Paid service to find lost subects of a study
December 29, 2010 11:20 AM   Subscribe

To support a longitudinal study, looking for a paid internet service that will track down the current address and phone number of "lost people."

Asking for a friend; this is to support follow up for a long term longitudinal study where the subjects may have moved since the start of the study. The expectation is that approximately 100 people or families will go missing each year, and will have to be tracked down.

I am already aware of some free services, like zabasearch, and the phone company address book. But those services typically require human labor to get results. Ideally, a list of names and last known addresses can be submitted to this service which will then reply with the current address and phone number.

Any ideas or reports of direct experience would be appreciated.

posted by Kevin S to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
I think Dr. Karl Alexander's Beginning School Study used People Search, but I'm not sure anymore. You can probably contact him to verify. I don't think this is sensitive information.
posted by Nomyte at 12:00 PM on December 29, 2010

I work with a number of large and long-term community-recruited longitudinal studies that have maintained high follow-up rates. I'm not sure of the budget for this -- or the population of interest -- but your friend might want to consider a PI.
posted by docgonzo at 12:02 PM on December 29, 2010

Why don't you just find someone with a Lexis account to help you out? Most likely a PI is just going to run a search there anyway.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:34 PM on December 29, 2010

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