Using Help

To find help on a specific topic, click on the headings on the left. You can access this guide at any time by clicking the Help link at the top of any page in the Oxford Law Citator.

AccessBack to top

Access to the Oxford Law Citator is included in your subscription to any online law product from Oxford University Press.

For direct access, go to and start your research with a search or by browsing Citator content.

You can also access Citator pages from any content page in OUP’s online products:

  • Click the Oxford Law Citator icon above the Table of Contents on the left side of the screen to go to the Citator record for that document
  • Alternatively, click on any bibliographic link in the content to open a pop up box containing the full citation, together with a link to the Oxford Law Citator for that item, and a link to the full text where available on an OUP service.
  • Or click on the links in the References panel within the content. Some of our content does not have inline links; instead references are linked from within an extending panel, located at the end of each section, labelled References. Click on one of these links to be taken to the Citator record for the referenced item.

The Citator record will open in the same browser window by default. Most desktop browsers will allow the user to open a link in a new window or tab by right clicking with your mouse and choosing from the list of relevant options. Tablet users will also have an option to open in a new tab; the exact method by which you can do this may vary depending on your device and browser, but may involve “long pressing” (pressing and holding the link) to access the relevant menu.

Search and BrowseBack to top

Metadata search onlyBack to top

In the Citator you are searching important metadata like title, author, date, product, jurisdiction, subjects, judges, arbitrators; in fact anything that is included in the Citator record for the item.

If you want to search the full text you need to go to one of our product sites.

Quick SearchBack to top

The quick search box can be found at the top right of every page, just below the masthead.

  • Quick search returns results which match all of the terms that you input into this box, in any order
  • Use quotation marks around a series of words to conduct a phrase search
  • Boolean searching is not supported in quick search; use the query builder to construct more complex searches

Query BuilderBack to top

Users can also search within a set of results using the search boxes at the top of the left hand navigation panel (labelled Refine results list). This is a query builder, and you can use it to:

  • modify any previous search terms (your quick search term will be inserted into the query builder search box automatically)
  • search for a further term within the results, combining terms and choosing query connectors (and/not) via radio buttons to make a more complex query (Click on Add term to do this, and then on Update once you have added your term)
  • query specific fields (Author, Title, Citation) using the dropdown options

BrowseBack to top

Browse content using the facets and filters in the left hand navigation panel:

You can use the same filters and facets to modify existing search or browse results sets; only those that relate to that set of results will appear.

Taxonomical facets

Most of the browse facets (Jurisdiction, Product, Content type and Subject) are based on taxonomies; i.e. controlled hierarchical vocabularies with which content is tagged during the publishing process.

Our taxonomies are deep and broad, but they are mono-hierarchical; i.e. only one meaning is given to each taxonomy term, and whilst the term may appear more than once in the taxonomy, it will have the same meaning in both places; i.e. the results that you obtain by clicking on the term will be the same regardless of which route you took to find the term.

Be aware that not all content is tagged to all of the taxonomies. Almost everything has a content type, many things have a jurisdiction (although commentary content usually does not), and only content that OUP has published is likely to have subject terms allocated.

When using deep, highly structured facets, it may be useful to click on the arrow at the top of the facets panel to expand the panel to the right, to give you more room to open the taxonomy and drill down to the correct part when narrowing your results.

Click on the name of one of the facets/filters, or on the arrow next to the name, to show the options available to you. Once working in a particular browse facet, use the arrows beside taxonomy terms to drop down the levels below, but click on the term itself to narrow the results to only those to which this particular term has been applied.

The numbers in brackets next to each term represent the number of results that are tagged with that term.

Taxonomies should remain expanded until you close them, and will remain expanded within the facet, even when the facet itself is closed up.

Select from the following facets to see content that is tagged to those taxonomies:

Content types

Choose to view only results of a particular content type, chosen from our controlled taxonomy of content types. The main types of content (Cases, Commentary and analysis, Instruments and materials) all expand further to allow you to be specific about the kind of thing that you are looking for. The example below shows the Commentary and analysis section of the taxonomy:


See only those results that have a link to a particular jurisdiction (whether a country, court, organization or institution), as selected from our controlled jurisdictions taxonomy.

