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: 229550 Find in a Library
Title: Comparative Methods: Going Beyond Incorporating International Research Methods with Traditional Methods
Journal: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice  Volume:33  Issue:2  Dated:Fall 2009  Pages:211-228
Author(s): Cindy J. Smith
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 18
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After examining barriers to integrating comparative research into the design of standard research methods, this paper provides examples of successful and unsuccessful attempts at such integration, followed by a description of preliminary work in addressing three areas that are lacking: terminology, textbooks, and a global perspective.
Abstract: Although comparative methods of research have a long history and have produced previous calls and attempts to integrate international research methods into standard methods currently used and taught, these efforts have been largely unsuccessful in mainstreaming integrated research designs. Barriers to this effort include lack of shared terms; lack of a consensus definition of comparative research; problems with traditional methods (lack of a shared lexicon and definitions of the terms "research design" and "research methods"); and researchers' general lack of understanding of comparative research methods. This paper provides examples of issues associated with comparative research methods in order to show what needs to be addressed during the research preparation, whether the project is local, regional, or crosses national or cultural boundaries. Each step of the research process requires the same careful consideration and modification, so as to ensure the results are equivalent between the groups, regardless of the level of comparison. The article concludes with a call for three changes. First, it recommends that the comparative research field develop a set of core terms or lexicon that assists in effective communication among researchers. Second, it calls for traditional methodology texts to include discussions occurring in the field of comparative methods. This requires the development of textbooks that address comparative research methods. Third, in order to achieve integration of the comparative method into mainstream research, criminologists must develop a global perspective on human behaviors and efforts to control its harmful effects. Suggestions are offered for implementing these changes. 3 notes and 29 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Cross-cultural analyses; Cross-cultural comparisons; Research design; Research methods
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.