Online Research Tools

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Online Research Tools and Investigative Techniques by the BBC’s ace online sleuth Paul Myers has long been a starting point for online research by GIJN readers. His website, Research Clinic, is rich in research links and “study materials.” Here’s a tipsheet about finding people online that Myers presented at a 2019 GIJN webinar. And a GIJN article about his presentation at GIJC19, 4 Questions for Online Super-Sleuth Paul Myers.

See also Myers’ other guides on

For our companion video, “Online Searches And Key Databases,” check GIJN’s YouTube channel. Using Twitter to Find People at the Scene of a Breaking Story
Customise your Browser: Using Add-ons for your Web Research
Browser Add-ons (Part 2): Traveling Back in Time
GIJN’s Investigative Toolbox, a column by GIJN’s Alastair Otter, explores selected topics:
Tracking Names and Websites, Verifying Video, a Clustering Search Engine
Digging for People, Trawling the Web and Keeping Yourself Safe
Backgrounding People and Companies
Mine Twitter and Monitor Website Updates
Beyond Spreadsheets and Deep Searching the Web
Jake Creps keeps up a steady stream of useful tips on his blog.

Online Methods to Investigate the Who, Where, and When of a Person

Online research is often a challenge for traditional investigative reporters, journalism lecturers and students. Information from the web can be fake, biased, incomplete or all of the above. Offline, too, there is no happy hunting ground with unbiased people or completely honest governments. In the end, it all boils down to asking the right questions, digital or not. This chapter gives you some strategic advice and tools for digitizing three of the biggest questions in journalism: who, where and when?