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Criminal Justice Research Guide

Start at the library home page, and click the Databases tab at left. Click the initial letter of the database you are looking for in the A-Z listing, or browse the titles on the page. Click the name of the database you are looking for.

In addition to using Article Quick Search to do a general search of many of UML's databases, students can search within several specialized databases on criminal justice topics. Using these databases is kind of like choosing a meal in a restaurant specializing in Malaysian food, in contrast to ordering a Malaysian dish at a non-ethnic restaurant. You have more, and better, choices.

Criminal Justice Abstracts is an index of journal articles related to criminal justice and criminology, including hundreds of journals from around the world. Criminal Justice Abstracts contains more than 400,000 records selected from the most important sources within the discipline. Subject areas covered include:

✦ criminal law and procedure 
✦ corrections and prisons 
✦ police and policing 
✦ criminal investigation 
✦ forensic sciences and investigation 
✦ history of crime 
✦ substance abuse and addiction 
✦ probation and parole.


Like a number of UML library databases, Criminal Justice Abstracts is from a vendor called Ebsco. The landing page for Ebsco database links is the Advanced Search page. You can choose the Basic Search by clicking the tab beneath the search fields.

criminal justice database  landing page with arrow showing basic search tab


Use the tutorials below to familiarize yourself with both types of search in Ebsco databases.

A Basic Search in Ebsco Databases

If you cannot access the above video, you can watch it here

Creating an Advanced Search in Ebsco Databases

If you cannot access the above video, you can watch it here

Search Toolkit

Truncation: If you type a word in your search that has variations, you may miss some results you need. Using a Truncation symbol, nearly always an asterisk, (*) to get plurals and variants. For example, music* will retrieve musician, musical, musicians. Laugh* will retrieve laughter, laughing, laugh. (Some databases may use different symbols, i.e. an exclamation mark (!). 

Phrase searching: - enclose specific terms in quotation marks so they will be searched together, (rahter than returning results for each word independently.

NOTE: Most databases, including Criminal Justice Abstracts, will allow you to truncate inside of a phrase (i.e. "broken window*").
Operators and Grouping: Use the AND and OR operators to get a better search. OR expands your search by letting you look for multiple terms, i.e. synonyms.
AND narrows your results because you are looking for results that have both or all your terms so that your results include all concepts being searched and so are likely to be more relevant for your needs:

Simple Search: (only one search box) - Use parentheses to group multiple concept terms.