The Investigation Process Research Resource Site
A Pro Bono site with hundreds of resources for Investigation Investigators
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. . . .. . . . . . . . last updated 4/28/07


to advance the
State-of-the-Art of
investigations, through
investigation process

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Launched Aug 26 1996.

WORK ON THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY (or until someone expresses an interest in helping, or a sponsor volunteers to support it)

Open Source Notice:
©1997-2007 by Ludwig Benner Jr. The source code for the pages constituting this project is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or any later version.

This material is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You can receive a copy of the GNU General Public License upon request from Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA or view it at


Project Description

Research Objectives.

This project has two kinds of objectives.

Experiment objective.

This project is an experiment to determine if it is feasible to advance the state of the art of investigation by using the Internet to conduct research on line with this medium.

Research objective

The objectives of the research project are to identify the knowledge and skill requirements for different kinds of investigations, and publish a summary of those requirements for use by investigation process designers, managers, trainers, students, practicing investigators, authors, and potentially, by legislators and investigation certification organizations.


The topic chosen for this experiment is one to which every person who has ever conducted any kind of investigation can probably contribute original observations or interpretations to enlarge the knowledge base. The project has grown out of a private initiative to examine investigation types and training needs, by experiences working with individuals trying to establish training standards and criteria for investigator training, and by the dearth of such standards and criteria in the literature after centuries of investigation.

Join the experiment

Data about investigation experiences are needed for this research initiative. If you have performed observed or managed investigations, or conducted investigation training, you can probably provide useful input data, or comment on others' inputs.

Are you willing to become a participant in this experiment? If so, fill in the form at the end of this page to express your interest, and submit it to the Administrator. Also, if you want your curriculum vitae posted with other project information, please E-mail, fax or mail be a copy. Upon receipt of your form and data, you will be provided additional information about how you can help, and specific guidance and forms to show the kind of data that is being sought.

Anyone who makes any contribution to this project will be credited with participation in the posted materials and in any final reports. As your inputs are received, the project status report will be revised at least monthly if the input data flows warrant it. Contributors' names and comments will be posted in this special section of the Investigation Process Research References Library.

A description of the project plan follows.

Project Plan.

Project Title. Accident Investigation Skill and Knowledge Demands

Background. Awareness of the need to improve the state of the art of investigations is growing, as a result of observed shortcomings of current investigation processes and recognition of investigation process failures. (References can be supplied on request.).

Project objective. To advance the state of the art of investigation by defining the types of investigations performed, and then defining the investigation tasks, task knowledge and skill needs, and task quality assurance processes.

Project approach. The approach is to try to tap the experience and observations of investigators world wide as pro bono sources of data required to achieve this project objective. The project will be announced and publicized around the investigation communities, in the hope of attracting a critical mass of experienced active participants.

Inputs will be circulated among active participants to spur constructive analysis, critiques or new thinking. Based on over 12 months experience operating this web site, this appears feasible, with the cooperation of the active participants. Telecommunications and data processing equipment are in place and staffed by volunteers to cope with the expected communications workload. If the project grows, it is anticipated that additional help in the form of grants or other funding will be solicited.

The approach changes traditional approaches to research task design, task staffing, task management, project communications, project data acquisition, ordering and analysis, report development, and dissemination of findings. Suggestions on these points are invited.

Project task plans. Originally, the project design was formulated by the Principal Investigator. Since it was launched, active participants have contributed to the project design, and it continues to evolve. Several planned tasks have been completed, including the setting up of

  • 1. a communications hub and procedures for processing inputs, communications and documents.

  • 2. revised documentation containing the some of the results of work to date.

Progress on other planned tasks has also been occurring with respect to

  • 3. identifying the kind of investigation on which to focus during initial efforts to define the knowledge and skills required to perform investigation.

  • 4. definitions of data inputs to add to existing data are being exchanged.

  • 5. drafting documents to report results to active participants have been prepared for distribution to the participants.

To date, two other planned tasks have not been initiated:

  • 6. Work with active participants to encourage publication of papers reporting the project and findings in appropriate journals.

  • 7. Arrange with contributors to present papers about project at appropriate conferences and symposia.

Project staffing. The project will be staffed initially with volunteers. The interim Principal Investigator and coordinator of participant communications is Ludwig Benner Jr, site Administrator.

Future staffing is intended to be supplemented by soliciting volunteers or funds from organizations that might benefit from an association with the project. If additional or paid staffing is needed, that need will be addressed when it arises. Since this is an experiment, how this will evolve is not known at this time.

Publications. The final form of outputs from this research are unclear, and will depend on evolution of the Internet capabilities. If print, electronic or other publications result from this work, only authors of significant sections of the publication or regular contributors of inputs over the life of the project will be shown as coauthors, to recognize their contributions. All contributions will be tracked, posted and referenced, and contributors mentioned by name.

Copyrights and content sharing. This is a shared pro bono undertaking. Content submitted will be posted when ready for public dissemination. The page coding posted is copyrighted and licensed under a GNU Free Software Foundation license to allow its free use and dissemination by anyone willing do so in conformance the terms of the license. Essentially, the terms provide that any use and any derivative use is free, must also be licensed for free distribution. Since this is currently a pro bono project, the intent is to make any data and ideas publicly available as professional contributions in due course. Should active participants wish to copyright their individual submissions, copyright notices can be posted with the specific work at the direction of the author. Please don't submit copyrighted works for which permission to republish has not been obtained; participants are expected to ensure that copyrights are not violated.

Information flows Information flows to keep active participants informed of the progress of the research will be handled via this URL on the Internet, using E-mail messages and attached files, as necessary, and the AIPRE when desired. A limited mailing list with all participants will be established as additional active participants are added. It is intended that any inputs will be disseminated among all active participants by posting at this web site, and that both complementary and critical inputs will be freely shared.

Project status Reports. Periodic reports of the project status will be posted at this web site. Full details are provided to all active participants. Frequency of Status Reports will be dictated by inputs.

Contributors Contributors of ideas and data to date include.

  • Jeremy Dawson - Cincinnati Insurance Co
  • Dmitri V. Zotov - Massey University*
  • Ira J. Rimson - veridata corp.*
  • Ludwig Benner - Ludwig Benner & Associates*
  • Frank Taylor - Cranfield University*
  • Hughes Chicoine - Muldowney & Chicoine, Inc.*
  • James Stewart - Consultant*
  • Terje Sten - SINTEF
  • C O Miller - System Safety Associates
  • Richard Wood - SCSI *
  • Adi Glumart-*
  • W. Waldock-Embry Riddle University*

*Active participants in experiment to 1999

Response to this announcement

Send comments to me via gmail (lbjrus at and I will post changes precipitated by your comments in batches as warranted in the Status Report section of this project.

 If you have decided you would like to be an active participant in the project, willing to contribute ideas and data, and help critique the work, please complete the application form and submit it. Alternatively, complete the section below to send us your reactions to this project to let us know what you think about the initiative:

1. Input your name, E-mail address and comments here:

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