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Before You Research
Scholarly articles are not the place to start your research. First, you need to get familiar enough with your topic that you can start to narrow it down, and for that you need more general information. This will help you develop context for your topic as well as get to know the specialized terms used by experts.
Useful when you're starting out on a research project. Do simple searches to find topic introductions in a variety of subjects. The mind map tool will help you discover related ideas and terms.
Some of the databases are multi-disciplinary, which means you don't have to worry so much about how sociological versus legal versus historic your information need is.
Academic Search Complete
Multi-disciplinary database; full text of articles from over 5,300 journals, magazines and newspapers, plus image collections.
Complete historical full text of all issues of peer-reviewed journals in a wide range of humanities and social science fields.
Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints
Provides topic overviews as well as collects a variety of sources, including statistics, reference materials, journal articles, news articles, images, and audio broadcasts.
Over 100,000 ebook titles covering a full range of academic topics. General reference works are also included.
EBSCO eBook Collection
Search complete electronic books. Read in browser, or create an account to download books to various devices
When choosing a database, think about what information you're really trying to find and what subject area that fits into. Some of the more specialized databases that may be useful to include:
Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection
Nearly 575 full-text publications, including some 550 peer-reviewed journals, in psychiatry, psychology, and related fields.
Centered on the discipline of law and legal topics, this collection provides articles from law journals that provide information for current issues, studies, thoughts and trends of the legal world. Some news/magazine sources included as well.
Business Source Complete
Provides "journal and magazine full-text articles, financial data, case studies, industry reports, market research reports, company profiles, SWOT analyses and more."
Statistics: United States
National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
Search for date from 1978 onward to find government reports.
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government.
FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program
The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program has been the starting place for law enforcement executives, students of criminal justice, researchers, members of the media, and the public at large seeking information on crime in the nation.
National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
The NIBRS captures detailed information on each single crime occurrence. Designed for law enforcement, the NIBRS has the flexibility to gather administrative facts on crime incidents as well as varied information about the victims, offenses, arrestees, and property involved in them.
Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
Brings together data from more than 100 published and unpublished sources about many aspects of criminal justice in the United States.
Federal Bureau of Prisons, Weekly Population Report
Latest inmate count and staff statistics in each federal facility and in total with demographic breakdowns.
National Youth Gang Survey Analysis
From the National Gang Center. First population sample spanned 1996-2001; current sample covers 2002-2012.
Psst -- what's a database?
In its most basic sense, a database is just a selection of information designed for you to search and retrieve stuff from it. Amazon is a database you're probably familiar with: it's limited (only contains things you can buy through them) and retrievable (you can search and filter your results to find what you're looking for).
The library databases contain reputable, reliable sources of information to support researchers like you! This means everything from digital encyclopedias (like Credo), ebooks, scholarly journal articles, magazine and newspaper articles, streaming videos, statistics, and more.