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Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology

by Callie Marie Rennison and Timothy Hart SAGE Publications, Inc
Pub Date:
Pbk 568 pages
AU$182.00 NZ$186.96

SAGE Student Price: AU$154.70

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Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology provides an interesting and energetic introduction to research methods that connects the concepts to real field research and practices. Guiding students through the process of research, this refreshing new text features a number of running cases woven throughout the book for a comprehensive understanding of the design and purpose of research. With contemporary examples, authors Callie Rennison and Timothy C. Hart introduce concepts as well as practical research strategies used in criminal justice to show how a research question can become a policy that changes criminal justice practices for the better. Using a distinct, student-driven approach, Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology moves at a perfect pace for introductory students first discovering the ins and outs of research in criminology and criminal justice, focusing on the practical application of data collection and analysis in the field.


Chapter 1: Why Study Research Methods?
Introduction: What Is Research Methods?
Why Is Research Methods Important?
Typical Stages of Research
The Essential Role of Ethics in Research
Researcher Case Studies and a Roadmap
Chapter 2: Identifying a Topic, Purpose, and Research Question
Introduction: Identifying a Topic, Purpose, and a Research Question
Why Identify a Topic, Purpose and Research Question?
How to Identify a Research Topic?
How to Identify the Purpose/Goal of Research
Gathering More Information and Refining the Topic
How to Construct the Research Question
Common Pitfalls When Developing Topics, Purposes and Research Questions
Ethical Considerations when Developing your Topic, Purpose and Research Question
IRB Expert GÇô Sharon Devine, JD, Phd
Chapter 3: Conducting a Literature Review
Introduction: Conducting a Literature Review
A Roadmap: How to Conduct a Literature Review
About Sources
Finding Primary or Original Sources
Writing the Literature Review
Common Pitfalls of Literature Reviews
Ethics and the Literature Review
Literature Review Expert GÇô Sean McCandless, PhD
Chapter 4: Concepts, Conceptualization, Operationalization, Measurement, Variables, and Data
Introduction: Concepts, Conceptualization, Operationalization, Measurement, Variables, and Data
Why Focus on Concepts, Conceptualization, Operationalization, Measurement, Variables, and Data?
What are Concepts?
What is Conceptualization?
What is Operationalization?
What are Variables?
What are Measures?
What are Data?
Overview of the Road from Concepts to Variables
Common Pitfalls in Concepts, Conceptualization, Operationalization, Measurement, Variables, and Data in Research Design
Ethics Associated with Concepts, Conceptualization, Operationalization, Measurement, Variables, and Data
Concepts, Conceptualization, Operationalization, Measurement, Variables, and Data Expert GÇô Brenidy Rice
Chapter 5: Sampling
Why is Sampling Important?
What is Sampling?
Populations and Sample
Census or a Sample?
Unit of Analysis
Ecological Fallacy
Individualist Fallacy
Choosing a Sampling Approach
How Large Should My Sample Be?
Common Pitfalls Related to Sampling
Ethics Associated with Sampling
Chapter 6: Research Using Qualitative Data
Sampling Expert GÇô Sam Gallaher, PhD
Introduction: Research Using Qualitative Data
Why Conduct Research Using Qualitative Data?
What is Research using Qualitative Data?
Considerations: Research using Qualitative Data
Approaches Used to Gather Qualitative Data
Recording Qualitative Data
Organizing and Analyzing Qualitative Data
Common Pitfalls in Research Using Qualitative Data
Ethics Associated with Research Using Qualitative Data
Qualitative Data Research Expert GÇô Carol Peeples
Chapter 7: Survey Research
Introduction: Survey Research
Why Conduct Survey Research?
What Are Surveys?
General Steps in Survey Research
Surveys across Research Purposes
How are Surveys Distributed?
Designing Your Own Survey
Survey Administration
Easy To Use Survey Software
Common Pitfalls in Survey Research
Ethical Considerations in Survey Research
Surveying Expert: Bridget Kelly
Chapter 8: Experimental Research
Introduction: Experimental Research
Why Conduct Experimental Research?
What is Experimental Research?
True Experiments
Beyond True Experiments
Pre-Experimental Research
Quasi-Experimental Research
Natural Experiments
Common Pitfalls in Experimental Research
Ethics and Experimental Research
Experimental Research Expert: Chris Keating, PhD
Chapter 9: Research Using Secondary Data
Introduction: Research using Secondary Data
Why Conduct Research Using Secondary Data?
What Are Secondary Data?
Frequently Used Secondary Data
Disadvantages of Using Secondary Data
Reporting Findings from Secondary Data Analysis
Common Pitfalls in Secondary Data Analysis
Ethics Associated with Secondary Data Analysis
Secondary Data Expert: Jenna Truman, PhD
Chapter 10: GIS and Crime Mapping
Introduction: Research Using GIS and Crime Mapping Techniques
Why Conduct Research Using GIS and Crime Mapping Techniques?
What is GIS?
What is Crime Mapping and Analysis?
Crime Analysis in Academic Research
Reporting Findings from GIS and Crime Mapping Studies
Common Pitfalls in GIS and Crime Mapping Analysis
Common Pitfalls in GIS and Crime Mapping Analysis
GIS and Crime Mapping Expert: Henri Buccine-Schraeder
Chapter 11: Evaluation Research
Introduction: Evaluation Research
Why Use Evaluation Research?
What is Evaluation Research?
Types of Evaluation Research
Distinctive Purposes of Evaluation and Basic Research
Characteristics of Effective Evaluations
Common Pitfalls in Evaluation Research
Ethics Associated with Evaluation Research
Evaluation Research Expert GÇô Michael Shively, PhD
Chapter 12: Analysis and Findings
Introduction: Analysis and Findings
Why Analysis?
How Should Data Be Analyzed?
Analysis of Quantitative Data
Qualitative Data Analysis
Data Analysis Software
Alternative Analytic Approaches
Reporting Findings from Your Research
Common Pitfalls in Data Analysis and Developing Findings
Ethics Associated With Analyzing Your Data and Developing your Findings
Analysis and Findings Expert: Sue Burton
Chapter 13: Making your Research Relevant
Introduction: Making your Research Relevant
Why Conduct Policy Relevant Research?
What is Policy Relevant Research?
What is Policy?
Who are Policy Makers?
The Policy Process
Challenges of Getting Research to Policy Makers
Maximizing Chances of Producing Policy Relevant Research
Common Pitfalls in Producing Policy Relevant Research
Ethics and Conducting Policy Relevant Research
Policy Expert GÇô Katie TePas
Chapter 14: Research Methods as a Career
Introduction: Research Methods as a Career
Why Research Methods as a Career?
Where Do I Get Started?
Career Search Documents
Public vs. Private Sector Jobs
Where to Look for a Career
Interviewing Well
Pitfalls and Career Searches
Ethics and Career Searches
Research Methods as a Career Expert: Nora Scanlon, M.A.

