Despite the fact that the act of doing research figures so prominently in the conspiracy canon, the information seeking practices of individuals looking into conspiracy theories remain under-theorized. This dissertation, based in qualitative, grounded-theory interviews with twelve participants, is an initial foray into the arena of investigating the information seeking practices of researchers looking into three distinct topics that have been labeled “conspiracy theories:” theories around the assassination of John F. Kennedy, UFOs and the 1947 crash at Roswell, New Mexico, and the Missing 411 phenomenon. It introduces the idea of counter-establishment research, which can be considered any kind of research, conducted systematically, that goes against establishment institutions, norms, and/ or consensus. These areas of research have enduring mysteries at their centers, and are often labeled “conspiracy theories,” “pseudoscientific” or “paranormal.” Counter-establishment research topics are not necessarily morally righteous by virtue of operating outside of established institutions, nor are they morally condemnable because they do. This work also presents a new theoretical framework, grounded in symbolic interactionism: the Research Self. The Research Self has six distinct dimensions: (1) originating life stage, (2) motivations, (3) methods, (4) practices and conceptualizations, (5) identity, and (6) epistemology (see fig. 1.1 for visualization). Through outlining each counter-establishment researcher’s Research Self, this dissertation examines the ways in which they seek information, the emotions that come up in the process, how these researchers relate to and think about the term “conspiracy theorist,” and what their relationship to establishment research is like. Through these areas of inquiry, this dissertation starts to build a necessarily always-incomplete portrait of information seeking and behavior among counter-establishment researchers. This research puts conspiracy theory scholarship and information seeking scholarship in conversation with one another, introducing further nuance into who we think of as a “conspiracy theorist” and what it can mean to “do your own research.” Without such nuance, we risk continuing down the path of shaming, debunking, and pathologizing, deepening the ever-widening channel between counter-establishment work and academic work. Thus, this work also seeks to bridge the gaps between academics and counter-establishment researchers, illustrating that debunking and pathologizing is not the only way academics can engage with counter-establishment researchers, and that watching YouTube videos or listening to podcasts is not the only way to do “one’s own” counter-establishment research.