Criminal Justice Research
Academic Search Complete via EBSCOhost
This database helps you find articles in the leading criminal justice journals and provides access to psychology and sociology journals.
SAGE Journals Online
Provides the full text of articles in the social sciences, with strong coverage of criminal justice.
Full-text access to peer reviewed journals in social & behavioral sciences. Strong international coverage.
Tip: It's usually a good idea to search a multidisciplinary database like Academic Search Complete before you search a specialized database like Criminal Justice Abstracts (CJA). Why? Academic Search Complete is slightly more up to date, and while it doesn't include as many criminal justice journals as CJA, it will provide access to the most recent issues of the leading criminal justice journals quicker than CJA because it is updated weekly.
Then, if you need to be more comprehensive, proceed to the following:
Criminal Justice Abstracts
This database helps you find journal articles, books and reports in criminal justice and related disciplines. For each reference, a summary of the findings, methodology, and conclusions is provided. The database is updated quarterly and extends as far back as 1968.
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) provides access to the full text of more than 1,500 criminal justice reports as well as a bibliographic database that contains summaries of more than 160,000 publications on criminal justice, including federal, state, and local government reports, books, research reports, journal articles, and unpublished research.
The databases listed above cover the criminal justice literature quite well. However, there are some other useful databases:
PsycINFO via EBSCOhost
This database covers the field of psychology but offers surprisingly good coverage of criminal justice.
ProQuest Dissertations and Theses: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection
Provides the full text of dissertations.
ABI-Inform Global via ProQuest & Business Source Complete via EBSCOhost
If your topic relates to business (for example, white collar crime, fraud, shoplifting), then try searching these databases. They cover business and management journals, and provide a lot of full text.
If your topic somehow relates to courts or the judicial process, then search the full-text law reviews in this database.
Criminal justice research is typically disseminated through journal articles and government reports, which can be located through Criminal Justice Abstracts and the NCJRS Database described above.
Books can still be an important component of your research. Just remember to look at the publication dates and note that journal articles may give you more recent research.
To locate books owned by Niagara University Library, use the Library Catalog.
The ebrary electronic book collection offers full-text access to many titles.
If you want to search for books owned by other libraries, too, then try searching WorldCat, a catalog that contains references to more than 57 million items owned by 9,000 libraries worldwide. Don't worry - if you need a book owned by another library, you can request it. To learn how, jump to the section called Obtaining Materials NU Library Does Not Own.
Tip: One thing to note when searching for books is that they are usually not as specific as articles, so construct your search in a more general way than you would for an article search. So, let's say that you were doing research on community policing as a method of crime prevention--your best bet would be to search for books about community policing and pick out book titles that may look relevant.
There are three places to look for educational video and documentaries owned by Niagara University Library.
- The Educational DVD Collection is located on the first floor of the Library.
This collection exceeds 1,500 titles and can be viewed and searched via the NU Library Catalog.
- Films on Demand. More than 6,000 video titles are available for streaming anywhere on campus.
- The web is a good source of video as well. Refseek links to some of the best sites: http://www.refseek.com/directory/educational_videos.html
The Library has a number of excellent reference books that provide overviews of various criminal justice topics. For example:
- Encyclopedia of Criminology
- Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement
- Encyclopedia of Prisons and Correctional Facilities
- World Police Encyclopedia
These and other titles are located in the Reference Collection on the first floor near call number Ref HV 6017.
Tip: Reference books can also help you locate keywords to help you perform better searches. For example, suppose you are doing a paper on Miranda rights. If you take a few minutes to look in a criminal justice encyclopedia, you will learn more about the topic and find keywords like due process, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment, self-incrimination and double jeopardy. Knowing more background information and keywords will help you do better and more comprehensive research.
Tip: Be aware that legal research can be tough. If you need help, please feel free to contact the criminal justice library liaison.
The World Wide Web is a great place to find statistical data. Try these sites:
- U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (covers many topics)
- Campus Crime
- Death Penalty Information Center (an anti-death penalty site with useful statistics)
- FBI Uniform Crime Reports (crime in the United States)
- National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
- National Center for Victims of Crime
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS)
- New York State Crime Data
- Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
- Statistics Canada
- TRAC Immigration
- U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons
For comparative country analysis, try these sites:
- Bureau of Justice Statistics World Factbook Criminal Justice Systems:
- CIA World Factbook: Country info:
- European Sourcebook for Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics:
- International Crime Victims Survey (ICVS):
- NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD. You can generate maps and graphs on various statistics.
- United Nations Data:
http://data.un.org/ See crime
- United Nations Inter-regional Crime and Justice Research Institute:
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: Cross-national UNODC crime statistics for over 120 countries are available covering the period 2003 to 2008. Statistics on police-recorded offenses and identified victims are available by crime type. Statistics on the response of the criminal justice system are divided according to police, prosecution, court and prison statistics:
- United Nations Rule of Law:
- World Criminal Justice Library Network:
If you are looking for specific information on the World Wide Web, visit a search engine like Google and type your keywords in.
If you would like to browse a directory of criminal justice web sites, try this one:
If you need an article or a book that NU Library does not own, you can make use of Interlibrary Loan to obtain it.
Tip: In a hurry? If the article or book you need is owned by another library in Western New York, you can visit that library and use their resources on site (view a list of Western New York library web sites).
Please note: If you wish to borrow a book from another Western New York library, you can get an InfoPass card at the Reference Desk.
The Criminal Justice Department uses the citation style found in Criminology, the leading journal in the field.
There is a page on the publisher's web site that provides guidance to authors wishing to submit articles for publication.
Although you probably are not submitting an article for publication, this page provides information on how to cite:
Even more useful is a link to a sample issue that you can read to see how others cite in this style.
Tip: Please talk to your professor if you have questions about how to cite your sources.
Want to learn how to create and store citations on the Web? Try this Zotero tutorial: