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Criminal Justice & Law

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Getting Started
  1. To search for BACKGROUND information, use Credo Reference or Gale Virtual Reference Library
  2. To search for BOOKS and DVDS owned by Sage, use the Libraries Catalog
  3. To search for JOURNAL, MAGAZINE or NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, use ProQuest Criminal Justice or LexisNexis Academic
Find Journal Articles

The best database to begin your search is ProQuest Criminal Justice which is a comprehensive database supporting research on crime, its causes and impacts, legal and social implications, as well as litigation and crime trends.


The following set of databases may also be useful depending on your topic:

Academic Onefile
A multi-disciplinary database containing thousands of journals and reference sources.

Academic Search Elite
Provides full text for more than 2,100 journals, including more than 1,700 peer-reviewed titles. It covers a wide variety of topics including computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, history, and ethnic studies.

ProQuest Central
Comprehensive research database covering nearly every academic discipline.

GPO Monthly Catalog
U.S. government publications

LexisNexis Academic
Replaced by Nexis Uni.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service
A federally funded resource offering justice and substance abuse information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide.

Nexis Uni
Features more than 15,000 news, business and legal sources, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790.

Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History
Explores the traditions of Ancient Greek, Roman & Medieval Roman Law, Chinese Law, English Common Law, Islamic Law, United States Law and the laws of such other regions as Africa, Latin America and South Asia.

Library of Congress portal to legislative activity of Congress.

A legal database that includes federal and state jurisdictions, courts, legislation, law reviews and many periodicals and newspapers. Searchable by legal citation or case number.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
Citations, abstracts and indexing of the internaional serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration/policy.


Locating Journal Articles

Many of these databases, provide full text coverage. You will often see links that you can click on to connect directly to an article. Look for "PDF Full Text," "HTML Full Text" or "Linked Full Text" somewhere on the page. Examples are below:

The Find Full Text symbol indicates that Sage may own the material, but it is housed in a different database or journal. Clicking this link will bring you to the article in full text, if owned by Sage.

If full text access is NOT available through the Sage databases, you may request the journal article via Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

If you have a citation for a specific journal or newspaper article, click here for instructions to learn how to locate the article using the "Journals A-Z" portal.
Find Books

Search the Sage Libraries Catalog for books, eBooks and DVDs:

There are several ways to search the catalog with keyword searching the most basic. A keyword search is the default search option in the Libraries catalog. Use the catalog's "Advanced Search" to search by author, title, call number, ISBN number or subject. You may also limit your search to a specific library (Albany or Troy).

RESEARCH TIP: Use a thesaurus to find synonyms to expand your keyword searches.

To find the book on the shelf, you will need to know the library (Albany or Troy), shelving location (Main, New Books, etc.) and call number. This information can be found on the item record (see example below). If you find a book in the catalog but it is on the opposite campus, storage or otherwise inaccesible, use the "Place Hold" function to request the book.


All eBooks owned by Sage can be found by searching the Libraries' catalog. You may also search these eBooks collections separately. eBooks may be downloaded to an eReader device. See here for downloading instructions.

Not finding what you need?

Try searching WorldCat, a catalog of books, media and journals in libraries around the world. You can use Sage's Interlibrary Loan service (ILL) to borrow books from other libraries.
Search for an item in libraries near you: >>
Find Statistics
The following is a recommended list of statistical sources. Please note, this list is a sample of available resources and is by no means exclusive.

Bureau of Justice Statistics - BJS maintain statistics in the areas of law enforcement, prosecution, courts and sentencing, corrections (including capital punishment), and expenditure and employment.

Criminal Justice Statistics. New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services - New York State criminal justice statistics and also has a Directory of NYS Criminal Justice Agencies.

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime Statistics - statistical crime reports and publications, detailing specific offenses and outlining national and local trends in crime.

Federal Justice Statistics Resource Center - a database containing information about suspects and defendants processed in the Federal criminal justice system.

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics - brings together data from more than 100 published and unpublished sources about the many aspects of criminal justice in the United States.

United Nations: Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice - data on reported crimes and the operations of international criminal justice systems.

U.S. Census Bureau - current and historical U.S. demographic data. Links to federal, state and international statistical resources as well.
Subject Specialist
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Keyword Search Tips
  1. Consider adding one of these terms to your search terms: collateral, subpoena, liability.
  2. Break down your topic into smaller concepts and identify synonyms for those concepts.
  3. Use "AND" to combine terms in your search, i.e. "statute of limitations and due process"
  4. Use "OR" to expand your results, i.e. "settlement or judgment"
  5. Use QUOTATION MARKS to delineate a group of words as a phrase, i.e. "Marbury v. Madison"

For more search tips, see one of these tutorials:

Citing Sources
General Online Guides (all of these guides can help you cite assignments for Law and Society classes)

Purdue Online Writing Lab
W.W. Norton's "Write Site" (Little Seagull Handbook publisher)

Copies of the major style manuals can be found at the Information Desk in either Library.
Evaluating Websites
There are numerous websites and blogs available on the internet but some may not be accurate, creditable or useful for law topics. Therefore, you should always carefully evaluate a source - no matter how reliable it seems to be - before using it for your research. Use a TRAP to evaluate materials for quality.

Click on thumbnail for larger image
Useful Websites

Federal Law

United States Constitution

Guide to United States Law

Federal Laws and Regulations

New York State Law

New York State Constitution

New York State Code and Statues

New York State Government Documents

Other Helpful Resources

American Civil Liberties Union - has special sections on criminal justice and death penalty issues. Included are briefing papers and other online documents.

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice - a private non-profit organization with a self-stated mission to "reduce reliance on incarceration as a solution to social problems."

Department of Justice Resources page - a variety of resources including publications, reports, and frequently requested forms to case highlights, legal briefs, opinions and judicial orders.

Juvenile Justice Center - sponsored by the American Bar Association, the goal of the Juvenile Justice Center is to advance the juvenile defense bar through training, technical assistance, information dissemination and advocacy. legal dictionary

National Institute of Justice - dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to reduce crime and promote justice, particularly at the state and local levels.
Browsing Books
The Sage Libraries uses the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) system to organize its book collection. Law and Society books can be found in the following sections:
HT Communities. Classes. Races.
HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology.
Law in general. Comparative and uniform law. Jurisprudence
Private law
Civil law
Compensation to victims of crime. Reparation
Intellectual property
Courts. Procedure
Constitutional law
Environmental law

Private international law. Conflict of laws.

Religious law in general. Comparative religious law.
Federal law. Common and collective state law
Individual states
New York
Law of nations