Skip to Main Content

Criminal Justice Research Guide

Gale OneFile: Criminal Justice Collection includes more than 250 journals -- while not as comprehensive as Criminal Justice Abstracts, it gives you immediate full text. Subjects include law, law enforcement, security, and terrorism.

Go to Gale OneFile Criminal Justice Collection

Advanced Search in Gale's Criminal Justice Collection

From the homepage, click on Advanced Search.

.criminal justice collection database basic search box

1. Type a topic word in to the first search field, for instance "victimology".

criminal justice collection advanced search page with dropdown


2. Notice the dropdown at left. This is where you can start to narrow down your search. Use quotation marks around phrases. If you choose terms from the dropdown, it will add quotation marks automatically.

Keyword will scan the title and first paragraph for your term.
Subject filters results according to subject terms assigned by Gale staff to represent the article.
Entire Document scans all the words in all the articles in the database. Most helpful with an obscure or very specific search term.

3. Use the operators in the dropdown at the left of the search screen to expand or narrow your search.

operator dropdown in criminal justice collection search page

Using And will narrow to only those articles including both search terms; Or will expand to those articles with either term and Not excludes all articles with that term.

Use the tabs at right to filter results to certain document types. Lexile measure means reading level. Not important in college-level research.

criminal justice collection search page with filter tabs

Proximity Operators

Proximity operators allow you to search based on how closely two or more search terms will appear in the search results. Proximity operators are useful to ensure you don't miss relevant content. In the Gale databases you can use the letters N (for near) or W (within) plus a number representing the number of unrecalled words in the phrase come between the terms you CAN remember.

For example, a phrase search for “predictive policing theories ” would not retrieve documents mentioning theories of predictive policing, , theories involving predictive policing, theories about predictive policing.

A proximity search, looking for the term "predictive policing" appearing near, (N) or within (W) a certain number of words of the term theories, retrieves many phrases which include the worlds predictive policing theories. 

"Predictive policing" N3 theories would search for "predictive policing" within 3 words of theories, in any order. "Predictive Policing"W3 theories would search for "predictive policing" within 3 words of theories, in the exact order you typed them.

Truncation or Wildcards

Truncation means typing the root of a word in to your search field followed by a symbol, allowing the search engine to retrieve multiple variations of that word. It is usually represented by an asterisk, but can have other forms in various databases. In the Gale databases, an asterisk represents variable forms of the root word including any number of characters. An exclamation point means one character may very, and a question mark means 3 characters may vary.

For instance Crim* will retrieve criminal, criminals, crime, crimes, criminality.