CODA

A Concept Organization and Development Aid for the Research Environment

by James A. Dewar, James J. Gillogly

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This paper describes CODA (Concept Organization and Development Aid), a menu-driven computer program developed on the hypothesis that computers can aid the policy research process by acting as a long-term memory (storage and retrieval facility) for the researcher's growing data base and changing concepts. It was developed to include (1) quick Boolean searches on user-defined "tags"; (2) flexibility in tagging, to avoid such limits as single-word tags, or tags that only appeared in the text; (3) powerful tag-changing capability, to permit changes as the researcher's concepts evolved; (4) ability to recall by date; and (5) data entry from keyboard or other computer file. The authors conclude that there is room for improvement in the area of computerized data management aids designed for the policy research and related communities. CODA, with the addition of a bibliographic formatting capability, is an excellent foundation upon which to build.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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