July, 2004 Newsletter Articles

Science and Technology Information Retrieval

Jul 20, 2004 in Newsletter | 0 comments

Science.gov has served as a gateway to reliable information about science and technology from across Federal government organizations since its launch in December 2002. Now, the interagency alliance has launched Science.gov 2.0, hailing it the “next major step in government science information retrieval.” To see its content, go to <http://www.science.gov>. The updated web site offers additional content, technological enhancements, and a newly-developed relevancy ranking technology that helps users get to the best documents quickly....

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Numbers: Documenting Numerical Information

Jul 20, 2004 in Newsletter | 0 comments

The prior article in this newsletter dealt with documenting complex topics at the right level of detail. This article is about documenting numerical information. Numbers may be needed in a document to represent instrument readings, calculated values, or control settings. Quantities are most often accompanied by a unit of measure and should be expressed as numerals. In general, use numbers (0, 1, 2) instead of spelling them as words (zero, one, two). However, spell out the number if it has no unit of measure, e.g., “use one of the...

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Complexity: Documenting the Right Level of Detail

Jul 20, 2004 in Newsletter | 0 comments

In last month’s newsletter, we covered Syntax and Vocabulary from our list of writing concepts. This month we pick up withComplexity and Numbers. Syntax: the arrangement of words Vocabulary: the choice of words Complexity: the level of detail Numbers: the presentation of numerical information Format: the way a document looks Style: conversational and emphasis methods Organization: the grouping of process information Conditions: the decision criteria Lists: related items, possibly in sequence Alerts: For warnings, cautions, and...

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Addicted to Data, But in Quality Denial

Jul 20, 2004 in Newsletter | 0 comments

ISO 9001:2000 requires the collection and analysis of a lot of data. Organizations rely on this information to make important decisions. However, a new survey by Forrester Research shows most enterprises have a big problem with information quality (IQ). Forrester principal analyst Lou Agosta finds that while many firms have improved their IQ, problems persist. They are “addicted to data”, he writes, “but in quality denial”. Indeed, company-wide approaches to IQ seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Fully...

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Audit by Process Instead of By Clause

Jul 20, 2004 in Newsletter | 0 comments

Internal audits are often scheduled, and therefore conducted, according to the ISO 9001:2000 clause structure. These audits are more focused on judging conformity than evaluating effectiveness. Looking clause by clause, the quality management system may appear conforming, yet be fragmented and ineffective. Auditors should adopt the process approach and assess the quality management system through its natural workflow. Of course, this requires understanding the business and its process linkages. Audit planning and interviews should identify for...

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