• Online Research Aids

last modified September 28, 2016 by strypey


This is a place to list tools that are useful to investigators and researchers.
  • FYI.org.nz: This is a NZ-specific site, which guides users through the process of making requests under the Official Information Act, and documents any official information released as a result of requests it handles.  
  • Contract Mapping: Another NZ-specific site, which holds information about who gets public funding to provide social services, how much they get, and for what.
  • Delisted.co.nz: lists companies that have been delisted from the official register of companies, and any information they can find about where the assets went.
  • Who'sLobbying.com: a UK-based site that tracks organisational lobbying of governments. They have a dedicated NZ section.
  • PeerReviewWatch and RetractionWatch.com: blogs that track peer-reviewed journal articles that have been retracted.
  • WebCitation: You can use this site to archive a permanent copy of a website you want to reference. It's particularly useful for items that may be removed from a website (or the whole site taken down) due to either censorship, or incompetence. It's also handy for sites which don't have robust permalinks for items they publish, and for blogs and news sites where the content of each page changes frequently, and older items can be difficult to find.
  • WaybackMachine: A project of Archive.org, this is another way of looking up snapshots of past versions of websites, when they have been changed, or gone offline. Searching for a site which has not yet been archived is usually enough to start Archive taking snapshots of it.
  • SourceMap: a project which helps both activists and companies track and visualize where in the world a given product comes from, as well as the ingredients and raw materials that go into it.
  • SourceWatch: Maintained by the Centre for Media and Democracy (PRWatch) in the US, this wiki gives information about the backgrounds of people who make public statements, helping to expose any bias or conflicts of interest which might be shaping what they say. All information is licensed under CC-BY-SA for free re-use. The Who Said It pages on this site are inspired by SourceWatch, and similarly licensed.
  • PowerBase.info: A UK-based project similar to SourceWatch, "initiated by Spinwatch in collaboration with Lobbywatch, GMWatch Red Star Research and Corporate Watch". The PowerBase wiki was originally covered by the GNU Free Documentation License (GNU FDL), but in early 2013 they switched to a CreativeCommons license. Sadly they chose a NonCommercial license (unclear whether it's the CC-NC-SA in the graphic or the CC-BY-NC it links to), so still not fully compatible with SourceWatch, and our own Who Said It pages.
  • KeyWiki: This is another SourceWatch style wiki, licensed under the GNU FDL, but with a pro-corporate, anti-communist slant. Although intended to expose and embarrass "left-wingers", the profiles in New Zeal blog often provide useful summaries of the contributions and achievements of prominent activists, and their author Trevor Loudon conveniently archives them on KeyWiki.
  • Some resources on logical fallacies and how to spot them: