This is the "Background and Investigative Reference Resources" page of the "Factual and Investigative Research" guide.
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Factual and Investigative Research  

Last Updated: Apr 4, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Background and Investigative Reference Resources Print Page

Learn More From Experts...

  • Internet for Lawyers
    The company focuses on delivering information about free investigative and background research resources available on the Internet.
  • Global Investigative Journalism Network
    The Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) is an international association of nonprofit organizations that support, promote, and produce investigative journalism.

U.S. Government Data

    Official site for U.S. government open data, as well as tools for analysis, visualizations, and application development.
  • Census Bureau
    The leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy.
  • Data by Subject guide via Rutgers Libraries
    The Data by Subject guide lists data resources appropriate to specific academic disciplines. It will continue to expand over time as new subjects are added. Currently, pages are available for: Criminal Justice, Economics, Political Science, and Social work.

Freedom of Information

Note: even if you can request information, and many times when you do request information, you might still run in to red tape, bureaucracies and other like hurdles. Request the information anyway and be persistent. Sometimes, it’s worth picking up the phone or going in person.

  • Electronic Frontier Foudation Transparency Project
    Browse- and searchable collection of federal government documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act
  • FOIA Online
    Guest users are welcome to submit requests, search for previously released records, and generate reports, but guests will have limited tracking and communications features. Enhanced features are available to users with accounts.
    Learn about the Freedom of Information Act, and learn how to request and obtain information.
  • provides electronic copies of thousands of interesting Federal Government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
    iFOIA is a project of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. It allows registered users to create, send, maintain and share FOI requests at the state and federal level.

Local Libraries' Resources

In the real world, if you cannot make it to an academic campus whose databases would be available for use at a public computer terminal, you might want to consider visiting a branch of the local library system. Often, they have subscriptions to databases that you may access from their own public computer terminals.

Archival Research

  • Google News Archive
    Browse by Newspaper. Content coverage differs by publisher. Approximate dates covered: 1900-2003.

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