • Assisting you with accessing our current awareness services

Though you are welcome to deal directly with any of the Library staff, we encourage you to contact your assigned Library advisor with any questions or recommendations.

Interlibrary Loans (ILL)

The Library can obtain any material required by Osgoode students that is not available at other libraries at York University and is not available from electronic sources (e-resources) at York. Interlibrary loans can only be requested and processed using RACER, York University’s online interlibrary loan service. There is no charge to Osgoode students for this service.

Passwords for Online Legal Research

All Osgoode faculty and students are entitled to personal educational passwords for the major online legal research services (CCH Online, LexisNexis/Quicklaw, WestlawNext Canada). There are also a number of specialized online services that require a library username and password for access. These latter requirements are always indicated in our database of eResources @ Osgoode. For information about any of these password-related services, please contact the Reference Desk (416-736-5207).

NOTE: Online services (Lexis/Quicklaw, WestlawNext Canada) and other eResources are to be used only for purposes of research, class preparation and teaching at Osgoode. Any other use of eResources, especially for commercial or work-related purposes, is forbidden and constitutes a serious breach of our licences for these services.

Current Awareness Services

There are many ways for faculty to stay current with new articles and research published in their areas of expertise. Please do not hesitate to consult with your assigned Liaison Librarian to develop a current awareness profile. Among useful services are the following:

  • CILP (Current Index to Legal Periodicals): A weekly email alert service from the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library of the University of Washington School of Law (Seattle). Your assigned librarian can help you set up a SmartCILP customized selection of subject-specific alerts or tables of contents alerts for recently-published law review articles.
  • HeinOnline and Digital Commons email alerts: Your Library advisor can assist you with setting up email alerts for the tables of contents of specific journals available on HeinOnline or open access journal websites using Digital Commons or Open Journal System platforms.
  • RSS Feeds: You may need to download and install an RSS Feed reader on your computer if you don’t already have one. Your assigned librarian will be pleased to help you. For more information on installing, go to The feed reader periodically connects to the journal listings and automatically retrieves the content pages.

Recommendations for Purchase & Rush Orders

If you learn of or need to consult any book, regardless of whether a new or older title, that is not owned by the Osgoode Library or York University Libraries and you believe it would be appropriate for our collection, please do not hesitate to submit a request for its purchase. If you specify that you need the book quickly for essential research, we can put a rush on the order and make sure you are notified when it is received.