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Criminal Justice Guide

Find articles and websites, writing and APA help

OneSearch for Criminal Justice Information

magazinesAre you required to find "Scholarly Articles," "Peer-Reviewed Articles," or "Academic Articles"? If so, these types of articles are:

  • Written and reviewed by scholars and provide new research, analysis, or information about a specific topic.
    • "Review" means the article is approved by other experts before publication
  • Usually focused on a narrow subject or a single case study
  • Intended for an academic audience


OneSearch is an extensive search engine for information in news, articles, and ebooks. Nexis Uni information, however, is not included in OneSearch. Search the Nexis Uni database separately.

Check the box "Full Text" to limit your results to full text articles. Check the box "Peer-reviewed" to limit your results to Peer-reviewed or Scholarly articles. You also may use the limiter tabs at the top of your results page. If you try to download an article and see "Page unavailable," use a different browser. Microsoft Edge or Firefox are recommended.

Smart Searching Part 1: Tips and Tricks for Finding What You Need Quickly! Updated! This tutorial will show you how to find articles and other resources using the One Search box.

Criminal Justice-related Databases

These databases contain articles and ebooks for criminal justice-related topics.

This list contains words and phrases that may be helpful when researching Criminal Justice topics.

  • capital punishment
  • community policing
  • cyber crime
  • death penalty
  • domestic terrorism
  • domestic violence 
  • domestic security
  • for profit prisons
  • fraud
  • hate crime
  • human trafficking
  • identity theft
  • international terrorism
  • legalization of marijuana
  • mandatory minimum sentencing
  • mass shootings
  • plea bargain
  • presumptive parole
  • prison overcrowding
  • racial profiling
  • restorative justice
  • serial killers
  • social justice
  • threat assessment
  • women offenders
  • workplace violence

Avoid using Editorials or Letters to the Editor from print or online newspapers. These articles are "opinion pieces" and the authors may lack subject expertise.
 Image by Luis Estrada from Pixabay

Use these reliable fact-checking and bias-checking websites for news articles and websites:

  • (politics)

  • Snopes (urban legends, hoaxes, folklore, memes, and rumors)   

  • Climate Feedback (climate change)

  • AFP (choose news, world regions, topics - health, environment, science, politics)   

  • MediaBias/Fact Check (analyzes news and other website bias and contains a list of questionable sources).

  • AllSides (reviews how the same news story is covered across the political spectrum - from the left, the center, and the right).                                                                                   

Credible Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social media posts of "first-hand" accounts of current happenings, such as political rallies, strikes, protest, and entertainment events may be used as primary sources. These sources are analyzed by you, the writer (Coleman, 2013, p.60). Social media should not be used as expert analyses or interpretations to support your argument.  


Auraria Library (n.d.). Social media as a primary source.

Coleman, V. (2013, November/December). Social media as a primary source: A coming of age.
       Educause Review, 48(6), 60-61.

Primary sources are first-hand accounts of an event, or original documents or data. Examples of primary sources include:
  • newspaper articles from the time of the event, photographs, video, or audio that show the event;
  • speeches or interviews; 
  • company financial statements, government documents, academic articles containing original ("empirical") research;

  • transcripts of court trials or hearings, legal cases, statutes, and administrative rules or regulations.
Use primary sources for contemporaneous accounts, raw data, and to identify empirical research.
Secondary sources describe, analyze, review, interpret or are based on primary sources. Examples of secondary sources include:
  • Encyclopedia articles
  • News articles about past events
  • Textbooks
  • Scholarly journal articles
  • Reviews
Use secondary sources for analyses, reviews, or summaries of information from primary sources or other secondary sources.
Bowdoin College Library. (n.d.). Primary and secondary sources.
NorthCentral University Library. (2021, November 2). Primary and secondary resources.    
University of Illinois Library. (2021, October 22). Information sciences 505: Information organization and access: Primary vs 
        secondary sources.
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