Digital Remastering: Information re-use in Knowledge Work

Sponsored by Hewlett-Packard.

This project investigated the ways in which various professionals re-use or re-purpose their documents. It looked at the value different kinds of documents provide for different professionals, especially the intellectual content professionals take from the documents they use, the parts of documents that provide such value and how those elements of documents are re-used, if at all.

The actual research involved reviewing the relevant literature and undertaking ethnographically informed studies of professional document users in the following domains. These were selected on the basis of practicality and prior art. They were, in no particular order, legal practice, civil engineering, retail finance, medical practice (particularly clinical), and City executive decision-making.

This work generated descriptions of the lifecycle of documents within these domains, a general understanding of the amount of time spent with documents and frequency of document use and descriptions of key interactions with "high value" documents.

The final report was delivered in January 2001 remains confidential.

The Research Team

Alex Taylor, Mark Rouncefield, Richard Harper and Lynne Hamill.