What do you do when you need to find out about a state contract or a doctor’s disciplinary record? Make a public records request, of course. But many times you can find what you need online if you take just a few minutes for a targeted search. ICOG board member and former investigative journalist Gerry Lanosga walks you through some tips and top sites for savvy surfing.
|Indiana State Contracts||Download a current Excel spreadsheet at the Department of Administration’s web site||IDA Active Contracts|
|Indiana Workplace Safety||Check out your company’s records with OSHA’s establishment database||IDOL – OSHA
|Indiana Campaign Finance||Learn about campaign contributions, expenditures, and other election information.||ISOS – Campaign Finance Database
How much did that charity spend on actual charitable work?
|Foundation Center From 990 Search|
|Web and Internet Information||
Who registered a domain? Archives of websites over time?
|School Information||How many kids got expelled for guns or drugs at your child’s school?
Demographic information of school districts?
|Blogs||Indiana Blog Roundup|
|Environmental||Discover enforcement information, etc.||IDEM Actions Database|
|Newspaper Archives||You can access archives of newspapers via the web or through your local library.||U.S. News Archives on the Web|
|Federal Government||USA.gov (formerly FirstGov)
Government Accountability Office (search for background information and investigations on just about anything)
|General Reference||RefDesk (a good all-around site with links to references)
Library Spot (links to all sorts of libraries)
|Tutorials about Online Research||Hone your skills at online research|
Good luck surfing.
Contributor: Gerry Lanosga