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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice


OER Course Conversion Projects


                    OER for CJBS 250

       Research Methods and Statistics for                           Criminal Justice                  



This is the CJBS 250-Research Methods & Statistics for Criminal Justice OER Resource Guide. The guide is intended for faculty teaching CJBS250 as a "Zero-Cost Textbook" course. This page features OER textbooks, zero cost library resources, government data sources, and interactive resources such as open source data visualization tools and course exercises. 

OER Core Textbook



Module 1: Research Inquiry

  • Elements of the Scientific Process 

    • "There are six key steps that tend to characterize the scientific method. The first step is the question. This is the part where a scientist proposes the problem that he or she wants to solve. A well-conceived question usually leads to a hypothesis, a potential answer to the question at hand. Sometimes, hypotheses look more like predictions. The scientist predicts what the outcome will be when he or she tests the hypothesis. The scientist's test is also called the experiment. Experiments are ordered investigations that are intended to prove or disprove a hypothesis. Important data comes from performing an experiment."

  • Elements of Causation 

    • How do we establish a cause-effect (causal) relationship? What criteria do we have to meet? Generally, there are three criteria that you must meet before you can say that you have evidence for a causal relationship. This website is from the "Web Center for Social Research Methods.

  • Correlation or Causation? 

    • This website contains popular press articles reporting an array of research results. Its design supports teaching and learning, and example assignments call for students to evaluate whether the reported results are associated with experiments or with correlational studies.

  • Lateral Reading and the Nature of Expertise 

    • This study compares how professional fact checkers, historians, and first year college students evaluated online information and presents the strategies fact checkers used to efficiently and effectively find trustworthy information. This work is licensed under Creative Commons. It may be used, as long as you give credit to the author.

Module 2: Literature Review

Module 3: Building an Hypothesis

Module 4: Research Ethics

  • Human Subjects Research (HSR) Training Courses

    • Click on the "Learner" box and then enter "City University of New York as the institution you are affiliated with. HSR provides foundational training in human subjects research and includes the historical development of human subject protections, ethical issues, and current regulatory and guidance information. Human Subjects Research (HSR) basic content is organized into two courses: Biomedical (Biomed) and Social-Behavioral-Educational (SBE). They are intended for anyone involved in research studies with human subjects, or who have responsibilities for setting policies and procedures with respect to such research, including Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). Additional modules of interest within HSR allow for exploration of several important topics and may be selected to meet organizational needs.

Module 5: Operationalization and Levels of Measurement

Module 6: Experimental Research Designs

Module 6a: Quasi-Experimental Designs



Module 7: Descriptive Statistics

Module 8: Correlation Coefficients

Module 9: Qualitative Research

  • How to do Field Research with Victims 

    • From "The Crime Report", July 29, 2015. This is a John Jay publication, accessible from the Internet. "Randomized control trials may be the gold standard for research, but field studies that include victims and police officers are delicate and “there are practical and ethical considerations that may exclude their use,”

  • Fieldwork in Criminology 

    • Fieldwork has always been a cornerstone of American social science. It was the definitive approach for the first 40 years in its history for the study of social life. It was an intellectual break for “armchair” sociologists who were content with simply theorizing and offering little more than speculative reasoning for the many unparalleled social changes occurring at the time. In these early days, circa 1890 to 1940, fieldwork was both an intellectual movement and a methodological prescription for the sociological analysis of both the community and the individual, with an emphasis on developing a holistic understanding of related social processes. By applying basic anthropological principles, fieldwork in the United States was very much an applied sociological endeavor that has been integral to the evolution of criminology.

  • Doing ethnography or applying a qualitative technique? 

    • Reflections from the ‘waiting field’. . . According to the abstract, "this article focuses on the importance of the ‘waiting field’; an opportunity to explore the times where real lives carry on before they make room for the intrusion of the data production of ‘the technique’ and remind us that much qualitative research is, in fact, an ethnographic undertaking: one that encompasses the researcher within and beyond the field."

  • The Great Interview: 25 Strategies for Studying People in Bed 

    • This is a library resource, accessible using your John Jay login. "Based on interviews with a range of people about varied subjects, the author offers 25 directions that will, when followed in combination, point the interviewer along the road from the good (or not-so-good) interview to the great interview." From: "Qualitative Sociology", December 2002, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 479–499

  • Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector's Field Guide 

    • This how-to guide covers the mechanics of data collection for applied qualitative research appropriate for novice and experienced researchers. It's question and answer format and modular design make it easy for readers to find information on a particular topic quickly.

Module 10: Survey Research

Module 11: Probability and Sampling




Module 12: Taxonomy of Statistics

Module 13: Two Population Means

Module 14: Categorical Data

Module 15: Three or More Means Populations