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Further Improving Reporting in Crime and Justice: An Addendum to Perry, Weisburd and Hewitt (2010)

NCJ Number
Journal of Experimental Criminology Volume: 8 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2012 Pages: 49-69
Aiden Sidebottom; Nick Tilley
Date Published
March 2012
21 pages
The literature on reporting guidelines in criminology and health is reviewed.
To elaborate on guidelines designed to improve the descriptive validity of reports of criminological research, whatever research design, focusing in particular on the inclusion of items relating to the causal mechanisms through which interventions are believed to operate and to the setting, circumstances, and procedures in which measures are applied. The literature on reporting guidelines in criminology and health is reviewed. Particular attention is paid to the SQUIRE guidelines, designed to improve reporting quality in the field of healthcare improvement. Criminological treatments of descriptive validity have focused on reporting quality in randomized controlled trials only, drawing on the CONSORT Statement, which is widely used in reports of medical trials. These guidelines, reflecting the field from which they originate, pay little attention to issues that are important in appraising crime and justice studies and for replication and scale-up efforts. Reporting guidelines items related to causal mechanisms and implementation are presented, drawing heavily on the SQUIRE guidelines. Sloppy, incomplete reporting threatens to frustrate the advancement of criminological research and constrain its utility for informing policy and practice. The development of criminology-specific reporting guidelines to stimulate improvements in the descriptive validity of criminological research is welcomed. A plan for the future development of reporting guidelines in criminology is suggested. Abstract published by arrangement with Springer.