Responds to the widely‐reported methodological problems which have arisen in research into corporate social and environmental reporting. Reports on an attempt to build a database of UK company social and environmental disclosure. The motivation behind the database is an attempt to provide, first, a data set which both refines and develops earlier attempts to capture and interpret such disclosures; second, a data set covering several years to permit longitudinal analysis; and third, a public database for accounting researchers who wish to pursue, in a systematic and comparable way, more focused hypotheses about social and environmental reporting behaviour. Explains the motivation for, the background to, and process of establishing such a database and attempts to expose the difficulties met and the assumptions made in establishing the structure of the data capture. The resultant database has already proved useful to other UK researchers. Aims to help researchers in other countries to develop their own methods of enquiry in a manner which will avoid them having to reinvent wheels and will produce results which will be broadly comparable at an international level.