Learning to do research is a challenge, one which we hope this tutorial will help you meet. The tutorial is designed for the novice academic researcher and presents a basic strategy for finding information for criminal justice research projects.
We suggest you begin by taking Self-Test to determine your basic research skills. The tutorial then guides you through the research process. Step one assists you in finding an appropriate topic. Next you will learn how to explore and define terminology and how to find background information to better understand your topic. Along the way you can see concrete examples of research strategies by choosing the "Thinker" icon. The Thinker follows our example project, on youth violence and guns, through the stages of the research process.
The primary bibliographic resources for criminal justice are journal articles, books, and reports. Library catalogs, indexes and abstracts, and web sites for finding these resources are now all available in electronic form although some of the resources themselves (particularly books but also some journal articles) are only in print form. Because of their important role in criminal justice research and practice, statistics and legal information are also covered in the tutorial. Statistics are widely collected by federal, state and international governments as well as private organizations. They are a key part of articles, reports, and student papers. Criminal justice practice and policy study frequently revolve around laws and court cases. Internet resources are also introduced because so much quality criminal justice information is available on the Internet.
The tutorial refers you to Criminal Justice: a Guide to Information Sources, Dewey Library's guide to sources of information in criminal justice, the University at Albany Libraries' Catalog, and a list of relevant databases subscribed to by the library. The resources mentioned in this tutorial and in Criminal Justice: a Guide to Information Sources, are only a few of the resources useful for criminal justice research. Information from related fields, such as social welfare, sociology, or political science can also be useful for particular topics.
For help with your research please feel free to contact the Criminal Justice Librarian, Mary Jane Brustman, at email@example.com or call the Dewey Library Reference Desk at 442-3691.