A database can be defined as an ‘electronic collection of records including references to journal articles, reports, book chapters or conference papers amongst many other sources of information’. In this sense, databases such as IHS Jane’s Information Group constitute valuable research tools in specific areas of investigation like international crime. In fact, Jane’s Information Group is an ‘open source intelligence gathering, reporting and analysis provider’ which focuses its products in sensitive areas of global interests such as defence, security, law enforcement, public safety, and transport. This essay will evaluate the validity of IHS Jane’s Information Group in the specific area of money laundering in Colombia. The database will be evaluated under the scope of its Authority, Accuracy, Objectivity, Currency, and Coverage.
First of all, it is important to highlight that Colombia plays a particular role in the chain of money laundering globally. Colombia has been classified by many as the main producer and exporter of cocaine in the world ; in consequence, it should be expected to find generous literature and articles regarding money laundering which support this assertion. Surprisingly, a specialized database as Jane’s Information Group only lists a few more than one hundred results regarding this topic for the last twenty years. On the contrary, Factiva database lists more than five thousand results under the same parameters of search. Similarly, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime presents more than five thousand articles related to money laundering in Colombia. Hence, it is possible to visualize the limited resources and effort that Jane’s allocates to cover this important issue of international crime in comparison with similar databases.
To begin with, it is necessary to mention that the term Authority refers to the authors’ qualifications for writing the material. In this sense, Jane’s Information Group possesses a well-selected team of analysts who are experts in the areas of security and intelligence. Indeed, the company claims to have more than 100 years of experience. Besides, according to its web page, it demands a high academic and professional profile to join different teams located in more than 3,000 different places of the world . However, there is no feasible form to know the background of any of the analysts in money laundering since all the articles appear to be undersigned by the Jane’s Information Group trademark.
Accuracy is the second area of evaluation and it refers to the clarity of the arguments presented in the database so they can be verified. In this sense, it is possible to assert that Jane’s unveils certain failures which prevent a proper corroboration of the sources and the information presented. In fact, some of the most recent articles published regarding money laundering in Colombia do not facilitate the verification of their arguments in a precise way. What is more, serious affirmations...