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Criminal Justice and Criminology: Article Databases

Key Databases

Your Search: Finding RELEVANT Articles

First, organize your research topic into concepts. Concepts are typically nouns or noun phrases.

  • For example, if you are researching bloodstain patterns, bullet trajectories, and proof of evidence in court, your concepts would be
    • bloodstain patterns
    • bullet trajectories
    • court evidence

Using a databases's Advanced Search, enter each concept and its synonyms into a separate search line.

  • "bloodstain patterns"
  • bullet* OR traject*
  • court OR evidence OR proof

Use quotation marks around phrases, these are typically noun phrases that you would find a definition of in a dictionary.

  • "bullet trajectories"
  • "court evidence"

Use * for truncation.

  • traject* will find trajectory, trajectories, trajection, trajectional

Limit to peer-reviewed articles if necessary.

Limit by date if necessary.

Too many or too few results?

  • Use the thesaurus or Subject Index to find related, broader, narrower, and similar terms OR specific terms that the databases uses to describe a topic.
    • Too many results? Use a narrower term.
    • Too few results? Use a broader term.

Find an article that looks interesting?

  • Click on the article's title.
  • Look at the subjects given to an article to find related terms and run additional searches using these terms.
  • Click on the references, cited by, or see similar documents links to find related articles.