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In early 2006 IBC was invited to introduce its work at a Working Group Meeting on methods used by researchers to estimate armed conflict deaths (organised by the Small Arms Survey, Geneva, 17 Feb 2006).

Well-received by experts at the meeting, On Iraq Body Count summarised the project’s key features and innovations.

Data extracted and analysed

For each incident
1 Date
2 Time
3 Place
4 Target
5 Weapon
6 Minimum deaths
7 Maximum deaths
8 Media sources
9 Killers
10 Primary witnesses
11 Minimum injuries
12 Maximum injuries
For each victim
13 Name
14 Age
15 Gender
16 Marital status
17 Parental status
18 Occupation

On IBC slide 3

2.0 Our sources and what we can extract from them.

Our surveillance of media is not passive but proactive. We gain our information from a variety of key-word searches of all English language press and media reports published on the web.

  1. Active collection of media reports has to be done within days of the report appearing.

  2. We should point out that subscription databases such as Lexis-Nexis contain nowhere near complete archives of these reports. Many stories quickly disappear from the web. The later you leave it to search the harder the stories are to find.

  3. We require corroboration of any report of death from at least two sources meeting our basic criteria of professionalism.

  4. We scan all press reports for evidence relevant to 18 different variables on which we extract and store information. These variables are shown in the slide above.