Content is assessed prior to publication to see whether it originates from, or applies to a particular jurisdiction or (for treaties and cases) whether it has a party that is/comes from a specific jurisdiction.

The content is then linked to the relevant parts of the Jurisdictions taxonomy, allowing the user to navigate to other things that come from, apply to, or have parties from, the same jurisdiction. The main categories are Geographic regions and Organizations/Institutions; the example below shows the expansion of the part of the taxonomy dealing with Bulgaria:


Display only those results which represent a full text item held in one of OUP’s product websites. The screenshot below shows the products taxonomy expanded to show the products within the OPIL family:


Narrow results to those which have been assigned a subject term from one of our controlled subject taxonomies, including:

  • Public international law subjects (incorporates Arbitration and Dispute resolution)
  • Competition law subjects
  • Private international law subjects
  • Finance and banking law subjects
  • International commercial law subjects

Subjects are assigned to OUP content prior to publication and are taken from a controlled list that has been compiled by experts in the field. The example below is of the Public international law taxonomy, showing the expansion of the section on Diplomacy and consular relations:

Date filter

You can also browse by date. Almost every Citator record will have a date.


Type in at least a year (four digits), and click Update to obtain results. You may also include a month from the dropdown list, and a date (up to 2 digits).


Type a year and click Update to obtain results. The results list will include all results from that year, and everything since that year.


Type a year and click Update to obtain results. The results list will include all results from that year, and everything before that year:


Type one four digit year in each box and click Update to obtain results. The results list will contain results from within that range, including from both of the years that you have entered in the boxes:

Results pagesBack to top

Results pages consist of a list of results, and controls to help you manipulate the content and appearance of the results list.

The total number of results is shown at the top of the results page along with any search terms or filters that you have applied.

Remove individual filters by clicking on the x next to each filter, or remove all filters by using Clear all.

Results controls toolbar Back to top

Change the appearance of the results list, using the controls in the grey bar at the top and bottom of the list:

No of results per page (Show)

Control how many results are shown on a page. Choose from 10, 20, 50 or 100:

Sort order (Order)

Change the order in which the results appear. The default order is alphabetical, but you can reverse that, or choose a chronological (or reverse chronological) order instead. Items without a date will always appear at the end of any date sorted list.

Jump to result starting with (Jump)

Type a letter of the alphabet in the Jump box to be taken to the first result in the list that starts with that letter:

Results paging links

Move to later or earlier pages of results; the Results page has links which take you to the first and last page of results, and also to pages either side of the page that you are on, and various increments between:

ResultsBack to top

Results are displayed in a list in the right hand panel

Components of a result

A result contains the following components:

  • Title The title of the document that the result represents
  • Date The date of the item to which the result relates; dates used vary depending on the content type of the item
  • Content type The type of item that the result represents, chosen from our controlled taxonomy of content types
  • Onward links At the bottom of the result is a list of links to the Citator record for the item to which the result relates. Click on this to be taken to the Citator record. Alongside this link will be any links to the full text of the item, as held on OUP or other websites. Click on one of these to go directly to the full text without going via the Citator record for that result.

Opening results

Clicking on a result will open that result in the same browser window. If you want to open it in a new browser tab, keeping your search or browse results open in the original tab, right click on the relevant link with your mouse and select “Open in new tab”.

Tablet users will also have an option to open in a new tab; the exact method by which you can do this may vary depending on your device and browser, but may involve “long pressing” (pressing and holding the link) to access the relevant menu.

Results for child items

If the result relates to a child item (e.g. a provision of a piece of legislation, article of a treaty, chapter or other section of a book) it will appear indented under the name of the parent item, whether or not that parent name is itself a result.

