Legal Information and Documentation


The InfoDoc seminar is intended to provide students with the necessary tools to undertake research, critically assess the sources and collected materials (selection) and extract, process and summarise the relevant elements (use) regardinh legal documents and legal information in whatever legal topic or area. An additional specific focus will be developed, in English language, on searching and working with international and EU legal sources of primary and secondary nature.

The InfoDoc seminar is not, nor does it intend to be, an introduction to the study and practice of legal methodologies, as these are autonomously covered in other first- and second-cycle courses. Even though some of the key notions or topics on legal research may be anticipated, InfoDoc presents itself as an utterly practical discipline with an instrumental value for any future legal professional. Starting from (but not limiting itself to) the familiarization with the sources of law and legal information, InfoDoc aims to provide students with solid background knowledge that allows them, from a bilingual perspective (Portuguese/English) and in line with the relevance of the two languages to the different topics covered, (i) to research (answer the questions what, where, how and why look for the information), (ii) select (critically evaluate the sources of information and the material collected), and (iii) engage with (extract, process and synthesize information from the materials collected according to certain criteria and methods) legal or legally relevant information in Portuguese and English.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Lúcio Tomé Feteira, Giulia Priora


Weekly - 1.5

Total - 18

Teaching language

Portuguese, English


None required.


AMARAL, Diogo Freitas do, Manual de introdução ao Direito, vol. I, Almedina, 2019


ARAGÃO, Alexandra, Breves reflexões em torno da investigação jurídica, Boletim da Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Coimbra, Volume LXXXV, Coimbra, 2009, pp. 765-794.


AZEVEDO, Mário, Teses, relatórios e trabalhos escolares, 9.ª edição, UCE, 2018


BERTHELOT, Jean-Michel (Dir.), Épistémologie des sciences sociales, 2e. édition, PUF, 2018


BRITO, Miguel Nogueira de, Introdução ao Estudo do Direito, AAFDL, 2017


BOOTH, Wayne C. et aliiThe Craft of Research, 4th edition, University of Chicago Press, 2016


VAN CAMPENHOUDT, Luc, MARQUET, Jacques e QUIVY, Raymond, Manual de Investigação em Ciências Sociais, 8.ª edição, Gradiva, 2019 [pp. 17-213]


CURA, António A. Vieira, Organização judiciária portuguesa, 2018, Gestlegal


MANN, Thomas, The Oxford Guide for Library Research, 4ª edição, Oxford University Press, 2015


MEIRIM, José Manuel, Como pesquisar e referir em Direito, Coimbra Editora, 2008


PARK, Chris, In other (people´s) words: plagiarism by university students literature and lessons, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 28, n. 5, 2003, 471-488 


RIBEIRO, Gabriel Mithá, Novo Manual de Investigação, Contraponto, 2018 [pp. 1-59]


SOUSA, Miguel Teixeira de, Introdução ao Direito, Almedina, 2019


SUTHERLAND-SMITH, Wendy, Plagiarism, the internet and student learning: improving academic integrity, Routledge, 2008

Teaching method

Lectures, in-class discussions.

Evaluation method

Final written examination, compulsory, individual: 100% of credits

Subject matter


  1. Introduction
  2. Searching, selecting, and engaging with legal information and documentation in English language: general considerations and structure
  3. Searching legal information and documentation
    1. International legislation and international case law
    2. EU legislation and EU case law
  4. Selecting legal information and documentation
    1. Digitization and digital-born dimensions
    2. Open access and open source
    3. Digital self-archiving
  5. Engaging with legal information and documentation
    1. How to avoid plagiarism
    2. How and when to cite
  6. Conclusions and wrap-up discussion


Programs where the course is taught: