The expressed promise in the title of Producing Quality Technical Information is that following its prescriptions will yield "quality" technical information. This commentary asks what the term quality means here and whether the manual delivers on its promise. In other words, which of the several senses of quality is intended in the title, and the does the publication deliver as promised? That is, which of the major quality schemes corresponds to the rationale of the text: legalistic quality, in which quality is conformity to a long list of detailed regulations and specifications (as in ISO 9000); principle-based quality, in which quality is the result of working according to a small set of broad precepts; or mystical quality, in which quality is an indefinable property or spiritual construct, toward which virtuous people should aspire.
ACM Journal of Computer Documentation (JCD) – Association for Computing Machinery
Published: Aug 1, 2002