Research4Justice is an open access repository containing previously unpublished research outputs produced as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate level programme and typically deposited by academics in higher education institutions (HEI). Research outputs include posters, presentations, reports, theses and/or dissertations from a range of subject areas of relevance to justice system professionals across the world. Subject areas within the repository consists of outputs from law, policing, criminal investigation, criminology, crime science and the full spectrum of forensic disciplines, including digital forensics, forensic medicine and nursing, forensic psychology and forensic archaeology.
This subject-based repository was initially called ForSci (ForScience) and its need was mandated by practitioners and justice professionals to provide timely access to research that may be of benefit to their practice and casework. The scope of the initial repository was expanded in 2017 following a requirements gathering workshop and was subsequently renamed as Research4Justice.
This ground-breaking repository will enable practitioners, academics and researchers to establish whether specific research questions have previously been explored, evaluating their potential for success and making Research4Justice a source of inspiration for students, supporting them in proposing novel research with real-world impact. The repository will be a central international resource to increase interdisciplinary collaboration particularly between academia and industry, enabling users with aligned aims and goals to network. Such networking will facilitate data collection, increasing sample sizes, create shared practices, enhancing the value and impact of student research with reducing research funds.
The titles of research outputs, names of researchers and research abstracts contained in the repository will typically be open access and will not require you to formally register as a user. However, to access the full contents of the Research4Justice repository and obtain contact details for researchers, you will need to complete a short online registration form (link yet to go live). Registration to Research4Justice is free and anyone is permitted to become a registered user. Users are likely to include justice system professionals, academics, researchers, students and members of the public.
Those interested in registering to deposit research outputs into the repository must be from a named HEI and those uploading research outputs are responsible for ensuring that the information deposited adheres to their organisations’ requirements and meet the Research4Justice Deposit Agreement (currently being written).
Research4Justice is hosted and managed by Jisc, a digital solutions provider for HEI and the resource is financially supported by the organisations that populate and benefit from the repository. Founders of the Research4Justice repository are based in the United Kingdom at:
- Staffordshire University (Associate Prof. Rachel Bolton-King & Prof. John Cassella)
- University College London (Prof. Ruth Morgan)
with support from a wide range of professional organisations including:
- The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (Prof. Brian Rankin)
- College of Policing
- National Crime Agency
- The Scottish Police Authority
- National Police Chiefs’ Council
- KTN Defence and Security Special Interest Group for Forensic Science.
Other HEI contributing to the development of the repository currently include:
- University of Strathclyde
- King’s College London
- University of Portsmouth
- University of Brighton
- University of Northampton
- University of Sunderland
- University of Leicester
- Canterbury Christchurch University.
The soft launch for the repository was on 11th June 2018, introducing the website to the community, with access to the repository due for production in November 2018. The repository is part of a wider toolkit for justice professionals who are connected through FIT-IN (Forensic Investigation and Technology – Information Network), KTN Innovation Database, numerous formal police-university partnerships and the European Forensic Education Network (EFEN).
Research4Justice is an actively developing and expanding resource and your contribution is vital to the sustainability and success of this initiative. Although the above institutions are currently UK-based, we are calling for all international HEI to submit their students’ research outputs into the repository, tell us about new research resources that will benefit the justice toolkit and support the development and sharing of research and practice globally.