Category Archives: Websites/Databases/Blogs

Predict Your FOIA Request Success

Source: data.world, 2017

Does your FOIA have a shot? This model is trained on 9,000+ FOIA requests tracked by MuckRock.

Predictions made using a K nearest neighbors classification algorithm with a test classification accuracy rate of 80%. Factors include word count, average sentence length, specificity (presence of nouns), references to fees, references to FOIA, presence of hyperlinks, presence of email addresses, and success rate of agency.
Related:
What makes a good FOIA request? We studied 33,000 to find out.
Source: Nicolas Dias, Rashida Kamal, and Laurent Bastien, January 30, 2017

Every journalist has ideas about what makes a good public records request. But surprisingly few people have actually tried to systematically analyze how requests can be written to improve their chances of success. To fill this vacuum, we analyzed more than 33,000 Freedom of Information Act requests and identified a few characteristics that were typical of those that were fulfilled…..

Congress’ Browsing Habits

Source: Speak Together, 2017

Find out what the government is doing on your site

Get real time analytics on Congress, White House, and FCC visits to your site, while taking in part in one of the largest movements for internet privacy in the history of the Web.
Related:
How to Track What Congress Is Doing on the Internet
Source: Louise Matsakis, Motherboard, June 12, 2017

There’s now a way to track what government employees, including elected officials, are doing online during working hours. A new plugin created by a software engineer in North Carolina lets website administrators monitor when someone accesses their site from an IP address associated with the federal government. It was created in part to protest a piece of legislation the president signed earlier this year. In April, President Trump signed a measure allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to sell sensitive information about your online habits without needing your consent, rolling back Obama-era regulations intended to stop that very thing from happening…..

Competitive Intelligence – A Selective Resource Guide – Updated June 2017

Source: Sabrina I. Pacifici, LLRX, June 2017

The accuracy and reliability of data, information, and research published on websites – public, corporate, news, is subject to continuous review and evaluation to establish its accuracy, reliability and usefulness specific to the areas that pertain to your specific work. The requirements of many faceted work product, deliverables, assignments, publications, reports and specialized expert services demand that we in essence continually, rapidly, and effectively boil the vast ocean of knowledge that is often in a continuous state of change. As expert researchers, our work is time sensitive yet requires comprehensive examination of multiple sources, cross-checking data and routinely performing due diligence reviews on sources and publications which we cite and from which we source data. But the Internet is a dynamic ecosytem – sites often change URLs, the subject matter, focus and perspective may be impacted for reasons that are financial, political or even personal, and ownership of sites may change resulting in dramatic changes to the quality and reliability of a site’s content. With increasing frequency, sites go offline, with little or no notification to users, even if they are subscription based. New sites and services pop up, and researchers are challenged to make quick determinations as to their value. However, we have just so many hours in our work day so we identify and rely upon tools and resources that effectively and accurately meet our requirements.

This guide is focused on multi-disciplinary researchers. This latest version of the guide includes dozens of updated links, deletion of sites that are no longer live, as well as numerous new entries throughout. For 21 years LLRX has not changed URL and remains an independent, non-affiliated, one woman owned and edited publication – so please keep me on your list of reliable resources for research and knowledge management. Thank you.

Contents
Selected Engines, Web Archives, Open Data Repositories
Selected Business Info Websites, Databases – Fee and Free
Selected Online People and Company Location Sources
Television and Radio News Transcripts
Legislative Monitoring and Tracking
E-Newsletters, Online Newspapers, Journals and News Sources
Monitoring Trends, Companies and Products
Selected RSS Feeds From Business Related News
Identification of Company Legal Representation
Online Tools for Competitor Monitoring
Westlaw and Lexis Trackers
Benchmarking, Country Profiles, IGO and NGO Sources
Blog Search and Selected Social Media Search
Research Directories and Portals
Website Trackers

Database of Trump administration officials’ personal finances grows

Source: Center for Public Integrity, June 7, 2017

The Center for Public Integrity today added more than 100 new Trump administration officials’ financial disclosures to a searchable, sortable database first launched in April.

The database allows anyone to easily understand the wealth, assets and business interests of many of the people working for President Donald Trump.

These include Senate-confirmed appointees, White House aides and members of so-called “beachhead teams” sent to prepare executive agencies for the new administration. Among the prominent Trump allies included in the database update: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Transportation Secretary Eliane Chao and White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The new disclosures are possible thanks to the Center for Public Integrity’s collaboration with ProPublica — a fellow Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news organization — which requested the disclosure forms from government sources and made the disclosures available as PDF files…..

Related:
New database details White House officials’ finances
Source: Center for Public Integrity, April 4, 2017

On Friday night, the White House began releasing financial disclosures for scores of key employees — including familiar names such as Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway and Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

Reporters from dozens of news organizations, including the Associated Press, the New York Times, ProPublica and the Washington Post, then compiled and reported on the documents, which the White House released one-by-one.

The Center for Public Integrity compiled data from those disclosures into a searchable, sortable database, which provide a window into the wealth, assets and business interests of many of the people closest to President Donald Trump. The Center for Public Integrity’s news developer, Chris Zubak-Skees, extracted these details from more than 90 reports, released in PDF format, using a software tool he created….

