The field, while circumscribed, is also quite complicated. Initially, data for the bibliography was compiled from existing bibliographies of Dharmaśāstra, Hindu law, and Indian law, especially Sternbach (Bibliography on Dharma and Artha, 1973), Rocher (Droit hindou ancien, 1965), Derrett (Bibliographic Introduction to Legal History and Ethnology, 1969), and Alexandrowicz (Bibliography of Indian Law, 1958). Priorities for adding further entries have been set primarily according to the specific research interests of the database owner. The priority ranking for the bibliography is:
1) Secondary works in English on classical Hindu law
2) Secondary works in English on Dharmaśāstra
3) Primary translations in English of Dharmaśāstra texts
4) Secondary works in other languages on classical Hindu law
5) Secondary works in other languages on Dharmaśāstra
6) Secondary works in English on colonial and modern Hindu law
7) Secondary works in other languages on colonial and modern Hindu law
8) Primary translations in other languages of Dharmaśāstra texts
Lower priority categories do appear in the bibliography, but the emphasis for initial and continuing searches by the database creators follows these priorities.
The long-term goal of the bibliography is to serve academic and professional communities with the interests in the field by providing an increasingly comprehensive source for information. It is hoped that the scope of the bibliography will also increase in time, but at present the bibliography does not include case reports, judicial opinions/decisions, or, with some exceptions, any other substantive or systematic sources on the law in contemporary India. For a guide to modern sources, see India: A Legal Research Guide. This limitation again results from the interests of the database owner and will ideally be overcome through the cooperation of users knowledgeable of Hindu law in contemporary India and elsewhere.