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CRJ 301: Research Methods in Criminal Justice (Rorie)

Resources to help students with research assignments.

Subject Guide

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Susie Skarl, Urban Affairs Librarian
UNLV Libraries
Lied Library
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Box 457014
Las Vegas, NV 89154-7014

Researching Social Problems

  • To find advocacy groups and organizations that may be for or against an issue, check out the "Contacts" section on the CQ Researcher database. 

Government-Related Criminal Justice Websites

U.S. Department of Justice (
Searchable gateway to the Department of Justice, including publications, legal documents, strategic plans, and annual reports.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, U.S. Dept. of the Treasury (
Searchable website providing news and information, publications, regulations, links for kids, most wanted criminals, and more.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) (
Gateway to information on drug trafficking and abuse, law enforcement, drug policy, and DEA resources.

Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) (
Links to full-text resources on terrorism, most wanted terrorist and fugitive lists, and kids and youth resources.

Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President (
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a component of the Executive Office of the President, was established by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. The ONDCP web site provides links to an extensive publications list, drug facts, and treatment programs, as well as information about state, local, and international drug use statistics and prevention efforts.

U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) (
The BJS website containing data on crime and victims, law enforcement, prosecution, criminal offenders, and corrections. Additionally, the Publications menu features full-text publications about drugs, gun violence, capital punishment, and more. Nevada's crime statistics may be found here.

Crime & Justice Data Online (
Website contains data concerning the following: Crime trends from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, homicide trends and characteristics by state and local agencies, law enforcement management, and administrative statistics

Uniform Crime Reports​
According to its website, "UCR is a city, county, and state law enforcement program which provides a nationwide view of crime based on the submission of statistics by law enforcement agencies throughout the country." Some of the statistical categories include homicide, robbery, burglary, and aggravated assault.

Crime and Victims Statistics (
Criminal victimization statistic reports. Reports include victim characteristics such as female victims, elderly victims, teenage victims. Crime characteristics types of crime, victim/offender relationship, weapon use, place of occurrence, cost of crime.

Drugs & Crime Facts (
A summary of U.S. statistics about drug-related crimes, law enforcement, courts, and corrections from Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and non-BJS sources. has been developed to help law enforcement agencies throughout North America provide the public with valuable information about recent crime activity in their neighborhood.



Evaluating Information/Scholarly vs, Popular Sources

Literature Review Resources

"Lit Review 101"

A literature review asks: What do we know - or not know - about this particular issue/ topic/ subject?

How well you answer this question depends upon:

  1. the effectiveness of your search for information
  2. the quality & reliability of the sources you choose
  3. your ability to synthesize the sources you select

Begin with a Synthesis Matrix

As you read, you'll encounter various ideas, disagreements, methods, and perspectives which can be hard to organize in a meaningful way.

A synthesis matrix helps you record the main points of each source and document how sources relate to each other.


Find Good Models

  •  Search for Literature Reviews
    Look for other literature reviews in your subject area to see how they are written.
    **Thank you to John Glover for permission to use this guide from VCU.**
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