Refining results

Use browse facets/filters and Query Builder to refine the results. The searches that you have conducted and the filters that you have chosen will be indicated at the top of the results, along with the number of results on the page and the total number of results overall:

No results

In the event that your search/browse does not return any results, you will see a message indicating as much and advising that you should remove the last filter and try again:

Citator page Back to top

Citator pages (AKA Citator records) are the main content contained in the Citator. They are like Index cards in a library.

The Citator page tells you everything that we know about the item to which it relates. This includes basic information (Details) and the relationships that it has to other things (Related items).

Getting to a Citator page Back to top

You will end up in a Citator page if you click on a link in content within the product site, or click on a Citator link in a result within a search/browse/related items results list.

Details tab Back to top

Users looking to find out more about the item that the Citator page represents may find what they need on the first tab, labelled Details. Here there is basic information about the item that allows it to be reliably identified and distinguished from all other items.

This information will almost always include a title, at least one date and a content type, but it may also include alternative titles, other dates, jurisdiction(s), citations, the OUP product in which the item is published, party names, judges or arbitrators and subject terms that have been allocated to this item. It also contains (at the top of the page under the title) links to the full text on both OUP and official websites:

Child Citator pages Back to top

Citator pages exist for “children” of a bigger item; e.g. chapters of a book or parts/sections/subsections of a piece of legislation. Not all items have this internal structure, but where they do, the Citator page for the child item will contain the basic info inherited from the parent and any specific information about the child item.

Taxonomy Citator pages Back to top

Citator pages also exist for taxonomy items (Subject, Jurisdiction, Product and Content Type). Taxonomy pages don’t represent content items or even other things which can be referenced in full text content, but rather classifications (drawn from controlled vocabularies) to which items in the dataset are assigned. The example below is for the taxonomy item for Greece from the Jurisdictions taxonomy:

Related items Back to top

Users looking to explore the relationships that this item has with others will find, on the second tab, a results list containing all related items.

The message at the top of the results list will tell you what you are looking at:

Related items resultsBack to top

Related item results show all items that are linked to or from the current Citator record. They are displayed in much the same way as normal browse and search results except that they also include the link type.

The link type describes the relationship between the item to which the original Citator record relates and the item represented by the result.

Note that all items linked to or from the item represented by the current Citator record are included in results. The result may be included because it is mentioned by the full text of the current Citator item, or because it mentions the current Citator item. Or there may be no actual mention of one item in the text of the other, but we know they are related and so have made the link (e.g. previous and subsequent procedural stages of a case). You can narrow down the results that appear in the list to one type of relationship using the Relationships facet.

Related items results; child itemsBack to top

If the item is referenced from within a particular chapter of a book or by a provision of an instrument, the related results will include child results. These are indented under the title of the parent book/instrument in the same way as they would be in search and browse results:

Refining related itemsBack to top

You can refine the related items list using a variety of filters, facets or search terms, in the same way as you refine search or browse results. The filters that are available are the same as those available for search and browse, including the Query Builder, various taxonomy facets and the date filter.

Remember that not all content is tagged to all of the taxonomies. Everything has a content type, many things have a jurisdiction (although commentary content usually does not), and only content that OUP has published is likely to have subject terms allocated.

The following additional filters are also available for refining related items:


Filter by the type of relationship that this item has with the items in the results. The relationship is reflected in the “link type” applied to the link between the two items

Table of contents

The Table of Contents facet tree contains the structure of the item of content that you are viewing, such as preliminary material, chapters, sub-headings, and indices and tables of a book, or the sections and subsections of a piece of legislation. This enables users to move between different parts of an item of content, and to view the Citator record for that part of the structure, with related metadata and links. Use this facet to narrow your results to include only those that relate to a part of this item; e.g. a particular chapter of a book, or a section of an act or article of a treaty. The example below shows the number of results linked to various parts of the preliminary material section of a book:

Other resourcesBack to top

Across the top of the screen on every page is the site header, which contains links to administrative and information resources.

  • About: links to key information about the Citator including aims and editorial policy
  • Contact us: tells you how to contact customer services with your feedback, or to get technical support.
  • FAQs: Answers to common questions
  • Help: opens these Help pages.