Basic Search in Criminal Justice Database

Basic Search in Criminal Justice Database

Begin transcript:

Visual: Homepage of Criminal Justice Database

Narration: Hello, everyone. This video shows how to do a perform a basic search in a Library database. For this demonstration we’ll be using Criminal Justice Database. To begin, identify the most relevant keywords to use in our search. The easiest way to do this is to pull keywords right out of our research question. Our sample question for today will be: “What is the relationship between recidivism and mental illness among ex-convicts?” So, our keywords will be “recidivism,” “mental illness,” and “ex-convicts.” We’ll enter our keywords into the search boxes, using one search box per concept. As we do this, we’ll add a few more search terms to increase our results.

Visual: Typing the keywords, “recidiv*,” “mental illness OR mental disorders,” and “ex-convicts OR ex-felons OR ex-criminals” into the three separate search boxes.

Narration: You’ll notice in the first search box that I’ve abbreviated the term “recidivism” by placing an asterisk after the letter “v.” This is called a truncated search and it tells the database to return results with any variation of this root, for example, “recidivism” or “recidivists.” I’m going to add another search term, a synonym of “mental illness,” to increase our results. We’ll do this by separating these terms by the Boolean operator “OR.”  You can also click on the Thesaurus link at the top. This tool will help you think of more search terms to use in your search. Before you search, look at the Limit To section. You’ll see that the Full Text option is checked, while the Peer Reviewed option is not. I recommend reversing this by clicking Peer Reviewed and unclicking Full Text. Now we’re ready to search.

Visual: Clicking search and going to results page. Scrolling down and pointing out tools on the left.

Narration: This search gives us 67 results. If you wanted to further narrow your results, you can use the limiting tools locating on the left-hand side of the screen. You can limit by source type, publication date, document type, or subject, among others.  

Once you’ve performed a good search, you’ll need to browse the results to identify the most relevant sources.

Visual: Scrolling up to top of results list and clicking on Abstract/Details link of first result.

Narration: You can click on the Abstract/Details link to read the abstract and view the Subject Terms assigned to this article. This will give you some ideas of some additional search terms to use in future searches.

Visual: Clicking back to the results page to point out full text options.

Narration: To read the entire article, click on one of the full text options located below the article title. If you see a Find@Walden link, click on it. This will take you to another database with the full text of this article.

That concludes this short video on searching in Criminal Justice Database. If you have any questions please contact us through the Ask a Librarian tool on the Library’s homepage. Happy searching!

Created October 2017 by Walden University Library