CheckFirst’s peer-review process: upholding OSINT Guidelines and ensuring accurate investigations

CheckFirst, a Finnish organisation providing fact-checkers, researchers and policy makers tools, methodologies and solutions to tackle fake-news, has recently published its peer-review process as part of its commitment to adhering to Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) guidelines.

Peer-review is a crucial aspect of assessing the accuracy and fairness of OSINT investigations, supporting the methodology employed and enhancing both the initial phases of methodology design and the final outputs.

In the OSINT guidelines, peer review is covered in the fourth Chapter, which focuses on Outputs.

This blog post will delve into the importance of peer-review in OSINT investigations and explore CheckFirst’s approach to implementing it.

The importance of peer-review in OSINT investigations

OSINT investigations involve gathering, analysing, and disseminating information from publicly available sources. As such, ensuring accuracy, fairness, and reliability is of the utmost importance. A peer-review process helps achieve these goals by:

  1. Providing a system of checks and balances: By having multiple individuals review an investigation’s methodology and outputs, it becomes less likely that errors or biases will go unnoticed.
  2. Encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing: Peer review fosters a collaborative environment where investigators can share insights, expertise, and best practices, ultimately improving the overall quality of the investigation.
  3. Enhancing credibility and transparency: A well-documented peer-review process showcases an organisation’s commitment to upholding ethical standards and can help to build trust with stakeholders, clients, and the public.

CheckFirst’s peer-review process

To comply with the OSINT Guidelines and promote a high standard of accuracy and fairness in its investigations, CheckFirst has outlined its peer-review process as follows:

  1. Submission of investigation for review: Once the primary investigator has completed the initial phase of an investigation, they submit their work, including methodology and preliminary findings, to the review team.
  2. Review by multiple experts: The review team, which consists of multiple experts with diverse backgrounds and expertise, examines the investigation thoroughly. They assess the methodology, sources, data analysis, and conclusions to ensure they are accurate, unbiased, and well-supported.
  3. Feedback and revision: The review team provides feedback to the primary investigator, who then revises their work based on the comments and suggestions received. This iterative process may occur multiple times until the review team is satisfied with the quality of the investigation.
  4. Finalisation and documentation: Once the review team approves the investigation, the primary investigator finalises the report and documents the entire peer-review process. This documentation includes details about the reviewers, their comments, and the changes made in response to the feedback.


CheckFirst’s commitment to following the OSINT guidelines and implementing a comprehensive peer-review process demonstrates the organisation’s dedication to ensuring accuracy, fairness, and transparency in its investigations. By upholding these standards, CheckFirst helps to build trust and credibility in the field of open source intelligence, ultimately improving the quality of information available to decision-makers and the public.

Learn more about CheckFirst’s peer-review process for OSINT operations at

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