Doing your own research is a good way to prepare for MUN, but in crisis you have to be careful as it is very easy to spend a lot of time looking at the wrong thing. It can be very tempting to do extensive research on what actually happened after the start of committee. Maybe you think it'll help you to know how they actually handled situations or you'll be able to predict the crises, but I would recommend against this. By the end of the first session things might be completely different from what actually happened and all that research will be useless. Crisis Directors often look for original solutions, as a result these will be more effective. You also might find yourself called to look more into your character, but this can also be a dead end. Many characters in crisis are entirely fictional and others might be real historical figures but with very little information available. Don’t stress if you can’t find out everything about your character's political opinions or anything at all, take it as a blank slate to create your own character building on the little information in the background guide. What independent research is useful for is coming up with ideas for backroom arcs. Finding regionally and historically accurate business ideas or learning about what natural resources you can exploit is a great way to prepare for conferences. The execs work hard to make background guides that contain all the information you will need, but if you are ever left wanting to know more about a certain topic do your research.