Information Literacy in Criminal Justice Studies

Defining Information Literacy

Information literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed, locate, identify, evaluate, and manage information sources that are credible, acceptable, and come from a reliable source. Information literacy is the acquired skills to translate information into knowledge.

Information literacy is important for today’s criminal justice scholar. Information literacy promotes problem solving and critical thinking skills. Information literacy requires critical evaluation of the research, findings, forming opinions based on the evidence, and analyzing the current literature for supporting and opposing viewpoints.

Benefits of Information Literacy for the Criminal Justice Student

Criminal justice students benefit from improving their information literacy skills by:

  • Empowering the criminal justice students to find their own answers.
  • Enable informed decision-making.
  • Promote the creation of self-sufficient researchers.
  • Encourages critical evaluation of information sources for bias and inaccuracy.
  • Helps manage information overload from the vast amount of information available in this digital age.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Peer-reviewed journal articles are also referred to as scholarly articles. Peer-reviewed articles can be either a primary (orginal research) and secondary (evaluation of others work or practices) sources of articles written by criminal justice scholars and reviewed by professionals, subject matter experts, and other criminal justice scholars in the discipline prior to publishing the article, in order to insure the highest quality.

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

Peer-reviewed articles are the best sources of current scholarly information for criminal justice student’s papers. To insure relevancy, the articles should be no older than five-years from publishing date for your criminal justice papers.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is an accessible search engine website that warehouses scholarly literature. Google Scholar can make finding an acceptable scholarly articles and offers the following features:

  • One stop-shopping for scholarly literature
  • Search authors, article titles, or journal names.
  • Current and relevant articles from many different disciplines
  • Identifies scholarly databases for disciplines and topics

Understanding information literacy is critical to the modern scholars success. Your academic papers are only as good as the references used to support your analysis.


About the Author

Mark Bond

Mark Bond has worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms instructor for more than 33 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in criminal justice, and M.Ed in educational leadership with Summa Cum Laude honors. Mark holds a doctoral degree in education (EdD) with a concentration in college teaching and learning. Mark is currently an associate professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.