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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stack of newspapers

Top post: Background investigations – Don’t skip the media report

This post was originally published in September 2018. Due diligence background investigations come in all flavors. They’re generally customized according to industry, level of risk, and time constraints. There’s one component, though, that should be included in all background checks on people and companies–the media report. What’s a media report? It’s the section of 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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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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Text sign showing Are You Ready Question. Conceptual photo Be Prepared Motivated Warned Readiness Aware written on Notebook Book on the Green background Marker and Pen next to it.

Searching online public records – How to prepare

Searching public records such as corporation filings, recorded documents, and court records can be the most challenging type of online research – even for the professionals. I’ve been searching online information for more than 20 years, and public records never cease to amaze me. No uniformity among jurisdictions, missing records, clunky search tools, and other […]

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proactive due diligence investigations

Top post: Conduct a background check on yourself – It’s worth it

This post was originally published in May 2018. Have you ever run a background check on yourself? I’m not talking about just googling your name. I’m talking about checking court and other public records, news, and even social media, and taking a deeper dive into your digital footprint to see what others might find out […]

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investigative research

Top Post: Online database searching – More than just finding

This was originally published in March 2019. Since it was the top post for the past year, and I’m preparing some upcoming presentations on this very topic, I thought a rerun was in order. Enjoy! As a researcher and investigator – and a former librarian – I’ve done a lot of online database searching. I’ve […]

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investigative research

Online database searching: More than just finding

As a researcher and investigator – and a former librarian – I’ve done a lot of online database searching. I’ve searched news, market research, public records, engineering documents, you name it. I’ve searched for information on any topic you can imagine, from silicon photonics to Jeff Zucker‘s career. I also teach other researchers and investigators […]

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stack of newspapers

Background investigations – Don’t skip the media report

Due diligence background investigations come in all flavors. They’re generally customized according to industry, level of risk, and time constraints. There’s one component, though, that should be included in all background checks on people and companies – the media report. What’s a media report? It’s the section of a background investigation that covers news and […]

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diploma search

Tricks of the trade: Verifying degrees without consent

In a recent post, I questioned the methods used by a journalist in exposing a politician’s fraudulent college diploma. I’m all for catching this type of fraud, since one little lie can be a symptom of chronic deceit, but verifying a degree without consent is illegal (except in certain circumstances) and something this private investigator […]

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