Richmond Journal of Law and Technology, Volume XVII, Issue 4 (Summer 2011).

Technology-Assisted Review in e-Discovery Can Be More Effective and More Efficient Than Exhaustive Manual Review

Maura R. Grossman & Gordon V. Cormack


E-discovery processes that use automated tools to prioritize and select documents for review are typically regarded as potential cost-savers -- but inferior alternatives -- to exhaustive manual review, in which a cadre of reviewers assess every document for responsiveness to a production request, and for privilege. We offer evidence that such technology-assisted processes, while indeed less expensive, can also yield results superior to those of exhaustive manual review, as measured by recall and precision. Our evidence derives from an analysis of data collected from the TREC 2009 Legal Track Interactive Task. We show that, at TREC 2009, technology-assisted review processes enabled two participating teams to achieve results superior to those that could have been achieved through a manual review of the entire document collection by the official TREC assessors.

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