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Criminal Justice: Policing and Law Enforcement

Evaluating Articles (Books Too!)

A Three-Stage Evaluation Process: Making sure that you identify items that are appropriate for your annotated bibliography, literature review, or other parts of your research proposal. Remember, you are evaluating articles for your purpose.

1.   Aboutness – immediate scan of title and abstract (i.e., is it a research study? How old is the article? Does it look relevant to you?)

2.   Practical Skim– requires longer skim of abstract and actual article – doing it as you find the article may save you time/effort – can also do after you’ve saved/printed the article (hint: if the article lets you see the text as a HTML file, you can skim it more easily that way - but if you decide to download it, be sure to download the PDF version)

  •  Language ; type of article (i.e. peer reviewed versus popular ;  source (i.e country) ; author(s); setting ; date of pub; participants/subjects ; content (topic, variables) ; program/intervention ; research design (i.e. quantitative modeling versus qualitative research, i.e., interviews or a survey )
  •  sampling ; date of data collection ; duration of data collection ; funding source

 3.   Going deeper: content and methodological quality, rigor – requires a close read of the research article; things you are learning in your class or in future



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