Answered By: Chris Clouser
Last Updated: Jan 29, 2015     Views: 562

You can find the databases the library supplies by going to the Library Home Page ( selecting the "Article Databases" option. Then select the database you need from the alphabetic list. The best databases that I would recommend for your criminology paper are : Criminal Justice Periodicals Index, Criminal Justice Abstracts, and NCJRS (National Criminal Justice Reference System). You should also look at some of the general academic databases, too. I would suggest: Academic Search Complete, InfoTrac OneFile, and Wilson OmniFile. Determining if an article is refereed or not is often tricky. The databases give you an option to limit your searches to "peer reviewed" or "scholarly" articles. That's a good way to start. You'll eliminate a lot of lesser quality articles that way. Peer reviewed articles are those that are submitted to an editorial board of experts in the field for review before they are published. This review determines if the research presented in the article is sound and if the conclusions drawn are supported by the argument. Sometimes the review board will return the paper to the author for suggested revisions before it can be published. The difference between "refereed" and "peer reviewed", is that refereed articles are "blind peer reviewed". That means that the reviewers don't get to know the name of the person writing the article. That way they can be impartial. All refereed articles are peer reviewed, but not all peer reviewed articles are necessarily refereed. Unfortunately, the databases don't distinguish between the two types and sometimes the only way you might be able to tell is to read the directions for article authors that will be published in the print version of the journal. These directions will most often, but not in all cases, tell you if the journal is refereed. It is often hard to tell. The Library does have a list of journal titles that have been used by students in your class in previous years and have been acceptable as refereed. You can stop by the Reference Desk on the 1st floor and get a copy. But, the best advice I can give you is, when in doubt, check with your professor.

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