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CRJ 214: Introduction to Criminology: Home


You need to locate five peer-reviewed research articles on your topic, published no later than 2016. These articles must use sociological methods of evaluation, as well as being related to crime/criminology.

What Is Sociological Research?

Here's a definition from Dr. Karen Sternheimer (Sociology, USC Dornsife):

"the systematic study of people, institutions, or social phenomena using measurement techniques such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, ethnography, or comprehensive analysis of texts. Sociological research may also include the analysis of data collected by government agencies or other sources"

Tips for Reading Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Peer reviewed journal articles aren't the easiest things to read.  Their purpose is to convey what the author(s) were trying to find out, how they went about doing their research, how what they found relates to earlier research, and then share the conclusions they gained from their research.

Here are several web sites that provide advice on how to get the most out of reading a peer reviewed journal article:

Finding Scholarly Articles

Use the database Sociology Collection to search for articles from journals in sociology. Be sure to select the "Peer Reviewed" option to limit your results to peer reviewed journals.

Note: Peer reviewed journals include some things which don't meet the criteria of peer reviewed research, like opinion pieces and book reviews.

Using the Advanced Search function can help locate better information.  Here's an example:

Advanced Search box in Sociology Collection database

You may also want to search for journal articles in Criminal Justice Abstracts, which covers criminology and related disciplines. Again, you can limit to peer reviewed journals.

Another Possible Place to Search

Google Scholar may also be a possibility, but use it very carefully.  It will be trickier to determine if your article 1) is peer reviewed and 2) follows sociological research methods.

To get the most full text, go to the Menu bar in the upper left, click on Settings, then click on Library Links. Choose University of Maine - Full Text.

Citation Help

In many databases, you can find a way to copy and paste the citation for your reference list.  However, it is important to be familiar with the format, as these services are not always correct.

For this course, you will be using the American Sociological Association citation style (ASA).


Mooney, Alyssa C., Alissa Skog, and Amy E. Lerman. 2022. “Racial Equity in Eligibility for a Clean Slate under Automatic Criminal Record Relief Laws.” Law & Society Review 56(3), 398–417. doi:10.1111/lasr.12625.

Other Tools to Access Materials

Librarian, Head of Reference & Information Literacy

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Nancy Lewis
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