Selection and Use of Library Search Techniques
The best essays
and research papers usually require recent and credible sources that can
provide the right information to support the arguments. However, finding the
sources requires a student to understand how the online libraries work. In some
cases, one can use different steps in locating journal articles that might have
the specific data, which the student is looking for. Using the topic “Reducing
Mass Incarceration in America”, it might be quite difficult to get the most
applicable sources. For instance, one can use different keywords to search for
the articles and alter the processes applied. This essay evaluates some of the
steps that can be used to find the most credible journal articles to address
the topic selected.
approach was based on subject searching to identify the sources required. In
this case, I pressed on the “Subject” part and later selected “Criminal
Justice.” From that point, I clicked on the “Criminal Justice Database”, which
was most likely to contain the right sources. I used two keywords, which were “reducing mass incarceration” and “high
incarceration rate in the US.” The results provided two articles namely “The
Cost of Incarceration in Texas: Estimating the Benefits of Reducing the Prison
Population” and “If You Build It, They
will Fill It: The Consequences of Prison Overcrowding Litigation.” The two sources were recent
and they also contained specific information that could be used in creating a
detailed research paper.
The page containing the results from the previous search was also used in
finding articles through the cited reference technique. I identified some of
the articles that were credible enough and clicked on the link “References”
below the different titles. The process was quite tedious since I had a difficult
time choosing the right articles that were recent and could solve the topic.
Firstly, the article “The Politics of Racial Disparity Reform: Racial
Inequality and Criminal Justice Policymaking in the States” had some
useful sources. However, I picked the article “Locked In? Conservative Reform and the Future of Mass Incarceration”,
which was one of its sources. Later, I also identified “Do Local Realignment
Policies Affect Recidivism in
California?” that was one of the references from the article “The Law-Before:
Legacies and Gaps in Penal Reform.” The technique was quite overwhelming and I
had to ignore nearly ten articles that did not meet the necessary requirements.
Scholar is quite easy and one has to create the specific keywords and search
them to get the right results. In this case, I placed the phrase “mass incarceration
effects on the taxpayers and the government” in the search box and clicked on
the part that suggested the articles should be published after the year 2014.
The results were immense and useful as well. I picked “The
Economic Burden of Incarceration in the US” and “Human
Cattle: Prison Overpopulation and the Political Economy of Mass Incarceration”
that were recent and contained vast information about the same topic.
methodology search was quite complicated and I had to try various approaches
before I found the necessary articles. Firstly, I had to click on the database titled “criminal justice
database”, which contains the specific sources required. I used the keywords “reducing
mass incarceration rates in the US” and “quantitative”, which provided a wide
range of articles. However, the results did not have more articles that were
related to the phrase “quantitative.” I settled for “Measuring the effect of
probation and parole officers on labor market outcomes and recidivism” and “Exploring
the effect of exposure to short-term solitary confinement among violent prison
inmates” that were both retrieved from the “Journal of Quantitative Criminology.” The approach did not have more
articles that matched with the specific keywords that I was looking for.
the different methods used in searching for the sources were quite insightful. However,
some of them were more important while others were not. For instance, the subject
searching technique and Google Scholar was more user-friendly and they had a
wide range of sources. The cited references and the methodology approaches were
not quite useful in getting what was required. Most importantly, the various
processes are instrumental in assembling the journal articles that can be used
to handle the topic effectively.