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* Criminal Justice Research: Books

This guide was created to help off-campus students learn to do research on criminal justice and access high quality resources such as journal articles, books, e-books, and digital film.

Accessing Books

There are 4 main ways you can locate and access books.

  1. AU Library Catalog (includes AU, Ashbrook and Seminary holdings)
  2. OhioLINK Catalog-locate books at 90 Ohio libraries to either pick up or request for delivery to a participating OhioLINK library.
  3. WorldCat-Includes books and other media in US libraries.  Used only for locating, not requests.
  4. Electronic Books-Can access 24/7. Will need to log in to view.  Limited print permission.

Finding books with Library Catalogs

The Ohio Library and Information Network, OhioLINK, is a consortium of 90 Ohio college and university libraries, plus the State Library of Ohio, that work together to provide Ohio students, faculty and researchers with the information they need for learning, teaching and research. Serving more than 600,000 students, faculty, and staff, OhioLINK’s membership includes 16 public/research universities, 23 community/technical colleges, 52 independent colleges and the State Library of Ohio.

Go to the OhioLINK Catalog or use this short cut

OhioLINK Catalog:  
 About OhioLINK:
  • You may request that books be sent to or returned to any OhioLINK library near your location. Map of OhioLINK libraries
  •  It normally takes 3-4 days for items requested from OhioLINK to arrive at the designated pick-up location. You may pick up at any OhioLINK library and return to any OhioLINK library.
  • You will be emailed when OhioLINK requests are ready for you to pick up at the library you designated
  • The loan period is 3 weeks and you may renew 4 times. Your library record is with Ashland University, not OhioLINK, even if you've borrowed from OhioLINK.  Go to My Account to renew items. 
  • This service is not used to request articles. 

 

Go to the Ashland University Library Catalog or use this short cut

AU Library Catalog:  

 

Go to the WorldCat Catalog

Includes books and other media in US libraries.  Used only for locating, not requests. Enter your zipcode to find availability in a library near you.

Search Tips

Some general search tips for databases, book catalogs and search engines such as Google:

  • Use simple words, not sentences.  (Not “the pros and cons of gun control” but simply “gun control” Or, narrow it down to “gun control” AND economics, or “gun control” AND crime.
  • You can narrow your search by inserting AND between words. Example:  "capital punishment"  AND ohio
  • You can expand your search by inserting OR between words.   Use it with synonyms and with alternate spellings. Example: color OR colour
  • Put quotes or parentheses around phrases when you want to retrieve all of the words, in the exact order given.  Example:"works progress administration”
  • You can use an * to retrieve multiple variants of a word with one efficient search. Example: teach*retrieves results with teach, teaches, teacher, teachers, teaching, or teachable
  • You will have better results if you do not limit yourself to one idea. Using broader and narrower keywords, you can fine-tune your search.

Subject Search or Keyword Search?

Keyword Search

Uses natural language. Type a word or or simple phrase. The catalog or database looks for the words in the title, author name, subject headings and table of contents (when available).  With a keyword search you can use the search tips above, using AND, OR, and an *   A useful search strategy is to do a keyword seearch and once you find a good book (or article), look at the Subject Headings assigned to that item. 

 

Subject Search

Library catalogs use specific Library of Congress Subject Headings to classify books. When you search, the words have to be typed in the exact order used by Library of Congress.

  • You will find the assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings listed in each book record. The subject headings in each book record are linked. Once you find a relevant subject heading in a book record, you will discover more books on the topic by clicking on the link.

Article databases also use a controlled vocabulary similar to Library of Congress, but different databases may use different subject terms.

  • Note: You cannot use operators such as AND or OR , nor truncate with an asterisk * when doing a subject search.