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Justice Administration

Research guide to assist justice administration students and faculty.

Library Resources

The Explore RSU Libraries search box on the library website is a great place to start your research. It searches all the library's resources in one place including books/ebooks, journal and news articles and legal and government information. 


Learn about a Topic

Some sources, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, are great for gathering general information on a topic.  If you need definitions of words or conceptsstatistical information, or background information, these sources are a good place to start.  

While most dictionaries and encyclopedias are credible sources of information, they only summarize topics, and should not be used as a substitute for scholarly research.  Some professors will not allow you to cite encyclopedias in research papers, so be sure that you understand the expectations of an assignment beforehand.  Finally, be sure to choose sources wisely. They should be published by a credible source. Below is a list of sources in the library's collection.

 

 

Individual databases can also be searched. This is a list of the most relevant databases for justice administration and related areas. An A-Z List of databases can be found here. 

Scholarly v. Popular Sources

 If you are not familiar with scholarly publications, it can be difficult to tell the difference between scholarly and popular  periodicals. There are no definitive rules for distinguishing between the two, but here are some guidelines:

Scholarly (e.g., academic journals):

  • Are written by professionals within an academic field or discipline.
  • Contain research projects, methodology, and theory.
  • Have few, if any, advertisements.
  • Use college-level or specialized vocabulary of the discipline.
  • Include articles with extensive bibliographies, footnotes, or other documentation.
  • Contain graphics that are often black & white and consist of tables, charts, and diagrams.
  • Are peer-reviewed or refereed.

Popular (e.g., magazines, newspapers):

  • Are written by journalists.
  • Contain general news articles written to inform, update, or introduce a new issue.
  • Have many full-color, full-page advertisements.
  • Use a general, non-technical vocabulary.
  • Include articles with little or no documentation.
  • Contain graphics that are often full-color pictures and illustrations.

The academic databases listed on this guide are excellent sources for magazine, news, and journal articles. Library databases are different from online search engines like Google, so you will need to master a few basic concepts in order to use them effectively. 

Exclude irrelevant words

When using the databases, you should exclude all extraneous words from your searches. First, leave out all articles (a, an, the) in your search. Next, narrow your search terms down to two or three words that describe exactly what you hope to find For example, if you are writing a paper about the theme of discrimination in Frankenstein, narrowing your search terms down to discrimination and Frankenstein will likely retrieve a manageable list of more precise results.

Select and refine search terms

After you have selected your initial search terms, list any synonyms or related terms that might be relevant to your topic. For example, if your search terms are Frankenstein and discrimination, you might want to try synonyms such as "prejudice" or "intolerance" in place of discrimination. You may even replace discrimination with a related term, such as "inhumanity." Successful searches are often the result of trying out a variety of terms. Most databases will provide you with suggestions of additional or alternate search terms to use, which can lead you to better results in a shorter amount of time.

Combine or exclude terms

Two or more search terms may be combined in different ways to yield different results. The connectors AND, OR, NOT are useful search tools, and most databases have these built in to make searching easier. Use the connector AND to yield results that contain both search terms. Use OR for results that contain either term. Use NOT to exclude results that contain a specific term.

Try different databases

Different databases index different content, and selecting the right database is just as important to successful searching as choosing the right search terms. A search that retrieves few or no results in one database may work well in another. If you retrieve too few or irrelevant results in one database, try a different one.


Scholarly v. Popular Sources 

If you are not familiar with scholarly publications, it can be difficult to tell the difference between scholarly and popular periodicals. There are no definitive rules for distinguishing between the two, but here are some guidelines:

Scholarly (e.g., academic journals):

  • Are written by professionals within an academic field or discipline.
  • Contain research projects, methodology, and theory.
  • Have few, if any, advertisements.
  • Use college-level or specialized vocabulary of the discipline.
  • Include articles with extensive bibliographies, footnotes, or other documentation.
  • Contain graphics that are often black & white and consist of tables, charts, and diagrams.
  • Are peer-reviewed or refereed.

Popular (e.g., magazines, newspapers):

  • Are written by journalists.
  • Contain general news articles written to inform, update, or introduce a new issue.
  • Have many full-color, full-page advertisements.
  • Use a general, non-technical vocabulary.
  • Include articles with little or no documentation.
  • Contain graphics that are often full-color pictures and illustrations.

If you can visit the library in person, shelf-browsing is an excellent way to find books on your topic.  Below is a basic guide to Library of Congress classification for criminal justice and law.

 

LC Classification for Criminal Justice

Class H: Social Sciences (General)

Subclass HV: Social Pathology, Social and Public Welfare, Criminology

HV6201-6249: Criminal classes

HV6250-6250.4: Victims of crimes.  Victimology

HV6251-6773.55: Crimes and offenses

HV6774-7220.5: Crimes and criminal classes

HV7231-9960: Criminal justice administration

HV7428: Social work with delinquents and criminals

HV7431: Prevention of crime, methods, etc.

HV7435-7439: Gun control

HV7551-8280.7: Police.  Detectives.  Constabulary

HV7935-8025: Administration and organization

HV8031-8080: Police duty.  Methods of protection

HV8035-8069: Special classes of crimes, offenses and criminals

HV8073-8079.35: Investigation of crimes.  Examination and identification of prisoners

HV8079.2-8079.35: Police social work

HV8079.5-8079.55: Traffic control.  Traffic accident investigation

HV8081-8099: Private detectives.  Detective bureaus

HV8130-8280.7: By region or country

HV8290-8291: Private security services

HV8301-9920.7: Penology.  Prisons.  Corrections

HV9051-9230.7: The juvenile offender.  Juvenile delinquency. Reform schools, etc.

HV9261-9430.7: Reformation and reclamation of adult prisoners

HV9441-9920.7: By region or country

 

LC Classification for Law

Class K: General law, jurisprudence, philosophy and theory of law, comparative and international law, and conflict of laws;

KDZ: North America as a region;

KF: United States; KF followed by another letter indicates the law of a state within the United States,

             i.e. KFO 1201-1799 - Oklahoma law