There is a need to explore trends in data use by researchers in criminology to assess the limitations of the knowledge base in the discipline. The current study explores the use of data published in three top criminology journals over a 10-year period to review: (1) data types (primary, secondary, or both), (2) the age of the data, and (3) whether scholars using data at least a decade old mention it as a limitation. The study found that the time dimension of data varied by publication source. A heavy reliance on secondary data was observed across all journals. Studies using only secondary data tended to have older data on average when compared to other data types. A majority of articles using data at least a decade old did not mention it is a shortcoming. The paper concludes by discussing advantages and disadvantages of relying on secondary data within the discipline of criminology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes