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Criminal Justice Research Methods: Internet Searching

This LibGuide is a work in progress designed to assist upper level Criminal Justice students with research

Searching the Internet

Although you are directed to use web sources "sparingly," you may have need of statistics or reports from government or other web sites. This page shows a few tips on how to locate some of these documents.  Check out the tabs in the Google Scholar box below for help with your online searching.

Statistical Resources

This LibGuide offers a wide range of Websites with statistical information.

Government Resources

Google Scholar an Exception to the Rule?

Google Scholar ( is a web search engine that searches specifically for scholarly literature and academic resources from publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar returns not only scholarly journal articles but also research reports, dissertations and theses, preprints, technical reports, patents, working papers, books, court opinions as well as things such as power point presentations, web pages and many other document types it deems scholarly using a built in algorithm.

Google Scholar is NOT Google, while Google searches the entire public Web, Google Scholar searches a smaller portion of the Web, similar to searching in the Library's catalog and databases.  There is a more scholarly, authoritative focus with Google Scholar distinguishing it from Google. Google scholar is like a federated search allowing you to search in many places at once.  Remember it is not exactly the same as a Library Database, many articles may have links to the Library Databases (if your library is linked in your Google Scholar settings) but it will NOT be all of the same materials.  Think of it as a starting place for more precise searching, more search features, and more content use the Library's Databases.

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar includes many citations that link directly to publishers' web sites of which most will charge a fee for full access. However, the USC Upstate Library subscribes to many of these publications offering you access without paying the publisher (we already have paid).  In order for Google Scholar to link to these articles in our paid databases you must make sure that the Library links has USC Upstate’s library information. 


  • Go to Settings on the Main Google Scholar
  • Choose Library links on the left side of the page.  
  • Type in Upstate and search.
  • Check the box next to University of South Carolina.
  • Choosing Open WorldCat will help you access books from our catalog along with other local catalogs
    • If you are on a campus computer this has already been set up for you.

Google Scholar advanced search screen capture

Useful Google Search Tips

Altho the above video was created by Eastern Michigan University it covers the best parts of Google Scholar.