Research Services


The Initial Interview

The initial interview following the request for research on a topic is very important. During this interview, we ask you questions to make sure that we understand exactly what information you need and in what depth, how soon you need the results, and level of detail you need the information reported to you. We also need to know what the cost limits for our time and other resources you want to apply. It is very important to define the scope, time frame, and other aspects of a search to ensure the project results meet your expectations.

At this time we will also establish how you wish to receive the results of our research. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will send the results to you as an email attachment formatted as a Word document. We can also provide the report in printed form, delivered via US mail or express carrier. 

 A typical report might include some or all of the following items: 

  • Bibliographic citations

  • Full-text article citations

  • Web page addresses

  • Statistical data

The Agreement

Once we understand your exact needs, we assess the estimated time and costs of the project and submit a preliminary agreement to you. If the agreement is in accord with your budget and what the project entails,  you sign and return the agreement to us via U.S. Mail or fax. Unless other arrangements are in effect, such as a long-term retainer agreement, we require that you pay 50% of the estimated cost of the project in advance, via check or electronic funds transfer. Balance is due upon completion of the project.

The Research Phase

Once we have established a working agreement, we get to work on your project. Unless we have further questions or you have additional information for us, we will not bother you. For long term or on-going projects, we will be in touch with you as needed. 


We offer project, hourly and not-to-exceed billing rates, with discounts available on long-term projects. We require a retainer of 50% of the estimated total project charges be paid in advance via check or electronic funds transfer. Database charges are billed as incurred according to the cost of connecting to, searching, and/or displaying results for the databases used. Charges for express service, purchasing documents, subcontracting, and so on, are charged as incurred. Long distance telephone calls are charged at a flat rate of $0.25 per minute for domestic calls and $0.75 per minute for foreign calls.

Rush Service

Depending on our schedule, we can sometimes provide next-business-day, same-business-day, or weekend/holiday service. Next-business-day service is billed at 150% of standard rates. Same-business-day and weekend/holiday service is billed at 200% of standard rates.

Manuscript Review Service

We provide this service primarily to novelists, particularly those who write techno-thrillers, mysteries, and adventure novels. As a novelist, you create an imaginary world in which the reader can immerse himself. Technical errors reduce the credibility of your work. We will review your manuscript for factual and technical errors relating to subjects which you may have little or no expertise--computers, the Internet, firearms, poisons, explosives, police procedures, context of historical events, and so on. You may send us your manuscript for review in electronic or printed form. We prefer electronic format, which makes it easier for us to refer small portions of your manuscript as necessary to our own experts. The cost of this service depends on the topic, size, and complexity of your manuscript, and the level of detailed fact checking that you require.


Updated: Friday, 04 May 2001



Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 by Barbara Fritchman Thompson. All Rights Reserved.