Corporate Prosecution Registry

Source: Brandon L. Garrett and Jon Ashley, University of Virginia School of Law, 2017

The Corporate Prosecutions Registry is a project of the University of Virginia School of Law. The goal of this Corporate Prosecutions Registry is to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on federal organizational prosecutions in the United States, so that we can better understand how corporate prosecutions are brought and resolved. We include detailed information about every federal organizational prosecution since 2001, as well as deferred and non-prosecution agreements with organizations since 1990.
We aim to provide accurate, timely, and accessible information for policymakers, researchers and litigators alike. All of the information contained on this website is publicly available, and was gathered from federal docket sheets, press releases, prosecutor’s offices, as well as from FOIA requests.

Swing Left

Source: Swing Left, 2017

Swing Districts are places where the winner of the last House of Representatives election was determined by a thin margin. Swing Left helps you find and commit to supporting progressives in your closest Swing District so that you can help ensure we take back the House in 2018. Find your closest Swing District and join the team to learn about actionable opportunities as they become available.

From the FAQ:
What is Swing Left?
Swing Left is an online community that connects you with your nearest Swing District. This is a district where the winner, an elected official who is now serving a two-year term in the House of Representatives, won the November 2016 election by a thin margin, or is otherwise vulnerable in 2018.

Why do we need Swing Left?
Voters in “safe” districts tend to feel powerless about their impact on local elections that have national repercussions. At the same time, House midterm elections, including in Swing Districts, tend to receive less attention than other races. We formed Swing Left to provide a simple way for voters living both inside and outside of Swing Districts to come together and channel their time, resources, and ideas to help progressives prevail in these critical races.

What is Swing Left’s goal?
Swing Left’s goal is to flip the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections and put a check on the Trump and GOP agenda. We will achieve this by organizing and supporting volunteers to have an impact Swing Districts across the country….

Measures for Justice

Source: Measures for Justice (MFJ), 2017

Measuring justice, one county at a time.
Assessing and comparing the performance of the entire U.S. criminal justice system.

THE PROBLEM
No one really knows how well our entire criminal justice system is working on the county level.

THE SOLUTION
Measures for Justice gathers criminal justice data at the county level and uses them to populate performance Measures that address:
Public Safety, Fair Process, Fiscal Responsibility

The Measures track how criminal cases are being handled at the county level from arrest to post-conviction. They are designed to increase the transparency of local justice systems and enable more informed discussions.

All of our Measures and analyses present data at the county level and are available for free to the public on a web-based Data Portal. The Portal is searchable and can be configured to break down performance data across multiple factors including race/ethnicity, sex, indigent status, age, offense type, offense severity, court type, and attorney type. The Portal also allows for county-to-county comparison within and across states.

Strategy Labs Postsecondary Legislative Tracking

Source: Education Commission of the States, 2017

As a partner supporting the Strategy Labs platform, Education Commission of the States tracks legislative activity across several key issue areas, providing valuable and timely information on state postsecondary legislation. This map displays postsecondary education related bills for the 2017-18 sessions.

Legislation is tracked from introduction through final action. To sort by state, click on a state on the map and the bills will display below the map. To sort by issue and sub-issue, click an issue area bar then a sub-issue bar to display the bills. Click the arrow at the right side of the bill list to see specific information related to the bill. To reset the map, use the “reset” button at the bottom of the page.

Integrated Database (IDB)

Source: Federal Judicial Center, 2017

The FJC, under a working arrangement with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC), provides through this site public access to its Integrated Data Base (IDB). The IDB contains data on civil case and criminal defendant filings and terminations in the district courts, along with bankruptcy court and appellate court case information. The FJC receives regular updates of the case-related data that are routinely reported by the courts to the AOUSC. The FJC then post-processes the data, consistent with the policies of the Judicial Conference of the United States governing access to these data, into a unified longitudinal database, the IDB.

As part of this effort and in further cooperation with the Judiciary Data and Analysis Office of the AOUSC, the FJC has created and maintains code books that detail changes in the case data that have occurred since the creation of the IDB, including details about new data fields that may have been added, often due to new legislation expanding the jurisdiction of the federal courts, or data elements that have been deleted and no longer routinely reported by the courts to the AOUSC.

Up to 1992, the reporting period, or statistical year, went from July through June (e.g. statistical year 1990 covered the period July 1, 1989 through June 30, 1990). In 1992, the statistical reporting period was changed to conform to the federal government’s standard fiscal year, October through September (e.g. fiscal year 1993 covered the period October 1, 1992 through September 30, 1993). All of the previous data files in the IDB conform to the old statistical year (SY70-SY91). The 1992 files cover a 15-month time span (July 1, 1991 through September 30, 1992) to accommodate this conversion period. The 1993 file and all subsequent files conform to the new fiscal year (October 1 through September 30).

Detailed information about the datasets can be found in their associated codebooks.

Healthy Marketplace Index

Source: Health Care Cost Institute, 2017

The Healthy Marketplace Index measures the economic performance of health care markets across the country. It gives local policymakers, employers, and providers a benchmark as they work to improve health care value and affordability.

Explore Local Prices Using the Map:
– See how health care prices for inpatient, outpatient, and physician services in your local market stack up against a national average
– Understand how local prices for inpatient, outpatient, and physician services have changed over time
– Compare prices in your market to prices in other communities across the country