Unified Search, Analysis, and Reporting Protocols in United States Policy Surveillance: A Guide and Call-to-Action


  • Julio Montanez University of Central Florida


Multi-jurisdictional legal research is an important area of study for understanding the United States’s (U.S.) legal landscape, including the impact of this landscape on social issues (e.g., overdose response, violent victimization). However, underexplored within the extant literature is unified and systematic guidance on conducting such research. Accordingly, the goal of the current paper is to construct a guide and call to action on bringing policy surveillance methods into focus. First, a systematized review of the extant empirical literature on multi-jurisdictional domestic violence policy surveillance is employed by inputting a search phrase—(statut* OR legisl* OR law* OR “policy” OR “policies”) AND “content analysis” AND “United States” AND (violen* OR abus*)—into three scholarly databases: Criminal Justice Abstracts, Academic Search Premier, and Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts. Second, a systematized review of the extant literature on policy surveillance methodology more broadly is employed by inputting a search phrase—“policy surveillance”—into the scholarly database, Web of Science. After inclusion/exclusion and data abstraction processes, as well as with the information gained from the systematized reviews more broadly, the current work (a) constructs a series of common methodological practices in policy surveillance and (b) develops a call-to-action on necessary future steps to ensure wide usage of unified policy surveillance guidance. Overall, the importance of the current work is embodied in an empirically-informed set of options for searching, analysis, and reporting of multi-jurisdictional policy surveillance research.

Author Biography

Julio Montanez, University of Central Florida

Department of Sociology, University of Central Florida





Academic articles