Traditional information retrieval systems use ‘keyword searches’ of text and metadata as a means of identifying and filtering documents in e-Discovery. These keyword searches can include the use of simple words or combinations of words and often use Boolean operators to further refine the information retrieval. Although the ability to perform keyword searches against large quantities of documents is a useful tool, there are still inherent issues.
Keyword search captures only 33% of relevant information resulting in the retrieval of potentially a large amount of documents that are not weighted nor ranked based upon their relevance. Each document is considered to have an equal importance and equal probability of relevance, therefore each would require manual review. Boolean operators and other techniques can be used to increase the number of relevant documents and a Boolean argument is often created to achieve more relevant results. Although commonly used, these approaches are limited by their dependence on matching specific language entered by the legal professional to retrieve the desired topic of interest.
How to search for and find the appropriate and relevant documents during the identification stage is hampered by the search specialists’ ability to think of every known term that would be applicable. Often the different parties will use different words, depending on their role. It is estimated that legal professionals are less than 20% to 25% accurate and complete when searching and retrieving information from a heterogeneous set of documents.
In SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft added the Hold and eDiscovery feature, which made it possible to place a hold on any site in SharePoint. A records manager could put documents, pages, and list items on hold, which prevented users from deleting or editing them. Exchange 2010 introduced a way to place legal holds on mailboxes, conduct searches across multiple mailboxes, and use a Windows PowerShell cmdlet to export mailboxes.
eDiscovery in SharePoint 2013 Preview includes new ways to reduce the cost and complexity of discovery. These include:
- The eDiscovery Center, a central SharePoint site used to manage preservation, search, and export of content stored in Exchange and SharePoint across SharePoint farms and Exchange servers.
- SharePoint In-Place Hold, which preserves entire SharePoint sites. In-Place Hold protects all documents, pages, and list items within the site but allows users to continue to edit and delete preserved content.
- Exchange In-Place Hold, which preserves Exchange mailboxes. In-Place Hold protects all mailbox content through the same UI and APIs used to preserve SharePoint sites.
- Query-based preservation allows users to apply query filters to one or more Exchange mailboxes and SharePoint sites and restrict the content that is held.
These new features are great and can expedite and organize the eDiscovery process. But the challenges and escalating costs for e-Discovery will continue to increase unless relevant content can quickly be found. Concept Searching provides effective tools to reduce costs and alleviate electronic discovery challenges. The ability to reduce the time in the identification, collection and review process enables attorneys to spend more time on higher value issues of the litigation, realizing substantial cost savings for the organization. The tools also help ensure the organization is in compliance with the FRCP metadata amendments.
Through electronic automation, content can be meta-tagged, classified, and presented to the legal professional in a manner that enables them to more rapidly identify relevant information based on content not keywords. Significant benefits can be achieved by removing the ambiguity in content and the identification of concepts within a large corpus of information. The Concept Searching software delivers expediencies and reduces costs in several phases of e-Discovery offering an effective solution that overcomes many of the challenges found in the traditional electronic discovery process.