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Research Guides

Database Tutorials



* This tutorial will provide you with basic information on how to use the HeinOnline Database. Given the complex citation system of articles and cases, if you will be using this database regularly, we highly recommend HeinOnline's numerous helpful video tutorials on how to conduct searches based on the type of information you need. See the links at the end of this tutorial.

Basic Search

When you click on the database link, it brings you automatically to a Basic Search page. Here, you have four types of searches that you can choose from. You can choose the default Full Text search tab, type in your search terms/phrases in the top line, or you can browse through the databases by categories or by specific named databases. If you need help with combining search terms in the Full Text tab, click on the Search Help drop down menu.

If you know the exact citation of your article, you can click on the blue Citation tab to search specifically for that. If you need assistance with correct citation abbreviations, click on the Citation Formation Guide when you are searching in the Citation tab.

You can also choose to search for a particular publication at the title level in Catalog search tab, or for a specific case under the Case Law tab.



Once you enter your search terms, you will be presented with a results page that looks like the one below. The articles are listed and numbered in the center, with a brief description and key topics associated with the material. On the left, there are several options to refine your search by: specific dates, collections, title, topics, persons, and other criteria.

In the red circles at the top and on the right of the page, there are options to sort, to download the full text PDF, save/bookmark the article, print, or email the materials. You will need to create an account in HeinOnline to bookmark articles for future access. Multiple articles can be checked and manipulated at the same time. 

Advanced Search

If you need to conduct a quicker, more refined search, on the homepage of the database you can click on Advanced Search, just below the search box. An expanded menu will drop down, allowing you to specify Title, Author, and Full Text terms. You can choose to use Boolean terms such as AND, OR, NOT, etc. between the terms to narrow or expand the search, and add additional fields. You can also specify a date range. 

There is an option to use their beta version of Venn Diagram Search, which utilizes AND between each of the search terms to provide more specific results. 

Viewing Full Text and Citations

Once you find an article of interest, you can click on the title. It will open a page like the one below. On this page you can scroll through the pages of your article.

On the left is a navigation bar that explains the contents of the section you are in, and adjusts as you scroll. If you want to jump ahead or back, you can use this navigation bar to preview and move to other sections of the document.

At the top of the document is a menu that allows you to download the PDF, bookmark or email the article, search within the page for specific terms, manipulate the page with zoom or multi-page layout, and other options to better read and search the article.

On the left, there is an option to generate a citation for the article.


When you click on Cite, another box will pop up displaying references for that article in various formats such as Chicago, APA, and MLA. Just click on your chosen format and it will copy the reference. You can also use PinCite if you need to have a pinpoint citation for a case.

There is also the option to export one or more of these citations to a citation organizer such as RefWorks or EndNote.

Just be sure to always double check these references, as sometimes the formatting may be slightly different than what is required by your course. 


HeinOnline FAQ and Video Tutorials

HeinOnline Help

HeinOnline offers FAQ's and instructions on how to use various aspects of the database.

They also offer a wide collection of video tutorials to help researchers more efficiently search the data. For example, there are tutorials to help users learn how to use the "National Survey of State Laws" to quickly compare laws across states, and a tutorial on "How to Search the Supplement Volumes of the US Code to Determine if There Are Any Changes to a Law Since the Last Bound Volume".

We highly recommend checking out the links below to make the most of your search!