The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Virtual Library consists of more than 230,000 collection resources and over 80,000 online materials, including all known Office of Justice Programs works.
A variety of services are available through the NCJRS Virtual Library to provide access to resources and help you stay informed about new additions to the collection. Learn more below:
Many of the materials available in the NCJRS Virtual Library/Abstracts Database collection are available at local libraries. NCJRS provides the ability for you to search the local library collections through the "Find in a Library" service. At times, it might be faster, cheaper, and/or more convenient to access the documents at a library in your area.
From an abstract detail page, select the "Find in a Library" link to discover if particular NCJRS collection documents are available at your local library.
By clicking on the "Find in a Library" link, you can access OCLC WorldCat® to check if the document you are interested in is available in your local library. When you click on the "Find in a Library" link, NCJRS will send a document or journal title search to WorldCat®, a global consortium of over 10,000 libraries. A pop-up window will appear providing you with details of what is being searched and you will then be taken to the WorldCat® website.
To place a loan request:
To place a loan request, you must be affiliated with an eligible organization (see the Eligibility section below). To submit a loan request, email or mail your request to the NCJRS Library. Clearly cite the document title and NCJ Number, and include your name, organization, address, and phone number. NCJRS Library staff will respond to your request promptly and advise you on how to proceed.
This service is offered to U.S. and Canadian libraries and those affiliated with U.S. federal, state, and local governmental organizations, including members of the law enforcement and/or corrections community. If you are not affiliated with one of these organizations, you may still borrow materials from the NCJRS collection. However, you must contact your local library for assistance in submitting your loan request.
What can be borrowed?:
All of the publications listed in the NCJRS Virtual Library/Abstracts Database are available through this service. Additionally, many of these materials may also be acquired through the Library’s Photocopy Service.
Interlibrary loans within the United States cost $15.00 per item borrowed. Loans to Canada cost $16.50 (USD) per item borrowed. In most cases, loans to U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies and members of the law enforcement and/or corrections community are free of charge.
Photocopy requests placed through the interlibrary loan service vary in price dependent upon the page length (page count) of the document requested and your geographic location (domestic or outside the U.S.).
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NCJRS accepts payment by credit card. The following credit cards are accepted: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. Customers affiliated with U.S. & Canadian government agencies, libraries, and universities may use a purchase order when ordering. All purchase order invoices must be paid for using a credit card.
Black-and-white photocopies or PDFs of select NCJRS Abstracts Database materials are available for a fee. Because of copyright restrictions, only one photocopy or PDF of a document can be provided per request. Photocopies and PDFs of copyright-protected materials are not normally available from NCJRS. However, special exceptions are made for requests that comply with Fair Use criteria (17 USC 107). See below for information on NCJRS' Standard and Fair Use photocopy/PDF requests as well as information about copyright restrictions.
An "Order Photocopy" link will appear on abstract detail pages for documents that can be ordered online through NCJRS' standard photocopy/PDF service.
Photocopy/PDF fees are calculated based on the number of pages appearing in the original document (page count) and your location (domestic or outside the U.S.). Page counts may include blank pages as they appear in the original document. The chart below details photocopy/PDF service fees. Customers will not be billed until the availability of the requested document is confirmed.
Fair Use Requests:
The Fair Use clause (17 USC 107) allows for reproduction of particular works for purposes including criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Four factors are considered when determining whether or not a particular request complies with the Fair Use clause:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether it is commercial in nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
- The nature of the copyrighted work.
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
- The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.
Fair Use requests received by NCJRS are evaluated against these four factors and either approved or rejected. To place a Fair Use request simply email, mail, or fax your request to the NCJRS Virtual Library clearly citing the document and stating the purpose of the request (i.e. research, scholarship, teaching, etc.). NCJRS Virtual Library staff will respond to your request promptly and advise you on how to proceed.
Under no circumstances does receiving a photocopy or PDF from NCJRS waive copyright. Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed themselves and does not extend to ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work. All subsequent use of the materials must be approved by the copyright holder, normally the author or publisher of a document, and cannot be authorized by NCJRS. Title 17, Section 108 absolves library institutions of all subsequent violations and places the responsibility of obtaining copyright permission for future use on the patron who received the Fair Use copy. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.
Important notice about the NCJRS Virtual Library collection
On October 1, 2014, the NCJRS Virtual Library began to focus primarily on the collection of informational materials and resources produced, funded, and/or sponsored by the program offices of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP). All materials housed in the NCJRS Virtual Library prior to October 2014 will remain searchable in the Abstracts Database and accessible through Virtual Library services. Due in part to these changes, NCJRS will be expanding the scope of the Virtual Library in other areas, including collaborative efforts with public and private libraries, consortia, and repositories designed to increase and expand access to both published and unpublished criminal justice information.
Contribute to Our Collection
The NCJRS Virtual Library will consider items for inclusion in the collection only if you or your organization produces resources on behalf of OJP or create resources that are sponsored or funded by OJP. Follow the instruction below to submit them to the NCJRS Virtual Library. Before submitting a resource to the NCJRS Virtual Library, please search the NCJRS Abstracts Database to ensure that it is not already in the collection.
Hardcopy editions submitted to the Library can be mailed to:
Office of Justice Programs/Response Center and Library Services
9737 Washingtonian Blvd.
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Electronic versions of documents can be submitted via email to the NCJRS Virtual Library. Please indicate if you grant permission to post the document online in the NCJRS Abstracts Database. All electronic formats are accepted and will be converted to PDF if permission to post is granted.
URLs for web-based documents can be submitted via email to the NCJRS Virtual Library.
Document collection donations are accepted. Please contact the NCJRS Virtual Library to arrange this transaction.
If you would like to suggest an OJP-published/OJP-sponsored work for the collection, please email the document citation to the NCJRS Virtual Library. Include the full citation and/or document URL in the message. Each suggested document will be reviewed and, if it is found suitable, we will attempt to acquire a copy for the collection.
The Weekly Accessions List (WAL) is a listing of documents added to the NCJRS Virtual Library/Abstracts Database during the previous week. Resources housed in the NCJRS Virtual Library, include: federal, state, and local government reports; books; research reports; journal articles; grant documents; and unpublished research on a wide range of criminal and juvenile justice topics.