The Methods described here go into greater detail, but remain consistent with, the original Iraq Body Count Methodology published in 2003, and reflect the experience IBC has gained over the intervening years.

Note that these Methods apply only to IBC’s formal output, and not to other material such as the Recent Events interim updates to the database, or to comment pieces – except where these are directly informed by, or reference, the formal work.

1. Overview

Iraq Body Count restricts its published database to documented (not inferred, extrapolated or otherwise estimated) deaths of civilians from post-invasion violence in Iraq, established to the standard of evidence specified below.

Deaths in the database are derived from a comprehensive survey of commercial media and NGO-based reports, along with official records that have been released into the public sphere. Reports range from specific, incident based accounts to figures from hospitals, morgues, and other documentary data-gathering agencies.

IBC collects, archives, analyses and systematically extracts details from every available, distinct report for all identified incidents and individuals killed. This means that except for a small minority of deaths whose database entries are tagged as “Provisional,” all inclusions are derived from a minimum of two independent data sources, and that no limit is placed on the number of distinct reports which may be collected for any death or incident.

IBC’s exhaustive data collection and analysis acts as a validity check against misreporting, allows for the maximum possible detail extraction about incidents and the individuals killed in them, and safeguards against double or triple counting. It also respects the principles of commemoration outlined in IBC’s Rationale.