Transcript for using Criminal Justice Abstracts
Criminal Justice Abstracts is the seminal database for research in criminology and criminal justice. LetŐs explore this resource.
One of the first things you will notice is that EBSCO databases have a very different look from Proquest databases. By clicking on link Choose Database you can quickly explore and search other library databases that are offered by EBSCO.
You will need to become proficient in using both the EBSCO and Proquest interfaces.
From the advanced search screen there is a dropdown menu that offers you many choices of different fields that you can search.
Also provided are different modes of searching including SmartText a tool that tries to combine your search with like terms. This tutorial will use the default Boolean/phrase search.
Notice you can also limit your search by article types, dates and languages.
LetŐs do an anywhere search for policing and racial profiling. Generally, a useful strategy is to focus your search by limiting it to the articles abstract. So letŐs change our search to terms found in the abstract by using the pulldown menu. Notice that the number of results decreased.
From our results we can limit our results by using the facets on the left hand side of the page. We can also explore the subject tags used to describe the articles in our results.
Notice that the subject also includes the number of articles tagged from our results.
If we want to see ALL of the articles in the database that are tag with a particular subject then we need to do different search. Lets copy the subject tag Ňracial profiling in law enforcementÓ paste it into our search box and use the pulldown menu to search the subject field. Notice that our results have increased for this particular subject, because we expanded the universe of our search.
It is very important to remember this principle when you are using anywhere search strategies along with subject searching strategies.
EBSCO library databases does provide access to an index that you can explore, but it has limited functionality. For example, if you search for the term profiling as a subject term you will notice that its list is not helpful. However, if you change the index to author supplied keywords you will see the term along with the number of article that are tagged this way.
A way to circumvent problems with the index is to do a subject search for a single term to find subject phrases that may be appropriate. For example, do a subject search for the term profiling and explore the subject tags from the results. You should see subject tags for your results as well as all subject phrases that have the term profiling. Such as racial profiling in law enforcement, geographic profiling (criminology), and criminal profiling.