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This book provides a different view of the research process in criminology and criminal justice. It is more like a collection of short stories than a novel that has a beginning, middle, and end. Each of the stories is different, as different as the authors and their backgrounds. A number of themes do come through in many of the contributions. For example, a number of the authors indicate, some explicitly, the value of tenure that permitted them to explore new or complicated issues that would not result in immediate results. Others describe the benefits of mentoring and of persistence and not being discouraged by initial failure. The specific methods used run the gamut from ethnographic studies to research on big (or biggish) data. Despite our reservations about creating pigeonholes for these chapters (so many of them fit into a number of categories!), we can consider five areas into which the chapters can be categorized: those that rely on information obtained from the street; those that generate new data; those that mine extant sources of data in new ways; those that describe analyses of existing data; and those that use visual and geographical tools.

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  1. 1.

    Although statistical significance only has meaning in the case of random samples, it was (and still is) applied in all too many cases in which this and other assumptions (normality, independence of observations, homoscedasticity, etc.) are violated.

  2. 2.

    In fact, the battle between Newton and Gottfried Leibniz over who invented/discovered calculus got pretty bitter.

  3. 3.

    In a response to a review of his book, Heims (1982) wrote: “According to prevailing tradition the ideas in mathematics, physics, and philosophy are regarded as having no connection with the social circumstances or personal characteristics of their progenitors. Such a complete dichotomy between thoughts and the thinker, however tidy, seems to me artificial and naive. Indeed, one of my motives for writing the book was to address the paucity of literature exhibiting connections between a mathematician’s or theoretical physicist’s scientific style and social conditions, motivations, and personal themes.”


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Correspondence to Michael D. Maltz .

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Maltz, M.D., Rice, S.K. (2015). Introduction. In: Maltz, M., Rice, S. (eds) Envisioning Criminology. Springer, Cham.

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