In March, as government agencies closed or reconfigured operations at all levels, we paused our automated follow-up systems. Now that agencies are getting back to work at the new normal, we’re resuming our automated follow-up systems to ensure requests get a timely acknowledgment and response.
Longtime MuckRock readers might have noticed that there are two ways to link to responsive records on the site: A direct link to the .pdf on our server, or a link to the DocumentCloud document viewer on the request page. Wherever possible, we try to link to the latter, as it has a few advantages over your standard browser viewer that we’d like to highlight today.
Over the last nine years, MuckRock users have filed over 60,000 public records requests at the local, state, and federal levels, resulting in the release of four million pages of government records. Today, we’re going to look at how you can use the Requests page to explore the archives, and even build off the great FOIA work of others.
A little over a year ago, we launched our new Assignments tool to help crowdsource analysis large document sets. Since then, over 1,000 volunteers have helped newsrooms and nonprofits (including MuckRock) analyze over 10,000 pages of documents.
Often times people ask to upload their existing FOIA requests to MuckRock or want to share an interesting cache of documents through the site. We’re always excited to see more people using public records, so we wanted to explain why we don’t accept these kinds of offers and suggest some alternatives.