skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 217858 Find in a Library
Title: Research Note: Randomized Field Experiments Published in the British Journal of Criminology, 1960-2004
Journal: Journal of Experimental Criminology  Volume:2  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 2006  Pages:99-111
Author(s): Anthony Petrosino; Paul Kiff; Julia Lavenberg
Date Published: 2006
Page Count: 13
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on an electronic "handsearch" (the visual inspection of the contents of an article) of every available issue of the British Journal of Criminology (1960-2004), in order to determine how many randomized field experiments were published. These results were compared with earlier manual handsearch efforts to augment the Campbell Collaboration Social, Psychological, Educational, and Criminological Trials Register (C2-SPECTR).
Abstract: The electronic handsearch found only nine trials that involved randomized field experiments, although two others used quasi-random allocation such as alternation. Only one randomized field experiment had been published in the past 20 years, even though randomized trials is the design of choice for many who advocate evidence-based policy. The discrepancy between the number of randomized trials included in the C2-SPECTR and the current search (14 compared to 9) was due largely to inclusion criteria. C2-SPECTR handsearchers included a few trials in which items on questionnaires or vignettes were randomized to survey respondents. The authors speculate that the low number of randomized field experiments published in the British Journal of Criminology reflects the low production of such studies in the United Kingdom in general. This suggests a trend away from controlled research in criminal justice in favor of alternative and more naturalistic methods for studying interventions. Some researchers have argued that the randomized experiment has a number of characteristics that make it difficult to use in studying institutional treatment programs. 1 table, 8 notes, and 25 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Foreign criminal justice research; Research design; Research design models; Research methods; United Kingdom (UK)
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.