Influence Operations Researchers’ Guild

The community working to counter influence operations is disparate, and few common standards exist to guide and assess investigators’ work. The Influence Operations Researchers’ Guild attempts to address these challenges by supporting the development of a more cohesive community around the investigation of these issues. It is our hope that the Guild will serve as a place to define and share best practices, to improve research standards, and to strengthen the research community’s response to influence operations on the basis of shared values and norms. Members pledge to support the motivating principles behind these goals as embodied in the Guild Charter, which defines the values toward which they should strive:


We foster and promote the work of a diverse research community and mentor its researchers.


We work together as a community, coordinating around the release of information when working on the same case study.


We make public attributions of actors behind influence operations only when absolutely certain.


We follow platform policies and relevant legislation in the collection of data.


We protect the privacy of those people targeted by influence operations and identified in research.


We make judgements based on facts and facts alone.


We aim for our work to be of the highest quality.

PCIO acts as an impartial administrator of the Guild, managing its public-facing components and the initial process of establishment.


Joining the guild

This application process is designed to bolster and add depth to a community of influence operations investigators who have undertaken to follow high research standards. The focus of the network will be on improving research standards by convening the best practitioners in one network and transparently sharing lessons learned with the wider community.

Applications are open to both individual researchers and organizations exploring influence operations, specifically those conducting:

  • Independent analysis of digital platform takedowns
  • Monitoring, situational awareness and analysis of digital platform and intelligence trends with a view to identifying and better understanding influence operations
  • Academic analysis of influence operations
  • Journalistic investigations into influence operations

All applicants will be asked to demonstrate:

  • A track record of high-quality, respected analysis and reporting;
  • An ability to outline research methodology and processes for external scrutiny;
  • A commitment to following best practices in privacy, security, and ethical collection and use of user-generated information derived from online analysis;
  • Trusted expertise and legitimacy among members of the community.

Duties of Guild members include:

  • Reviewing new applications and mentoring potential members.
  • Actively contributing to identifying research organizations in parts of the world where the challenges of influence operations are most acute, recommending them for membership.
  • Contributing to research publications that define and share best practice with the broader community

After being completed, the application, follow-up communications, and interviews will be compiled into a dossier that will be reviewed by leading experts in the field. This Review Committee will assess applications on a case-by-case basis against transparent and objective criteria as outlined in the application form. New applications will only be accepted from organizations recommended by a Guild member and will be limited to 10 per calendar year. Applicants must be referred by an existing Guild member.

The application process is managed using Submittable. Click the link below to access the application form, and please direct any questions to

Apply to the Guild

Curious if your organization is a good fit for the Guild? Download our prompt sheet for a clear set of guidelines to support the assessment of applicants for the Influence Operations Researchers’ Guild.

Download the Prompt Sheet

Founding Members

Australian Strategic Policy Institute

ASPI provides expert advice on a wide range of issues – including influence operations through its International Cyber Policy Centre. Its diverse operations range from policy-informing research to capacity-building trainings and workshops, all of which has made ASPI an influential voice in global policy debates.


The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Lab (DFRLab) has operationalized the study of disinformation, exposing falsehoods and fake news, documenting human rights abuses, and building a digital resilience worldwide.

Cardiff University Crime and Security Research Institute OSCAR Programme

Cardiff’s OSCAR (Open Source Communications Analytics Research) programme has been designed to deliver conceptual and methodological advances that enhance understanding of the strategies, tactics and impacts of digital (dis)information operations.


Graphika leverages the power of artificial intelligence to create detailed maps of social media landscapes, using new analytical methods and tools to help partners navigate complex online networks.

Stanford Internet Observatory

The Stanford Internet Observatory is a cross-disciplinary program of research, teaching and policy engagement for the study of abuse in current information technologies, with a focus on social media. The Observatory is part of the Cyber Policy Center at Stanford University.

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