Compiled by Dr. Lesley Farmer, California State University Long Beach




Key terms: criminal justice, criminology, law, and specific aspects of criminal justice (e.g., forensics, courts)


  • Michigan State University resources research guide that addresses general research tips, as well as guides to statistics, reference sources, media, periodicals, primary sources, theories, websites and open access information
  • University of Alabama research guides for articles, statistics, government documents (including law), media, survey and test instruments, websites, career information, research tips, and current news
  • New England Law University guide to international criminal law resources such as core instruments, ICC, war crimes and special tribunals, terrorism, government documents 


  • Association of College & Research Libraries Criminal Justice/Criminology Discussion Group
  • Cheng, J. (2014). An quasi-experiment pilot study of e-teaching and e-learning with simulation in higher education. Journal of Information Systems Technology and Planning, 1.
  • Davis, R. C. (2019). Introducing first-year and transfer students to a college library with a historical mystery from the special collections. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 26(4), 278–300.
  • Dorling, M., & Johnstone, E. (2012). The CSI Schools Project. Education In Science, (246), 20-21.Hill, L., Maier-Katkin, D., & Kinsley, K. (2015). Everything Old is new again: The criminology/criminal justice freshman research seminar. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 26(4), 493-506.
  • McCartin, L. F., Iannacchione, B., & Evans, M. K. (2017). Student perceptions of a required information literacy course on their success in research & writing intensive criminal justice courses. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 43(3), 242–247.
  • McQueeney, K. (2014). Disrupting islamophobia: Teaching the social construction of terrorism in the mass media. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 26(2), 297-309.
  • Simonsen, J., Sare, L., & Bankston, S. (2017). Creating and assessing an information literacy component in an undergraduate specialized science class. Science & Technology Libraries, 36(2), 200-218.


  • Ask students to create a timeline of an aspect of criminal justice (e.g., education, court system, forensics, juvenile justice, correctional institutions).
  • Ask students to research the costs associated with a criminal case.
  • Ask students to research the steps of a criminal justice case from the point of an identified possible criminal to sentencing and parole. Ask them to make a flowchart of that process.
  • Ask students to research the attitudes towards, and the practices of, criminal justice in different cultures.
  • Ask students to research cultural influences of criminal justice.
  • Ask students to research intellectual property law (both copyright and patents/trademarks) as it applies to criminal justice.
  • Ask students to interview personnel in different jobs within the criminal justice system
  • .Ask students to research the same topic in two database aggregators (e.g., Criminal Justice Abstracts, WestlawNext, PsycINFO), and compare the process and results.
  • Ask students to analyze a dataset to answer a criminal justice research question (e.g., U.S. Census dataset to find relations between population density and number of crimes).
  • Ask students select a seminal work on a criminal justice topic, and then identify sources that preceded and continued the conversation, analyzing the impact of the seminal work on the field.
  • Ask students to analyze the representation of criminal justice in movies (e.g.,
  • Ask students to debate a criminal justice issue, such as diversity representation in the criminal justice system.Ask students to research the impact of technology on criminal justice.
  • Ask students to research the impact of criminal justice on technology (e.g., DNA).
  • Ask students to create an infographic about criminal justice.Ask students to create a graphic novel about an aspect of criminal justice.
  • Ask students to create timelines about benchmark events and legal decisions about a criminal science issue (e.g., drug use and the crime cycle, recidivism, youth in the criminal justice system).
  • Ask students to create a virtual museum exhibit about an aspect of criminal justice.
  • Ask students to research and compare the creation of criminal justice laws in different countries, and at different levels of government.
  • Ask students to locate, critique and compare codes of ethics within the criminal justice system at different governmental levels and in different countries. Ask them to create their own criminal justice code of ethics.
  • Ask students to investigate the history of criminal using primary sources (e.g., the Library of Congress’s American Memory collections:
  • Ask students to create the ideal criminal justice curriculum.