How the Evidence is Selected

The Psychology Law Evidence Database (PLED) is intended represent a diverse set of domains relevant to psychology and law. The methodology used is comprehensive, transparent, and replicable. We want you to understand how we find and select sources to included in the PLED and provide an overview here. For further questions about our method, please contact us.


Each month a systematic and standardized review of the literature is conducted to collect evidence published internationally. Evidence includes published systematic reviews, economic evaluations or costing studies, evidence briefs for policy makers, evidence briefs for court, and government organization documents. Exclusion criteria: Not English, Dissertation/Thesis, Book

The following search terms are entered into the scientific databases with date restrictions for the past month:

(Systematic review OR white paper OR meta-analysis OR meta-review) AND …

(Arousal and law) (Expectations and Law) (Police or Law Enforcement)
(Attitudes and Law) (Expert Testimony) (Predictors of violent behaviour)
(Decision making and law) (Eyewitness Memory) (Procedural Justice)
(Domestic violence or Intimate Partner Violence) (Family (Law or Court)) (Psychopathy)
(Child victims) (Forensic Assessment) (Public Perceptions and law)
(Child witnesses) (Gender and Law) (Public Policy)
(Civil competency) (Incarceration or Prisons) (Race and (law or policy))
(Civil forensic) (Insanity or Criminal Responsibility) ((Risk Assessment or Risk Management) and suicide)
(Civil law) (Interrogations or Forensic Interviewing) ((Risk Assessment or Risk Management) and violence)
(Confessions) (Jury) (Sexual Offending)
(Correctional settings) (Justice System Interventions) (Substance Abuse)
(Criminal competency) (Juvenile justice) (Suggestibility or False Memories)
(Death penalty) (Juvenile Offenders) (Systems Variables and law)
(Deception detection) (Lineups) ((treatment and (forensic or corrections or civil psychiatric or criminal))
(Emotions and law) (Memory and law) (Violence or Victims)
(Employment Law) (Mental Health and Law) (Witnesses)
(Ethnicity and (law or policy)) (Offenders)
(Evidence and law) (Older Adult justice)

The databases searched: 

Campbell Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, JSTOR, PsychINFO, PubMed/Medline, Lexis Nexus, WestLaw

Submission made to policy or courts from the following organizations are reviewed for relevance to psychology and law and inclusion in the Psychology Law Evidence Database.

  • American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Amicus Briefs
  • American Bar Association Governmental & Legislative Work
  • American Bar Association Amicus Briefs
  • American Psychiatric Association Position Statements
  • American Psychological Association Amicus Briefs
  • Canadian Psychological Association Submissions to Government
  • Canadian Bar Association Submissions to Government
  • International Union of Psychological Science Information for Policy Makers
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Amicus Briefs
  • National Institute of Corrections Publications
  • Society for Community and Research Action Policy Position Statements
  • Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Social Policy Briefing Papers

[We made every effort to include international sourced databases and organizations. If your organization makes submissions to policy or court on topics related to psychology and law and is not listed please provide us the relevant information and your source will be added to our database.]

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