Reporter’s Toolbox

Below you’ll find a list of links I regularly use in the course of researching stories and people. I plan to update this list regularly. Keep in mind that data of any sort is open to interpretation, so use it carefully.

If you have any specific questions about the use of a search tool or database, hit me up in the comments.

 

Power Tools

Search patents, court cases and SEC filings simultaneously, set up alerts for searches.

Business

Business entity and incorporation searches by state

Securities and Exchange Commission

Charities

Charity Navigator

GuideStar

National Center for Charitable Statistics

Deep Web Search

Government Publications

Research

Science

Spock

Virtual Library

Yippy

Experts

Expertise Finder

Google Scholar

Microsoft Academic

Profnet

General

Free public records (Don’t use anything with a green check mark, that leads to a paid service)

Google book and magazine search

National Archives Database

News and newspaper databases

Personal property records

Website archives

WolframAlpha

International

Embassies

UK government docs

Legal

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Case checker (Free but not always up to date)

Court Reference

Criminal record checks

FBI Uniform Crime Reports

Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

National court database (Requires paid access)

Supreme Court Decisions

Open Records

Guide to Open Records by state

Federal Open Records request letter generator

State Open Records request letter generator

Muckrock

Patents/Trademarks/Copyright

Copyright

Patent Miner

U.S. Trademark and Patent database

People

LinkedIn

Pipl

Reverse 411

Stolen Valor

U.S. Military Award for Valor database

Switchboard

Photo

Exif Viewer

FotoForensics

TinEye

Politics

Campaign finance

Congress bill tracker

Federal Digital System

Federal Election Commission

Library of Congress legislation database

Lobbyist tracking

Public integrity data

Source protection

Burner email addresses

PGP app (My PGP public key)

SecureDrop

Video

TV show search