Letter from the Editor in Chief

Welcome to an entirely online, digital research encyclopedia that will ultimately cover the large and increasingly diverse scholarly world of criminological and criminal justice research. Its essays will be based on the latest, most impactful research and written by active and well-respected scholars within the discipline. The Encyclopedia builds upon a distinguished tradition at Oxford University Press of publishing authoritative reference works in fields such as Linguistics, American History, Sociology, and Religion.

The encyclopedia is being developed for researchers, teachers, and students interested in all facets of the study of crime and justice issues. As a scholarly resource, it will be a dynamic and constantly evolving research tool that aims to fill the demand for high-quality, up-to-date reference materials. It combines the high standards of Oxford scholarly publishing with the flexibility and accessibility of a digital environment.

A unique strength of the online encyclopedia will be the emphasis on the state of research and its focus on the needs of researchers in various subfields. Essays will examine the evolution and status of current and past research programs and their dynamics, the significant issues that drive research; and the interaction between theory and empirical realities and policy. The aim is to engage readers and stimulate research by discussing motivations, unresolved questions, and directions for new research. The website will be easy to use and intuitive, facilitating multiple paths for researchers and students to find related material, whether within the ORE, in OUP’s ecosystem, or directly linking to cited sources.

It is my intent to make the ORE of Criminology and Criminal Justice a focal point for both scholarly knowledge dissemination and scholarly conversation. To that end, an Advisory Board of highly respected and influential criminology and criminal justice researchers from around the world has been assembled and has initiated a taxonomy of major research categories that will serve as our foundation.

We are in the midst of the greatest shift in the publishing environment since the advent of the printing press. The exciting possibilities afforded by this movement to online, electronic publishing as a rapid, dynamic format, combined with leading-edge research commentaries, will allow the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice to play a significant role in shaping the discipline for years to come.

Henry Pontell
Presidential Scholar, Professor, and Chair of the Department of Sociology,
John Jay College of Criminal Justice