What Does a Freelance Researcher Do?

Angela Farrer

A freelance researcher finds, organizes, catalogs, and reports credible information for other individuals' various projects and endeavors. This type of professional researcher generally needs to have the creative capability of finding sources in areas that are not immediately obvious to the average layperson. He or she also has a definite skill set at performing Internet searches as well as at gathering information from off-line sources such as print documents, audio recordings, and videos. The average freelance researcher typically works on an independent contract basis for a range of businesses and organizations.

Freelance researchers might be used to fact check items in manuscripts.
Freelance researchers might be used to fact check items in manuscripts.

Working as a freelance researcher requires strong organizational skills and the ability to create professional presentations of the found information. Effectively communicating this data in easily understood formats can be accomplished with good oral and written presentations. Familiarity with other technologies such as slide show software and video conferencing also give the freelance researcher an advantage in terms of describing his or her findings in a business environment. This component of working as a researcher can be particularly valuable as a way to make favorable impressions that lead to future research assignments. A good researcher puts some time and effort into presentations as part of his or her work flow for each current assignment.

Freelance researchers must be skilled at investigation, both on- and offline.
Freelance researchers must be skilled at investigation, both on- and offline.

While a freelance researcher may do some in-house work for a certain company or group of companies, he or she may spend more time working out of a home office. This kind of freelancer generally devotes a good deal of time to performing online research, ideally with a high-speed Internet connection. Depending on the specific project requirements and area of expertise, he or she may also need to look for relevant primary sources in specialty record collections such as those in law or medical libraries. Since this kind of research is done on a freelance basis, the researcher often needs to regularly prepare client invoices and keep records of earnings for tax purposes.

Freelance researchers may double check facts in textbook prior to publishing.
Freelance researchers may double check facts in textbook prior to publishing.

Researcher training is primarily gained through the completion of a college degree in any specific area of study. The typical freelance researcher chooses to specialize in a certain area and perform research jobs within that industry; examples can include health care, travel, marketing, information technology, and law. Due to quick changes in technology, a freelance researcher may also obtain periodic additional training in the use of digital tools such as electronic databases and Web 2.0 applications that can be advantageous to the research process.

Freelance researchers may spend time gathering information for clients at a local library.
Freelance researchers may spend time gathering information for clients at a local library.
Freelance researchers may perform research on a variety of topics for clients.
Freelance researchers may perform research on a variety of topics for clients.
A freelance researcher may be required to give oral presentations.
A freelance researcher may be required to give oral presentations.
A freelance researcher devotes a large amount of time to performing online research.
A freelance researcher devotes a large amount of time to performing online research.
Freelance researchers should be able to create professional presentations based on the information they have found.
Freelance researchers should be able to create professional presentations based on the information they have found.

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Discussion Comments

anon999284

@anon337382: I'm doing a search about freelance researchers. Can you tell the advantages and disadvantages of your work.?

anon337382

I enjoyed the article. Thanks! Doing freelance work is a good way to make extra money, or even as your primary source of income if you're willing to work hard at it. There are a few different ways to find freelance work, mostly online.

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