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Criminology - Recommended Sources

A quick way of getting to grips with a new subject before embarking on lots of academic research may be to use a reliable reference work or to take a look at a quickly obtainable and easily searchable e-book on the topic. This can provide you with a good vocabulary to use when creating a search strategy for academic peer reviewed articles. However as a criminologist you may well be studying areas around public policy and public opinion which may require upto date but not necessarily peer reviewed materials to use as evidence. Government Sources are freely available on the web and can show policy old and new and may include useful statistics and other factual evidence. In addition there are numerous non-governmental organisations active in the field who may be lobbying to change policy or producing statistics about specific problem areas Both types of organisation may well provide access to research papers and statistics on the open web. Additionally if you are researching public opinion you may be interested in media and news otlets which may indicate public feelings or pprovide first hand account of events which you are studying. The lists below aim to identify some useful sources in these areas.

Reference Works

The following are  useful reference works for Criminology.

A collection of reference sources solely on criminology, but with a US bias. Do try the Concept Map if you are looking for a different way to search.

Later editions are available in print only.


• Dawsonera 

Contains full text books in many subject areas.

Contains many titles on criminology

The Handbook series contains in-depth, high-level articles by scholars at the top of their field.  Authentication required for off-campus access


Although this does not contain the Oxford Handbook of Criminology the collection includes a large number of useful articles across the broad spectrum of criminology.

Over 240 unlimited access in-depth guides to current and classic research across a range of subject areas. If you can't access something via this site, put the book title into the Portsmouth catalogue instead as we have previously bought some titles via Ebook Central.

Government Sources

Will publish current government policy, reports and research while older material is curated by the National Archive. In case of difficulty please contact Linda Jones. Interested in impartial research briefings? Take a look here

Did you know both Houses of Parliament have their own library? Try looking at what is freely available from the House of Commons and House of Lords. For a more sophisticated search of research briefings, plus other parliamentary material, try here or put search into Google like this: site:parliament.uk "briefing paper" "local authorities" and take control of your sources rather than be led by a search engine.

ministerial department responsible for immigration, security, and law and order.

a Parliamentary Select Committee with remit to consider human rights issues in the UK.

ministerial department responsible for areas of constitutional policy, human rights law and information rights law.

Non-Governmental Organisations

These often provide an alternative viewpoint on government policy and may sponsor independent research or collate international facts and figures

• Liberty 

• Police Federation Papers not in Discovery 

Perspectives in policing will be of interest to senior police officers, academics and anyone interested in deeper analysis of some of the big questions facing policing today.

• Statewatch 

Research Papers

A journal specifically relevant to probation courses

good summary documents with sources for further references


Data from a number of years which you can download and manipulate into graphs etc.

The latest incarnation of the above


The following is a selection of criminology related websites we think you'll find useful.

Aims to help people make well-informed decisions by preparing, maintaining and disseminating systematic reviews in education, crime and justice, and social welfare.

The Fraud and Corruption Hub is a resource from the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud and is freely available to anyone. It is an updating service and provides links to various resources on fraud and corruption, which you may find of use in undertaking your work or studies. The Hub collates both subscription-based information (electronic books and electronic journal articles) and freely available resources, such as government documents. The Hub is not a substitute for in-depth research. For information about how to find additional resources on fraud and corruption, please consult with a librarian.

Audio Visual Resources

This fantastic resource has captured UK terrestrial TV and radio programmes from 1998 onwards for anyone in UK universities to watch for free. You can create playlists and clips to embed in presentations, as well as putting in requests for recording. Look out for all the useful documentaries. (Not available to anyone outside the UK.)

Watch UK TV programmes from 2007 onwards, including many films and useful documentaries.  Unfortunately not available to those of you accessing from outside the UK.

• ICJS DL UG TV not in Discovery 

Hints and tips for Distance Learners together with a chance to match faces with names

Off-air broadcasts and in-house video material curated by the the University for teaching puposes.

News Services & Archives

• Ask the library about historical news sources  (in Library only) 

• BBC News 

Improve your listening skills by listening to the latest news

24 hour news

Primary and secondary legal resources, plus UK newspapers.

UK titles

• Nexis not in Discovery 

Full text articles from many news sources and trade journals both UK and international. Archives sometimes stretching back to the mid 1980s.

Regional and national newspapers from the UK, Europe, the USA and Australasia, dating from the 1980s onwards - note that you will find Latin American sources in the Spanish section and Francophone African sources in the French section. 

• Online newspapers via a search engine  (in Library only) 

Tend to be the least stable source.

Your Subject Team

Mystery Beck

Faculty Librarian Law & Criminology

Email: Mystery.Beck@port.ac.uk

Phone: (023) 9284 3240

Sharon Bittner

Assistant Faculty Librarian

Email: sharon.bittner@port.ac.uk

Phone: (023) 9284 3234

Further Information