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Intelligence and Information Operations

Jen Church-Duran

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Jennifer Church-Duran
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What is intelligence?

Intelligence can be described as the collecting and processing of  information about foreign countries and their agents which is needed by a government for its foreign policy and for national security, the conduct of non-attributable activities abroad to facilitate the implementation of foreign policy, and the protection of both process and product, as well as persons and organizations concerned with these, against unauthorized disclosure--  Bimfort, Martin T.  A Definition of Intelligence. CIA Historical Review Program, 1994. (

Researching this topic

Keyword Searching

When searching for information on this topic, potentially useful keywords to use may include:

  • "Intelligence"
  • "Intelligence Community"
  • "Intelligence Officer"
  • "Intelligence AND National Security"
  • "Intelligence Surveillance OR Reconnaissance"
  • "Intelligence Collection"
  • "Espionage"

Starting Your Research

The Research Process

As you begin your studies and research papers, note that research is a process. Your experience with the steps outlined below may differ in order and might even repeat as you complete research, papers, and projects. 

You will likely use library resources such as the library databases to conduct background research, refine your topic, and search for sources. 

Research Paper Process

This infographic provides a visual overview of the research process. Keep in mind that it is messy, convoluted, non-linear, and requires persistence.

infographic on the research process. Use the "text version" tab for the plain text.

this infographic is courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh Libraries. The original can be found at

The Research Paper Process

  • Choose a Topic
    • Understand your assignment parameters, requirements, and due dates
  • Conduct Background Research
    • Search for news articles, top hits on Google, and encyclopedia articles.
  • Refine your Topic
    • Narrow down what you want to investigate. Think about the who, what, when, where, and why for your topic.
  • Create a Research Question
    • Come up with a tentative question you want to answer in your project.
  • Develop a Search Strategy
    • Select your resources and develop your keywords
  • Search
    • Conduct multiple searches in relevant resources
  • Evaluate your Results and Sources
    • Use the CRAAP model: currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy, and purpose
  • Adjust and/or Repeat your Search
    • Try different keywords, resources, and strategies depending on your needs
  • Start Writing
    • Incorporate your sources into your writing from the beginning
  • Review and Re-Search
    • Fill in the holes, explore new areas of interest, dig deeper, etc.
  • Cite, Review, and Edit
    • Put the final touches on your project