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Spokane: Local and Regional Information: Beginning Your Research

Fun, interesting and helpful information about community and services in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

Using the Spokane Research Guide

Welcome! This guide serves as a central location to collect information about Spokane and Inland Northwest communities, services, governments, cultures, and more. Whether you are beginning research into Gonzaga's local community, or you just want something fun to do on the weekend, you'll find ideas in this guide.

There are many topics covered in this guide, and not all information could be included. To go into more depth on particular subject areas (such as history, environmental studies, business, etc.), please consult our other research guides.

Doing Original Research

If you want to gather original data on human subjects, you should familiarize yourself with IRB requirements. 

Gonzaga University Institutional Review Board (IRB):

"The IRB is an administrative board established to oversee human research conducted under the auspices of this institution. The policies of the GU IRB are also designed to protect University members, students who conduct research under supervision, and community partners who conduct research activities affiliated with Gonzaga University."

Where Do I Start?

Researching public figures, organizations, institutions, and governments is often challenging. However, finding information beyond an institution or individual's "About Us" page or an organization's mission statement can lead to a more nuanced, less biased perspective on your topic. Information of this nature is important for building:

  • an understanding of your readers/audience
  • an understanding of the subjects of your research
  • an understanding of the community and stakeholders surrounding your research topic

Here are some Foley Center Library resources and open access resources useful in gaining insight into public figures and groups.

"Who is a public figure?" The Electronic Freedom Foundation's Legal Guide for Bloggers

Wikipedia's Notability Requirements: Wikipedia has general and subject-specific criteria to judge whether a subject deserves its own Wikipedia article. Primary criteria include significant coverage of the topic (notability), and the verifiability of the information. Often, subjects will be notable and have Wikipedia articles because they are foremost in their fields, or experts. Other subjects will be notable and have a Wikipedia article because they are notorious or embroiled in controversy. Because of Wikipedia's notability requirements, Wikipedia articles can be a good place to go to get useful summaries of these aspects of an article subject's notability.

Contact Elected Officials: a directory of government officials, provided by 

To find information about researchers, scholars, and scholarly publications in Web of Science, try searching in the fields for Authors, Group Authors, Editors, Publication Names, and more. Make sure to follow the guidance on search formatting that displays in the search box: 

Subject Guide

Anji Mertens's picture
Anji Mertens