Online investigations

The Smith Test

When searching online databases for public records or news articles, it’s essential to know how many years the database covers. For example, are you searching from 1982 forward, or...

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SLA2015

What I learned at #SLA2015

One event I regularly attend and rarely miss is the annual conference of the Special Libraries Association. For me, this year’s conference was unique, because it was the first...

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Turning useless data into something actionable

7 Keys to Making Data Actionable

New technologies help companies stockpile potentially valuable data, but what we often get in return for our efforts is a bad case of information overload. No, nowadays, we don’t...

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myth word cloud

The top 3 myths about going independent

Recently, I had the opportunity to be a guest speaker in Kim Dority’s Alternative Career Paths for Librarians class at the University of Denver. Each year, Mary Ellen Bates...

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telephone research

6 tips for getting people to talk

It’s hard to believe that my book, Research on Main Street: Using the Web to Find Local Business and Market Information, was published four years ago last month. As...

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Subcontracting success: My #1 tip for making it work

Here at Phelps Research, I collaborate with a team of associates who help gather intelligence for our investigative profiles. Without their specialized skills or local, boots-on-the-ground research, we can’t...

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Visualization: How to choose the right graphic

Displaying research results in a visual format adds impact and brings clarity where words often fail. Whether you’re creating an annual report, executive summary, or a presentation for your...

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