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Getting great search results – It starts at the source

Online searching is about much more than finding. Once you’ve run your searches, now what? And how did you get to the point of constructing some worthwhile searches? In a previous post, I listed several steps involved in the search process, and in this and future posts I’ll go into more detail about each step. […]

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lightbulbs showing creativity

Not enough Google results? – Time to get creative

Using Google for research and investigations can be a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that Google is a great starting point for finding answers and leads to even more answers. The bad news? Sometimes, it’s not so great. Most often, you get too much information, increasing the risk of missing something important. […]

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numbered list

3-step approach to online research

No matter what type of work that you do, gathering information is an important first step. Planning an investigation? Preparing for big business decision? Conducting due diligence? All require some digging into the backgrounds and actions of individuals or businesses, looking at industry trends and best practices, or generally getting smarter before taking action. A […]

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gavel, legal books, scales of justice

3 myths about online court searching

At one time, if you needed access to court records, you went to the courthouse and manually searched through paper filings. Thankfully, things have changed through the years, with more and more court records posted online. It’s made our jobs a lot easier, but it doesn’t come without its own set of myths and challenges. […]

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Online research when to stop

Online searching: When to stop

When you’re using online sources for in-depth research or investigations, it’s easy to get lost in a hyperlinked rabbit hole or two. Even if you have a strategy and a focus, one thing leads to another, and, before you know it, you’ve spent too much time online, with too few results. So, how do you […]

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missing puzzle piece

5 things you can’t find online & what to do about it

As someone who specializes in gathering and analyzing online information, I’ll be the first to admit that you can’t find everything on the web. When you’re digging deep for hard-to-find answers to client questions, relying on just online research may leave gaps, which–in our business–can be costly. That’s why it’s important for researchers and investigators […]

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Discovery Walk sign

Search vs. Discovery

When we’re at the library, there are generally two methods for finding books or other items in the collection. We can search the catalog for specific titles, authors, or subjects that interest us. Or, we can browse the shelves or scan suggested reading lists to see what looks interesting.  It’s the same with online research. Most […]

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Too much information

Top post: Too much information – Now what?

This post was originally published on September 16, 2019. TMI. Too much information. Can the results of an investigation or research project provide so much information that it’s overwhelming? To you and your client? A recent question from a colleague reminded me that it’s not always about finding too little or, worse, no information. Here’s […]

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Mind the gap - What's missing

What’s missing from your research?

As an investigator or researcher, what you don’t find is often as important as what you do find – if not more. To be thorough, you need to be mindful of what you can and can’t deliver to your client. A recent case reminded me of this important lesson, and I’d like to share what […]

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separating fact from fiction

Fact or fiction? – How to avoid misinformation on the web

It’s nothing new. We’ve been relying on the web and social media for the information we need for a long time. In the age of self-isolation, uncertainty, and new threats, though, we’re doing it more than ever. These days, it seems that the web has become our primary source of news and other critical information. […]

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