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These are the Tools Open Source Researchers Say They Need

bellingcat: “What type of tools do you need? That’s what we asked back in February when we circulated a survey among open source researchers about their use of online tools when conducting online research. That can mean anything from a simple search engine accessed through a browser to an intricate, custom built scraper for which you must use the command line. More than 500 people took the time to answer our questions, telling us about their experiences using (or failing to use) various online tools. We conducted our survey to help the wider open source developer community learn what tools could really help researchers if they were to be built. These survey results show that the online researcher community is highly diverse. Those who conduct open source investigations do not only come from a wide range of professional backgrounds — about half of them do this type of work in their spare time. Researchers told us that the tools they are most likely to use need to be free, clearly describing what they are capable of doing and how they can be used. Given that only a quarter of our respondents knew how to use the command line, tools which do not require more advanced technical skills are particularly welcome. Nearly 200 of our respondents provided concrete suggestions for tools which could help them in their work, which we have provided in a publicly-accessible spreadsheet…”

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