Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

    Objective and Subjective Coding

    It is normal process add coding to the review system to sit alongside the images (Tiffs or PDF’s) of paper documents. The coding can be either Objective or Subjective coding, with most paper documents having a minimum of Objective coding. Objective coding is that information that can be derived from the document, usually this is seven fields:

    • Document Date (With an additional field to show if the date had been estimated in any way).
    • Document Title.
    • Document Type.
    • From.
    • To.
    • Copyee.

    Subjective coding is information that is added by a suitably qualified individual on matters such as relevance, Privilege, Trade Secret, Personal data, etc.

    There is debate about the need to add Objective coding to ESI. Email does not require any additional coding as it contains the date, title and addressees within itself. Sometimes coding is added to Word documents as it can be very difficult to identify the objective information from the metadata of a Word file. However, given the volumes of ESI, such coding (even when carried out overseas by an LPO) can add significant amounts to the cost.

    The issue to be aware of is that there are many different dates held within the metadata of ESI items, such as date created, date last printed, date last saved, etc. Normal practice is to use the “date last saved” as the date of the document / spreadsheet / presentation / PDF, but this might well NOT be the date shown within the item. There is no easy answer here, just a requirement to be aware of the limitations of the reliance on metadata for dating items.

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