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1 J. Experimental Criminology 1 (2005)

handle is hein.journals/jexpcrm1 and id is 1 raw text is: Journal of Experimental Criminology (2005) 1: 1-8

Editors' introduction
The Journal of Experimental Criminology focuses on high-quality experimental
and quasi-experimental research in the development of evidence-based crime and
justice policy. The journal is also committed to the advancement of the science of
systematic reviews and experimental methods in criminology and criminal justice.
The journal seeks empirical papers on experimental and quasi-experimental
studies, systematic reviews on substantive criminal justice problems and method-
ological papers on experimentation and systematic review. The journal encourages
submissions from scholars in a broad array of scientific disciplines that are
concerned with crime and justice problems.
Over the last quarter of a century randomized experiments have become a
growing part of the evidence base of criminology, and public policy makers have
begun to recognize the value of strongly designed experimental and quasi-
experimental studies in the advancement of evidence-based policy. With the
establishment of the Academy of Experimental Criminology in 1999 (http://
www.crim.upenn.edu/aec) and the Campbell Collaboration Crime and Justice
Group (http://www.aic.gov.au/campbellcj) shortly afterwards, there has also been a
growing base for the development of evidence-based approaches in Crime and
Justice and for attention to the methodological questions that experimental
criminology raises. The Journal of Experimental Criminology is thus part of a
developing recognition by academic criminologists, criminal justice researchers,
crime and justice practitioners and policy makers that experimental science has
become an important part of the science of criminology.
In this first issue of the journal, we thought it important to explicitly define the
journal's focus and the nature of the contributions it seeks to make to the field of
criminology. We begin by detailing the importance of experimental methods and
the basic rationale for experimental study. We then turn to the importance of
evidence-based policy and the role of systematic reviews in informing both re-
search and policy. Finally, we introduce the specific contributions in this inaugural
Why experimental criminology?
The importance of a focus on experimental criminology can be found in what
scholars define as the internal validity of a study. A research design in which
the effects of a treatment or intervention can be clearly distinguished from other
effects is defined as having high internal validity. A research design in which
the effects of treatment are confounded by other factors is one in which there is
low internal validity. Accordingly, internal validity is an essential criterion for

© Springer 2005

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