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Criminal Justice: Policing and Law Enforcement

After College: Lifelong Learning Resources for When You No Longer Have Access to an Academic Library

general stuff about lifelong learning and the value of academic literature for non-scholarly purposes. Most of this will be freely-available resources, but some may require a subscription or paying a publisher or other entity for a particular item.

This page is a work in progress!


Intro /access tools

CJ resources

General Resources - maybe switch these so CJ is at the bottom?

Starting Out: Access Tools for Locating Journal Articles and MOre

These tools include browser extensions that you can install that will help you find and get access to scholarly literature. You may also be able to work with your local public library to order books and individual journal articles through Interlibrary Loan. This service is not always available and may have a small fee.

Important Information to be aware of about Open Access Preprints and Postprints (or pre-prints/post-prints)

Many open access (freely available) articles have been through the Peer Review process. These may be found in Open Access journals, and also in Open Access/Toll Access hybrid journals. They can also be found on researcher's own webpages and in Institutional Repositories (such as WSU's own Research Exchange) and Disciplinary Repositories such as XXXX.

If an article has been though peer review and made available but is not found in a journal, it is called a postprint. Postprints can be fully formatted and include the original publishing journal citation information, or they can look like a double-spaced Word document or anything in between - the important thing is they have been peer reviewed and there is acknowledgement of it. Articles that have been though peer review and are published in a journal with formatting and (theoretically) copy-editing are just called peer reviewed articles ;-)

If an article has been made publicly available but has not yet gone through the peer review process it is called a preprint. It may have been made available to get feedback, or, as in the case of many articles published in the COVID era it may be that science is changing so quickly that there is not enough time to go through the (often lengthy) peer review process. 

In general, it is best to work with articles that have gone through the peer review process. If you are uncertain, see if you can find the title on a publisher site, like SAGE, or Elsevier ScienceDirect, Wiley, Taylor & Francis or another journal or publisher platform. You'll need to make sure it's the exact same article! It may be best to keep to peer-reviewed journals just to be sure. 

For articles that you find "in the wild," you may want to look them up in Retraction Watch to make sure they have not been retracted. I may be wrong on this since RW usually focusses on articles that have been formally published?? Must investigate.


Books and More

Academic networking and discovery sites such as ResearchGate and  are searchable and often allow downloads of articles, or the ability to request an author to share a copy. 

Scholarly Articles

Specifically for Criminal Justice: Why lifelong learning?

About This Page: The value of being able to locate and read scholarly literature when you are no longer part of a college or university community.

This tab includes resources specifically for people who need to access scholarly information about criminal justice and criminology, including law enforcement and corrections. Everything under it is more generally about accessing academic work.

Think Tanks and Research Institutions

Think tanks and research institutions often publish a significant amount of material, much of it of interest to scholars and researchers on a wide range of topics. 

*Most will come from a particular political, economic, or social perspective so it's important to be aware of the perspective of organizations and/or individual authors. 

US Government and State Information

International Organizations (Governmental and More)

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