Criminal justice information : how to find it, how to use it /

Other Authors: Benamati, Dennis C.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Phoenix, Ariz. : Oryx Press, 1998.
Tags: Add Tag
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Review by Choice Review

The proliferation of electronic resources makes necessary an up-to-date guide to information in criminal justice. Stating that the research process is no longer linear but advances toward a "new liquid information space," the authors (one a librarian, Rutgers Univ. Criminal Justice Collection) offer a guide to the process of researching criminal justice and to print and electronic sources "useful for the distant researcher," although most of the book is devoted to print resources found in libraries. They discuss selection of resources and concepts of controlled vocabulary, keyword, and full-text searching, but they ignore Boolean strategies. They compare Internet search engines and mention selected sites, but the most exhaustive list appears in the 16-page appendix, which arranges about 750 sites under popular topics (e.g., "Abnormal Behavior," "Death Penalty," "Forensics," "Juvenile Delinquency"). The research process stresses contacts with individuals and at conferences, so discussion list addresses and organizational Web sites are listed. Sources of conference papers and proceedings are mentioned (but not FirstSearch's PapersFirst or ProceedingsFirst databases). Chapters on sources cover dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks; reviews of the literature; online databases; periodical indexes and abstract journals; dissertations; bibliographies; archived data sets; and statistical sources. Although numerous statistical publications from federal agencies are listed, government publications ("grey" or "fugitive" publications) are said to be elusive, often available only from the agencies themselves. The rival guide in criminal justice, Bonnie R. Nelson's Criminal Justice Research in Libraries and on the Internet (CH, Mar'98), although harder to read, covers the same kinds of resources comprehensively, including some not mentioned in the Oryx guide, such as CARL's UnCover and CIS's new Congressional Compass , which has chapters on forensic science, historical research, and foreign legal systems. Both update Robert L. O'Block's Criminal Justice Research Sources (CH, Oct'83; 3rd ed., 1992) and both are excellent research guides, hence they should be in the collections of any criminal justice research collection. L. Treff-Gangler; University of Colorado at Denver

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.