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1 J. Res. Crime & Delinquency 3 (1964)

handle is hein.journals/jrcd1 and id is 1 raw text is: 



W HY DO WE NEED a new journal for
        research  in  criminology?  This
demand   for justification comes from the
harassed social scientist beseiged by a ris-
ing torrent of new books, scientific jour-
nals and  popular  periodicals concerned
with social problems. What will this jour-
nal do that is not already being done?
  The   explosive cultural growth  of the
social sciences in this century and their
application to social problems has created
strong  pressures  toward  specialization.
Many  are fearful that this trend will frag-
ment  the growth of social science knowl-
edge  and  research and  impede  develop-
ment  of its central theoretical concerns.
However,   such fears have not halted the
steady  development  of specialized areas
of knowledge   within the social sciences.
The  maturation  of a science requires an
appropriate balance  of general and  spe-
cialist functions. The stimulation of spe-
cial areas of research adds  to the vigor
of the general theoretical preoccupations
of the disciplines from which  these spe-
cializations have developed.
  There  is a timeliness in the emergence
of a new  journal that can be sensed as a
necessity by those within  the specialized
field. The preconditions for a successful
development  are  difficult to specify, but
they probably  would  include the follow-
   1) a broad base of established research
findings in a variety of related problem
  2)  indications that special value could
be  derived from   more  interdisciplinary
communication   of research results;
  3)  an interpenetration of research and
theory that holds potentiality for further
  4)  a threshhold  level in the develop-
ment  of knowledge  where practical appli-
cation becomes  possible and desirable.

  These  preconditions  for a  successful
research journal appear to be present in
the field of criminology today. New the-
ories and research findings are being pro-
duced  on crime  and  delinquency in the
community,  operations of the police and
the  courts, the  social organization of
treatment processes in correctional insti-
tutions, and the procedures and problems
of reintegration for released offenders in
the community.
  These  new  research contributions are
coming  from several different disciplines.
The  reports are  scattered throughout a
variety of journals which   service these
disciplines. The result is that communi-
cation among  research workers on related
problems  is inhibited. A great deal of the
stimulation that comes  from  cross-disci-
plinary communication  is lost.
  Furthermore,   many   very   significant
policy and program applications are over-
looked  because  practitioners encounter
only scattered accounts of research studies
and  have difficulty drawing their action
implications for the total system of crimi-
nal justice. The primary  objective of a
new   research journal  is to provide  a
useful means   of communication   among
research  workers  in  criminology.  Yet
many  practitioners will seize the oppor-
tunity to explore  a  journal where  the
frontier problems of theory and research
in criminology are discussed. Our journals
in  criminology do  not  meet  this need
since they deal  primarily with the pro-
grammatic  concerns  of  different practi-
tioner groups. Only  occasional research
reports appear in them, and there is lim-
ited tolerance for the specialized language
of research.
  This  is perhaps an even more  difficult
problem  in  other countries. Despite  a
growing   empiricism   in  criminological
work  abroad, there  is no major  vehicle


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