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Criminology & Miscarriage of Justice: Articles

Reviews reference books, databases and web sites dealing with criminology and miscarriage of justice including capital punishment.

What is a Scholarly Journal?


Scholarly journals review submitted articles before they are published. Many professors require students to use scholarly journal articles as resources when writing research papers. For tips on locating scholarly journals and evaluating Internet sources, please see our FAQ on scholarly journals.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a search tool from Google, separate from its main search engine, with its own URL ( Its purpose (says Google) is “to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research.”

Google Scholar is an excellent resource BUT it does not always connect to Emory sources. A book or journal article may be in the library. Never purchase purchase an item without checking. Remember you can also borrow items from other libraries for free.

Finding Journal Articles



Topics in criminology and the miscarriage of justice have many aspects including sociological, psychological, public policy, religious, etc. Following is a list of some of the major databases and indexes relevant to this topic. Many of these databases have direct links to full-text either through hyperlinks or the Find it at Emory button. Always check the eJournals page and EUCLID before assuming that the library does not have an electronic version of the source. Make sure to look at the Research Guides page to find related research guides such as SOCIOLOGY and PSYCHOLOGY. Connect to the libraries for the School of Law, Health Sciences, Goizueta Business School, and Pitts Theology for more information on specialized resources available in those fields.

The following two databases are the most important for sociology and cover this topic. While there is overlap between the two, each has much unique material:

  • Sociological Abstracts (1952-date)
    Indexes and abstracts the international literature in sociology and related fields. Covers almost 2000 journals, plus relevant dissertation listings, abstracts of conference papers, and selected books. This is a smaller, more academic database with more foreign language material than SocINDEX. A print edition of this title is available at Ref. HM 1.S6.
  • SocINDEX with Full Text (1895-date)
    Indexes and abstracts over 2500 journals, conference papers, and relevant books and dissertations in sociology and related fields. Includes some popular literature. Includes additional full-text for many (but not all) citations. Provides deep historical coverage for major journals, e.g. American Journal of Sociology is indexed back to 1895.

Another important database for the behavioral aspects of crime and justice is

  • PsycINFO (1807-present)
    Covers the professional and academic literature in psychology and related disciplines. Includes journals of interest to sociologists but not covered in the standard sociology databases, e.g. Law and Human Behavior. Coverage is worldwide and includes references and abstracts to over 1300 journals in over 20 languages, and to English language books and book chapters.A print version, Psychological Abstracts, is available at Ref. BF1.C531.

To cover the legal issues use

  • HEIN ONLINE  Full-text searchable database of over 150 legal periodicals. Scope varies for different publications and latest years are not usually covered; see the journal list on the website for details.

NOTE: Lexis-Nexis offers many specialized databases including  Proquest Congressional and others which include material on capital punishment, emphasizing public policy and legal issues. Lexis-Nexis has also produced a bibliography on capital punishment drawing from their various resources.

Also use:

  • PAIS International/Public Affairs Information Service (1915-present)
    Indexes books, periodicals and selected local, state, national, and international government documents in the areas of public policy, social policy and the social sciences. PAIS Archive can also be searched separately. Both files can be searched simultaneously.
  • Social Sciences Citation Index (1956-present)
    Part of the Web of Knowledge, the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) is a multidisciplinary database. SSCI allows you to search not only by key words from an article's title but also by authors who have been cited in an article's bibliography. This is called citation searching. If you know a key article on your topic or an important author, this is often a very effective way to search. When you first connect to the Web of Knowledge, you can search the entire database or restrict your search to SSCI. A print version covering 1969-1993 is available at Ref. Z7161.S65.

NEW! Try out discoverE. Click on the articles tab and select "social sciences" from the drop down menu below. This will allow you to search Sociologial Abstracts, Social Science Abstracts, Social Science Citation Index, Econlit, and Political Science Complete at the same time.


More general sources:

  • Academic Search Complete (1984-date)
    Indexes scholarly journals in the social sciences, business, humanities, general science, multi-cultural studies, and education as well as major daily newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Christian Science Monitor. In addition to locating the text of known journals, you can search the database by subject and author.

Subject Librarian

Melissa Hackman's picture
Melissa Hackman
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