Whether they be research institutes affiliated with a university or a business, state-sponsored or independent, specialised or diversified in research fields, focusing on global or regional issues, the research methods of think tanks are founded on similar pillars.
They are all focused on providing expert analysis and in order to do that, these organisations have to first detect and then monitor a trend or topic.
Tracking the news for better research insight
There are many ways to address an important topic, including through academic papers and books, but also by keeping track of the news. For the latter, Event Registry is an extremely useful tool designed for information monitoring and news data collection. It collects and processes articles from more than 30,000 news sources globally in 15 languages.
Not only does it identify events by analyzing large numbers of news articles and providing functionality for automatic identification of related events, Event Registry also detects what is currently trending in news reports.
Establishing what issues are worth further examination is followed by research. Researchers at think tanks are usually assigned to follow specific topics or geographical areas. And with the personalization features that Event Registry provides, one can easily limit the list of articles and events displayed, specify the concept, category or news publisher of interest while browsing, and even create a specific topic area to monitor.
To perform research and address concerning topics such as social policy, politics and economics, the possibility to set a topic page can be very handy (example in the picture: A topic page about Italian politics).
Use case: Analysing developments in the Qatar blockade
The decision by seven Arab countries to abruptly cut ties with Qatar this week has sparked a regional diplomatic crisis. Despite the blockade seeming to have come out of nowhere, tensions between Qatar and some of its neighbours, especially Saudia Arabia, have been rising in recent weeks.
Taking a look at the recent history of articles concerning diplomacy among the main players involved – Qatar and Iran on one hand and Saudi Arabia on the other – shows regular activity since the start of the year. The spike in recent days shows the events boiling over and there is no sign of a slow down for now (see the picture above).
A concept graph of the news concerning diplomatic affairs between the main players identifies the main issues involved in the dispute, which has grown from differences in support for Iran to increase reflecting the Sunni-Shia fault line in the region. This appears to have been reinforced by the terrorist attacks in Teheran on Wednesday, which the more hardline elements in Iran are blaming on Saudi Arabia.
Diplomatic efforts are underway to resolve the standoff, but some commentators have warned that the region could turn into a flashpoint without rapid de-escalation. A simple search on Event Registry show articles involving the word diplomacy and the three main players outnumbering articles featuring the word war and the three main players by almost 2-to-1.
Apart from the analysis tools used in this example, Event Registry helps you track news in 15 languages, including Arabic. This makes digging deeper to understand the latest regional crises around the world easier than ever before.