DataCenter’s research tools are designed to help organizers and activists think strategically about the role of information in developing actions and campaigns – and to provide a practical guide for doing effective campaign research.

The tools are organized in a sequence to take you through the research-for-action process, from formulating answerable research questions to sources and tips for finding the information you need. You can also jump directly to the section you need using the list on the right.

Pre-Research Planning

Research Toolkits

Post-Research Toolkits

Search Engine Tips

Web Resources

Issue-Based Research Toolkits

**New!** Data Feud Toolkit

Pre-Research Planning

Documenting Our Lives: A Guide To Designing Your Research Project (pdf)

This toolkit walks you through the research project planning process.

Participatory Research Toolkit: Conducting Interviews (pdf)

This toolkit provides an overview of an interview project.

General Research Planning & tips (pdf)

Quick tips for planning and doing research. Includes general guidelines for developing research expertise, documenting sources, using Internet search engines, and doing library research.

Research Starts With Strategy and Questions (pdf)

Questions to ask about the goals and feasibility of your campaign – before you start researching.

Ten Steps for Your Research (pdf) 

Use this outline to make your research plan.


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Research Toolkits 

Creating Surveys (pdf)

A participatory research toolkit on how to do community surveys to support social justice campaigns.

Getting Public Records (pdf)

Overview on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and public records laws that can be used to obtain information from federal, state, and local agencies.

Researching Corporations (pdf)

Target research guide: includes how to put together a corporate profile, sample research questions, information sources on the Web, pointers to which government agencies have what corporate information and how to go about getting it.

 

Researching Individuals (pdf)

Target research guide: provides an overview of information that is available about a wide range of individuals, and a list of information sources for each type of information.


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Post-Research Toolkits

Data Feud (2012)

Data Feud is a tool used to share statistics, survey results and quantitative data in a fun and engaging way.


Search Engine Tips 

Learn how to quickly get the information you need and to evaluate the sources of your information


Web Resources

Find some of the best places to begin your research for crucial information on corporations, political influence, government policies and programs, and socially just alternatives.


Issue-Based Research Toolkits

High and Dry in the Smoggy Skies…? Overcoming the Challenges in Capturing Air Toxics 411! (2004)

Air pollution research guide

Challenging the FTAA, NAFTA, & WTO: A Community Research Toolkit (2003)

Provides resources for locating community-specific information that reelects the way corporate-led globalization affects us at the local level.

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