eDiscovery Daily Blog

EDRM Introduces Search Intent Framework – eDiscovery Trends


It seems that just about every month EDRM publishes a new standard or guideline for eDiscovery best practices.  On Monday, they announced the release of a new Search Intent Framework.

As their press release states: “The new framework was developed to define and document various types of search intent that are part of the EDRM.  Within the EDRM, ‘search” is used broadly in many contexts: to assess or scope a matter, acquire specific documents or discrete information or classify preselected documents; these have minimal legal impact. For other EDRM searches, the legal impact is high, such as in asserting comprehensiveness and accuracy. Enterprise search, early data assessment, e-discovery processing search functions, review system search functions and even concept analysis or document clustering tools are all described as ‘search’ in the context of the EDRM, with little recognition that poor accuracy in one context is more consequential than in others.”

So, why the need for a search intent framework?  “The intent of any search is what determines the appropriate technology, process or workflow that should be implemented and the level of scrutiny to be applied in determining “reasonable” success. The EDRM Search Intent Framework was developed to define and document the different classes and subclasses of search intent that comprise the EDRM.”

With regard to classes of search intent, the EDRM Search Intent Framework (available here) describes three classes:

  • Exploratory Class: Used to confirm whether or not a specific document, reference, or discrete piece of information exists, as well as to gain general knowledge about a document set in order to understand how to handle the data set.
  • Classification Class: Used to categorize individual documents or a set of documents as to their responsiveness, non-responsiveness, whether or not they flag a policy, and so forth.
  • Quality Control: Used to identify inconsistencies in a document set. Quality control testing is typically done during review and production to test that documents are properly coded and are appropriate to either be produced or not produced.

Each Class includes the Sub-Class, Intent, Implementation and Measure of Success associated with each Sub-Class within the Class.  The Framework provides a color coded legend to identify each phase of the EDRM, from Information Governance to Presentation and uses those color codes to identify which phases apply to each Sub-Class (for example, in the Exploratory Class, Identification, Preservation and Collection apply to the Assessment Sub-Class).  Each Sub-Class is flowcharted from the Sub-Class down to the Measure of Success resulting from the Sub-Class of search intent.  Detailed descriptions are also provided for each Sub-Class.

As the Framework states, “It is the intent of the search that should determine the appropriate technology, process, or workflow, that should be implemented, and the level of scrutiny to be applied in determining “reasonable” success.”  Apparently, all searches aren’t created the same!

From the link above, the Framework can be downloaded as a single page PDF – unfortunately, the page dimensions are 23.95 x 13.30 inches (a three page Framework might be easier to read, just sayin’).  But, the Framework does provide a clear depiction of the intent of each type of search from intent to implementation and measure of success.

So, what do you think? Could this new Framework help your search strategy?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.