Journal Submission Guidelines


  1. Periodicals indexed are:
    1. Substantive law school journals regardless of the subject matter and that meet the other sections of the guidelines.
    2. Periodicals that are not substantive law school journals but publish articles that primarily deal with common law and meet the other sections of the guidelines.
      1. Those periodicals that are not law school journals and that indicate they are international or comparative in focus may also be indexed if they contain a substantial number of articles dealing with common law jurisdictions.
      2. The articles found in the periodical should be predominately legal and substantive in nature, but need not be exclusively so.
    3. Online publications that are published as ancillary or companion to a periodical otherwise indexed in Legal Resources Index/Current Law Index/LegalTrac and that meet the other sections of the guidelines.
    4. Certain categories of periodicals are automatically indexed, regardless of content focus, unless specifically excluded by the committee.
      1. National and state bar association periodicals
      2. National legal newspapers
      3. Substantive law school journals
    5. Certain categories of periodicals are indexed if the committee judges that they meet special guidelines:
      1. ABA serial publications included in the package plan: if they contain some substantive information and are not just newsletters of current activities.
      2. State and local legal newspapers: only if the committee agrees that the information in the newspaper would be of national interest.
      3. Reprint journals: on a selective basis.
      4. Jurisdictional surveys: on a selective basis.
    6. Certain categories of periodicals are not indexed:
      1. Periodicals dealing with canon law.
      2. Periodicals that principally digest or abstract recent cases.
      3. Law school, law student and local (municipal or county) bar association magazines consisting chiefly of news items about students, faculty and members (If these periodicals contain substantive articles, they may be indexed).
      4.  Indexes.
      5. Monographic series.
  2. Place of publication: Gale generally indexes only periodicals published in the United States and its possessions, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Selected English language publications from other countries will be included if deemed appropriate by the committee.
  3. Language: Gale generally indexes only English language periodicals. Selected non-English language publications that meet the other guidelines may be included if deemed appropriate by the committee. French language publications are not included.
  4. Frequency: The periodical may be published as infrequently as annually, or may be published irregularly. However, regular publication, with some degree of predictability, is highly desirable.
  5. Currency & Content: The periodical should have current content at the time of selection, generally three issues, with at least one issue published in the last year.
  6. Online Access: Preference should be given to periodicals with free online access to full text of journal content. Should a journal not post content freely online, the committee will carefully weigh inclusion of the journal in the Gale indexes against additional processing costs.
  7. Duplication with other indexes: Inclusion of a title in another index will not necessarily preclude inclusion in the Gale indexes, although duplication of indexing may be considered by the committee when selecting titles.
  8. Time period: Indexing of a selected title will generally start with the first issue of the volume for the year in which the periodical is selected. The committee may recommend retrospective coverage if it deems such coverage of importance.
  9. Announcement: After the committee decides to add or delete a title from the indexes, that information will be submitted to the appropriate persons for publication in AALL Spectrum and/or the AALL website.
  10. Searching: One or more members of the committee will have the responsibility to search for new titles. Gale will be given this information and will write to the publishers requesting sample issues to be submitted to the committee for review. It will be the responsibility of Gale to look up the address of the publisher if it is not provided by the committee.


A. Committee members will select journals for inclusion by vote of a simple majority of voting committee members. In the event of a tie or ambiguity in the vote total, the committee chair shall make a final decision.


  1. Scope: The periodicals included in the indexes will be indexed from cover to cover, omitting only abstracts or digest of cases and strictly news event items. All articles will be indexed under authors, title and as many subjects as is necessitated by the content of the article. The indexes will also include:
    1. Table of statutes. This will include references to statutes by citation when the substance of an article, comment or note deals with that statute. All citations for statutes will be in the format of the most current edition of The Bluebook: a Uniform System of Citation.
    2. Table of cases. This will include an alphabetical table of cases, with citation, when an article, comment or note deals predominately with that case. All citations for cases will be in the format of the most current edition of The Bluebook: a Uniform System of Citation.
  2. Entries: Reprinted articles will have citations to the original publication, as well as to the reprint publication. Gale will use the current edition of the Library of Congress Subject Headings, with certain additional headings and subheadings as determined by the indexers. Entries for articles that pertain to a jurisdiction or jurisdictions other than the United States will be annotated to indicate the jurisdiction(s) involved (if not apparent from the title).


Journals that are published only in electronic format may be indexed if they meet the following criteria:

  1. They meet the standards for print publications as outlined in the other sections of these guidelines. The Committee must approve the electronic journal before it is sent off to the Gale Group.
  2. The publisher of the electronic journal grants permanent archival rights to the Gale Group. This is necessary to ensure that the publication will not cease and disappear from the World Wide Web. Gale will contact the publisher to negotiate a licensing agreement, so AALL will not need to be involved in these negotiations. If the publisher refuses an agreement, then the journal will not be indexed.


  1. Titles needing reexamination.
    1. If an indexer at Gale determines that a periodical being indexed seems to be primarily news items and does not contain many substantive articles, the indexer will bring the title to the attention of the indexing supervisor. Several consecutive issues of the title should be gathered for reexamination by the committee at its next scheduled meeting.
    2. If an indexer at Gale determines that a periodical being indexed does not seem to be primarily legal in scope, the indexer will bring the title to the attention of the indexing supervisor. Several consecutive issues of the title should be gathered for reexamination by the committee at its next scheduled meeting.
    3. If an indexer at Gale determines that a periodical being indexed has ceased publication, the committee will be notified and will take official action to remove the title from the list of titles recommended for indexing. A title will be deemed to have ceased publication if:
      1. Official notice of discontinuation has been received;
      2. No issue has been received for two  years. The Gale Group has attempted to contact the publisher to determine the publication’s status and no response has been received or the letter has been returned.
  2. Criteria.The criteria used for examination of a title will be the same criteria used to determine if a new title should be indexed.
  3. Time period.Indexing will cease with the last issue of the volume in which the periodical is deselected.
  4. Notification.The publisher of a deselected title will be notified that the title will no longer be indexed since it no longer meets the indexing criteria.
  5. Resubmission.Nothing in this policy prohibits a publisher of a deselected title from resubmitting it at a future date to have its indexing reinstituted. At that time it will be treated as if it were a new title.

History of Guideline Adoption & Revision

Adopted May 1997
Revised July 1998 adding Section I. H.
Revised December 2002 changing references from CLI to Gale and minor grammatical corrections.
Revised April 2003 adding Section III.
Revised July 2010 changing III.A; revised language deletes the former requirement that an electronic journal must have been published for at least two years in order to be indexed.
Revised July 2010 changing I.D.; revised language requiring regular publication so that irregularly published journals and journals that only publish one issue may be indexed as long as they meet other substantive requirements.
Revised January 2012 adding Section I.A.3 and making minor technical corrections to headings and footnotes.
Revised August 2019 adding Sections I.E, I.F, and 2.A; revising language under Section I.D requiring regular publication as highly desirable; and making minor technical corrections to headings.


  1. At one time, all ABA publications on the package plan were indexed. However, at some point in the mid-80’s the committee and the publisher agreed on the indexing of selective titles only.
  2. These may include English language periodicals that deal exclusively with common law that are not indexed in the Index of Foreign Legal Periodicals or those that may warrant coverage in both indexes, e.g., International Journal of Law Libraries.
  3. French language publications are indexed in the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals.
  4. Section I.H. added July 1998.
  5. Section III added April 2003; III.A revised July 2010.
  6. Since the indexers at Gale must work with all the periodicals, they are in the best position to locate titles that need to be reexamined.
  7. Section I.D. revised July 2010.
  8. Section 1.A.3 added January 2012.