“…This is an informative, reader-friendly, and practice-oriented text designed for lower-level undergraduate students who are new to research methodology. It is loaded with contemporary pedagogies to meet the needs of learners of various backgrounds.”

Callie Marie Rennison

University of Colorado Denver, USA

Callie Marie Rennison is the Director of Equity, and Title IX Coordinator at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus. In addition, she is a full professor, and former Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs in the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver. She earned a PhD in 1997 in political science from the University of Houston, University Park. Her areas of research interest include investigating the nature, extent, and consequences of violent victimization, with an emphasis on research methodology, quantitative analysis, and measurement. Much of this research focuses on violence against women, violence against minority groups such as African Americans and Hispanics, crime data, and victim interaction with the criminal justice system. Callie recently served on a National Academies committee examining domestic sex trafficking of minors in the United States. Her research has appeared in numerous journals, including the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Violence and Victims, and Violence Against Women. Callie has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses, including statistics, research methods, murder in America, crime and the media, and introduction to criminal justice.

Callie was awarded the School of Public Affairs Research and Creative Activities Award in 2013, the Teaching Award in 2011, and the Service Award in 2015. In 2016, she was awarded the American Society of Criminology’s Bonnie S. Fisher Victimology Career Award to recognize significant contributions in the area of Victimology over her lifetime.


Timothy C. Hart

Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus

Timothy C. Hart is a senior lecturer in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University. Tim earned his PhD in criminology and criminal justice from the University of South Florida. In 1997, he was awarded a Presidential Management Fellowship with the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the US Department of Justice. He has also served as a program analyst for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and as a research analyst for the Hillsborough County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office. Tim is also the former Statistical Analysis Centre (SAC) director for the state of Nevada. His areas of interest include survey research, applied statistics, geographic information systems (GIS), and victimization. His scholarship appears in various academic journals, including the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Criminal Justice and Behavior, and the British Journal of Criminology. He has also been awarded numerous research grants, including studies funded by the Queensland Police Service, Australian Institute of Criminology, the National Institute of Justice, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.