Checklist

The problem with checklists

Checklists are a handy tool, especially in investigations. I use them a lot. They help me remember all the steps that need to be covered, and they’re great for getting back on track after going off script to follow an unexpected lead. But checklists need to be used with caution.  As this news story highlights, […]

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AIIP logo

Key takeaways from #AIIP19

I recently attended the annual conference of the Association of Independent Information Professionals in Philadelphia. This is my 19th consecutive AIIP conference, and I make it my primary conference for the year. While I attend several others, this one is in my calendar, and everything fits in around that. It’s in my budget, too, so […]

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Checklist

The ins and outs of checklists

Mistakes happen. Sometimes we forget. Perhaps we’re stressed by tight deadlines. Or maybe we assume that something’s been done, and we skip steps. In investigations, risk is all about what we’re missing, and skipping steps can lead to trouble. Enter the checklist. While listening to a recent episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Hidden […]

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Gumshoe Librarian

From librarian to private investigator

I recently spoke with Chris Kenneally of the Copyright Clearance Center for his podcast, Beyond the Book. Chris noticed my LinkedIn post about pivoting from librarian to private investigator and wanted to talk more about it. Ever since grad school, I’ve focused on how to use my Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and […]

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Things this PI doesn't do

Things this private investigator doesn’t do – Unauthorized degree verifications

Since becoming a private investigator, I’ve received numerous requests from potential clients that I eventually file under “Things This PI Doesn’t Do.” The first item on the list  – surveillance – is based on personal preference. I prefer not to hang out in my car for long stretches of time. Other items are more about […]

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Knowledge-sharing

Giving thanks for those who share

Well, I’ve survived another family Thanksgiving here at Casa de Phelps. Many years ago, when I married into the family, I had no idea what a fun ride it would be. This crew really knows how to throw a party. Thirteen people and six dogs crowded into our home this year to celebrate, enjoy each […]

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Client Conversations

You want what? – Better results through client conversations

Measure twice, cut once. It doesn’t matter the activity. Time spent on preparation pays off in the end. Research and investigations are no different. Misunderstandings lead to poor results and unhappy clients (including bosses). Success depends on making the most of your initial conversation – the request for information. When I worked in libraries, we […]

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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 provide the depth of due diligence our clients need . At the recent annual conference of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP), I did a […]

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PI licensing

It’s official – As of June 1st, when the new Colorado law goes into effect, I will be a licensed private investigator in this state. Before now, there were no licensing requirements for private investigators, except for a brief time when it was voluntary – and the requirements so ridiculous, that very few could qualify. […]

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