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  • InsideTrack
  • June 03, 2015

    Using MyHein to Minimize Your Legal Research Time

    HeinOnline contains centuries of legal documents just as they appear and in full text. Learn how to quickly use this legal database available through the Wisconsin State Law Library.

    Lisa Winkler

    June 3, 2015 – HeinOnline contains more than 100 million pages of historical and current legal information, including primary law like U.S. Reports, Code of Federal Regulations, and federal agency decisions, and secondary materials with access to more than 2,100 law-related periodicals.

    Lisa M. WinklerLisa M. Winkler is the outreach services librarian for the Wisconsin State Law Library, where she coordinates the library’s CLE training program and provides legal research assistance.

    HeinOnline is one of several legal databases available through the Wisconsin State Law Library. For more information about the databases, see Finding Law Journals Quickly: Get Online Access to Source Materials in the May 6 issue of InsideTrack.

    With so much full text available, take advantage of three personalized features in MyHein to minimize your research time: saved bookmarks, saved queries, and eTOC alerts.

    Accessing Your MyHein Account

    MyHein is a personal user account created by you within the HeinOnline database that is available to all State Law Library users and most users1 by logging in with a library card number.

    You can access the account from home, work, a mobile device, or at any of our library locations. Licensed Wisconsin attorneys, authorized law firm support staff, and government employees qualify for library cards; here's how to apply.

    Once you have a library card, find a link to HeinOnline on the articles and journals page of the State Law Library’s website. Click the “Log In” button and enter the library card number. This will advance to the HeinOnline welcome page.

    Along the left side is a list of all the different collections, or “libraries,” that are included in our subscription.

    Across the top are different search tabs, one of which is “MyHein.” To create a MyHein account, click this tab and choose a username and password. This step is critical to ensuring data is kept after you log out. Every user can bookmark content without a MyHein account; however, all bookmarks are deleted when the browser is closed. Create your own account to save selected content after ending a research session.

    Bookmark Articles

    Use bookmarks to add individual or multiple articles to your MyHein account so you can quickly find them again.

    From the list of search results, there will be a MyHein link under the matching search text of each individual article. There are also checkboxes next to the number of each result for selecting several articles and a drop-down menu at the bottom to save multiple citations simultaneously.

    When you return later to HeinOnline, click the MyHein tab from the welcome page to see all the research you saved. Customize your bookmarks by adding notes about why you thought this article was relevant, and choose a “tag” or label to meaningfully group your bookmarks. There is also an option to “Save/Bookmark” while reading a specific article; that link will appear at the top of each page of the article.

    MyHein 2

    Saving Search Queries

    Search terminology requires certain finesse, often involving refinement through time-consuming trial and error. Once you have found the magic combination for your research, save it to MyHein to avoid repeating the process next time.

    At the bottom of the search result page, first select “MyHein Search Queries” from the drop-down menu and then click “Save.” This search is now listed on your MyHein tab. Simply clicking on the query from MyHein re-runs the search so you can skip to helpful results without recreating your search string or choosing libraries. Your saved search will show the sub database, tag or label, and the used search terms so your list of saved searches is easy to scan.

    When you save a search, once a month you will receive an email with a list of the new material added to HeinOnline that meets the criteria of your saved searches.

    To stop receiving the email updates after your research needs have concluded, simply delete the query from MyHein.

    Know When Journals are Updated: eTOC Alerts

    Use eTOC alerts – sent via email – to receive notice whenever specific journals are updated.

    The email message contains the table of contents for the journal and a link to each of the articles listed. Click the link and enter your library card number (if you are not at the library) to seamlessly connect to the new content.

    Setting up an eTOC alert is as simple as pulling up the journal by title and clicking a link.

    For example, to receive an eTOC alert for the Marquette Sports Law Review and the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender and Society:

    1. Pull up the HeinOnline welcome page.
    2. Click “Core US Journals” then select “State (U.S.)” to see an alphabetic list.
    3. Chose Wisconsin. Twelve Wisconsin journals can be tracked.
    4. Under the journal title click “Create eTOC Alert.” It will prompt for your MyHein login unless you are already logged in.

    Now the alert has been set. Simply repeat the steps for Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender and Society or any other title of interest.

    From the MyHein tab, you can add notes to this alert, add an extra email, or delete it.

    MyHein 3

    Two Bonus Tips for Getting Around Even Faster

    When exploring HeinOnline, click the HeinOnline logo in the top left corner of any screen to return to the welcome page. This is where you will find the various tabs you need to browse different libraries, run full text or citation navigator searches, and get back to MyHein.

    Use the quick citation search from the State Law Library’s articles and journals page to pull up specific citations from HeinOnline. In the right margin, enter the citation into the fields under the “Hein Online Articles” heading. A screen will prompt for a library card number and then take you directly to the cited article.

    Bookmark the State Law Library’s articles and journals page in the browser of your choice as the first step in working effectively and efficiently in HeinOnline.

    Lisa Winkler is a current member and past president of the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin (LLAW), a chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries. LLAW's Public Relations Committee coordinates regular contributions by its members to InsideTrack.


    1 Some restrictions apply. Contact the State Law Library at (608) 266-1600 to see if you qualify for remote access to HeinOnline.

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