Toward a Federal Intelligence Memory

central reference facilities, 1950s,
Previous Next

Federal Intelligence Memory   


coding slots could be staffed jointly by CIA and the IAC community in accordance with assigned primary responsibilities. In any case it would be profitable to have select advisory personnel from IAC agencies assigned to the functional sections on a temporary or rotational basis. All these measures serve to restrict significantly the scope in which the Limited Immediate Recognition Problem operates, but clearly they do not eliminate the problem. And, in view of this recognition problem, the general decisions not to code or to photoreduce certain types of documents-the so-called "NODEX" guides-should be carefully reviewed by community users.
Search Instruction Writing. The central reference service has also underestimated the importance of the search instruction writer. This person, usually a trained librarian but understandably insensitive to the indirect evidence which bears on specific research problems, is nevertheless making substantive judgments on each such problem which requires reference material, in that he determines what categories of coded data are relevant to it. If he makes this selection unilaterally, his inexpert substantive determination removes responsibility from the research analyst for further data probes.   Present Intellofax procedures call for "another look" if no documents are recovered on the basis of the first instructions or if a known document is not turned up, but in the more typical cases short of these extremes there is no way of assuring that the instruction writer has ordered all or even most of the categories which the research analyst should study.
There should be a reconsideration of the question whether the formulation of the master code used by the document analyst is really adequate in the search instruction phase. Document analysis is primarily the matching problem, resembling inductive reasoning, of subsuming the document content to the master code. In search instruction writing there is primarily the deductive problem of calculating what data bear upon a given research problem. It is therefore possible that two sets of code books would be more effective, a basic one for document analysis and a cross-referenced one for search instruction. The latter might bring together code categories which usually bear upon certain typical and frequent research problems.


Previous Next

Posted: May 08, 2007 09:01 AM
Last Updated: May 08, 2007 09:01 AM