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Legal Databases How-to Search: HeinOnline

Search tips and techniques for LexisNexis Academic, Westlaw, HeinOnline, and ProQuest Congressional


HeinOnline contains the full-text of a variety of legal information. To get more information on any database, go into HeinOnline and click the "?" button next to the title of the resource

  • Law Journals
  • American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and Association of American Law Schools (AALS)
  • Canada Supreme Court Reports
  • Code of Federal Regulations
  • English Reports, Full Reprint (1220-1867)
  • European Center for Minority Issues
  • Federal Register Library
  • Foreign & International Law Resources Database
  • Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)
  • Legal Classics
  • Manual of Patent Examining Procedure
  • Pentagon Papers
  • Treaties and Agreements Library
  • United States Code
  • U.S. Attorney General Opinions
  • U.S. Federal Legislative History Library
  • U.S. Presidential Library
  • U.S. Statutes at Large
  • U.S. Supreme Court Library
  • World Constitutions Illustrated
  • World Trials Library

Find Resources

Because the same search options exist for every library in HeinOnline, the boxes below cover the five ways you can search each database: Citation Navigator; Catalog Search; Quick Search; Field Search; and Advanced Search.

Citation Navigator

Use this search option only if you have a known citation.

  • Click into the database that contains your citation (e.g., If you have a law review citation, click Law Library Journal library; If you have a CFR citation, click the Code of Federal Regulations library)
  • Click "Citation Navigator" in the dark blue header row
  • Enter your citation
  • Note: The Citation Navigator will only allow you to enter citations relevant to the contents in that library so if you can't find your correct citation, you may be in the wrong library
  • Click "Get Citation

Catalog Search

Found on the main Hein landing page and in the dark blue header bar of every Hein library, Catalog Search gives a variety of options to search from, including Publication Title, Author, ISSN/ISBN/LCCN, Subject, and Publisher. Use the drop-down box to choose the appropriate search field and click the magnifying glass icon to search.

Quick Search

Found at the top-left of every Hein database, Quick Search allows you to keyword or Boolean Search across a given library. By default it searches across the full text.

  • Click "Search" in the blue header row of options (between "Resources" and "Citation Navigator")
  • Enter your search terms in the search box at the top-left of the screen
  • Click the magnifying glass icon to search

Field Search

  • Click "Search" in the blue header row of options (between "Resources" and "Citation Navigator")
  • Under the Quick Search box, click the "Field Search" link.
  • Enter your search terms
  • Select meta data fields from drop down, select boolean operators from drop down, manipulate search results format, and select sections.
  • Click Search
  • Note: Field Search is limited to 3 fields.

Advanced Search

  • Click "Search" in the blue header row of options (between "Resources" and "Citation Navigator")
  • Under the Quick Search box, click the "Advanced Search" link.
  • Use the full power of Boolean Searching, narrow to specific titles, years and sections. This is a more flexible search option than "Field Search" and allows you to search across more than 3 fields at a time.
  • For help crafting the search, click "Search Syntax" below the search box.
  • After all your parameters have been entered, click Search

Search Techniques

These are just some of the major Boolean operators in HeinOnline. For complete information, check the link below.

  • Boolean – AND, OR, NOT – must be in all-caps
  • Phrase searches - must be in quotes. (e.g., "Right to privacy" vs. Right to privacy which searches as Right AND to AND privacy)
  • single-character wildcard search use the "?" symbol (e.g., te?t)
  • multiple-character wildcard search use the "*" symbol (e.g., test*)
  • To do a proximity search, use the tilde symbol, "~", at the end of a phrase (E.g., To search for a "watershed" and "planning" within 10 words of each other in a document use the search: "watershed planning"~10)