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FAQs about the Virtual Library

  1. I am trying to locate a specific document in the Abstracts Database, but cannot find it using the author's name.

    You might want to use an abbreviated search for the author's name. Try using only the author's last name. If this search return is large, you can reduce it by including the author’s first initial or incorporating search terms in other fields, such as the topical subject of the work in the Subject Field or a keyword of the title in the Title Field. This should reduce the number of potential database hits.

  2. I am looking for materials on a specific topic. How can I find them?

    The best method to locate documents concerning a specific subject would be to use the NCJRS Online Thesaurus. After entering this resource by clicking on the appropriate link you can search for a specific term to use or browse the alphabetical listing of terms. Potential search terms and related terms can be located using this resource and a search of the Abstracts Database can be executed directly from it as well.

  3. How can I get materials from your collection?

    There are several ways in which you can receive materials from our collection. These are described in detail in the NCJRS Virtual Library Tutorial. All of the materials in our collection are available through our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service, but you will have to contact your local library to have them initiate the loan. In addition to our ILL service, select documents in the collection are available through our Photocopy/PDF service. Within the abstract database record, links to full-text publications are provided when available, and clicking on find in a library allows you to discover documents in your local library.

  4. What subjects are covered in your collection?

    The NCJRS Virtual Library’s collection scope was refined to include only materials and resources produced and/or sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP) after October. 1, 2014. However, materials collected and housed in the Virtual Library prior to October 2014 remain publically available. The collection covers the broad subject area of criminal justice and its related fields of study. Topics including corrections, law enforcement, drugs and crime, juvenile justice, and crime victims are comprehensively covered. Similarly, more focused subjects within these broad topics are also covered, such as technology in law enforcement, domestic violence, drug policy, and juvenile violence. More detailed information about the collection can be located in our Collection Statement and Tutorial.

  5. I have a publication that I think would fit in your collection. Can I donate it or suggest that you have it added to your collection?

    As of October 1, 2014, the NCJRS Virtual Library’s collection only includes materials and resources produced and/or sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP). The Virtual Library has ceased the collection of non-OJP resources. However, if you or your organization produce resources on behalf of OJP or author research sponsored/funded by OJP, they can be included in the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. Follow the instruction listed on the Contribute to Our Collection page, or contact the NCJRS Virtual Library at 800-851-3420 or library@ncjrs.gov.

  6. How often are materials added to your collection? How can I learn about these items?

    Materials are added to the NCJRS collection on a daily basis. You can learn of new additions to the collection by visiting our Weekly Accessions List (WAL) Web page. You may also subscribe to our WAL listserve and receive weekly email notification of new additions to the NCJRS Virtual Library.

  7. Where is the NCJRS Virtual Library located and can I come visit the collection?

    The NCJRS Virtual Library is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, approximately 20 miles northwest of Washington, DC. The Virtual Library is not open to the public; however, questions, comments, and suggestions can be sent via email. You can also call the NCJRS Virtual Library at 800-851-3420.

  8. What is the NCJRS Virtual Library and why is it important?

    The NCJRS Virtual Library is a federally funded project of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP). As of October, 2014, the Virtual Library’s primary purpose is to serve as an archive and access repository for OJP information and knowledge resources. In this role, the Virtual Library collects, preserves, and provides public access to all resources produced, sponsored or funded by OJP, as well as derivative works including journal articles and grey literature. All materials collected and housed in the Virtual Library prior to October 2014 remain publically available. These resources comprehensively cover criminal justice, juvenile justice, and drug issue topics. Consisting of more than 220,000 documents, the collection remains one of the largest criminal justice information repositories in the world and is used heavily by researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.

  9. How do I contact the Virtual Library?

    You can contact the NCJRS Virtual Library at library@ncjrs.gov or 800-851-3420.

  10. I would like to ask a library-related question. How can I contact your organization?

    You can contact the NCJRS Virtual Library at library@ncjrs.gov or 800-851-3420.

  11. I am having trouble figuring out how to use the NCJRS Abstracts Database and Thesaurus Search. Do you have any kind of instructions?

    Detailed instructions for both the NCJRS Abstracts Database and Thesaurus search is available online. If you continue to have problems, you can contact the NCJRS Virtual Library at library@ncjrs.gov or 800-851-3420.