"Sources and Techniques" Title Page

Chapter 2: A Brief History of the Development of Collection Work

Intelligence activities represent a social activity that is innate in humans. People had a need for intelligence and consequently intelligence collection activities arose. Only after the advent of intelligence collection did activities such as intelligence processing and intelligence analysis arise. Thus one might say that the history of intelligence collection is even longer than the history of intelligence processing and intelligence analysis.

As in the case of intelligence activities, collection activities have gone through several historical stages during their course of development. Collection activities develop along with the social activity represented by intelligence activities. Collection activities are inhibited and stimulated by factors relating to the level of human S&T development.

If one were to say that S&T intelligence work is now directly confronted by a situation in which intelligence technology is way out ahead and intelligence science is lagging behind so that intelligence work lacks theoretical guidance, then one might say in regard to collection work specifically that it is lagging even further behind than intelligence work, both in terms of practical experience and in terms of theory. In regard to information science (which is a branch of intelligence science) and collection science (which is a branch of information science) one may say that they are not only lagging behind intelligence science from an R&D standpoint, but also that up until today there is still a dispute as to whether there is a body of theory to guide collection work.

When studying the developmental history of collection work, in addition to analyzing developmental changes in intelligence work and intelligence technology as well as how the society deals with the problem of intelligence demand, one should also stress an understanding of developmental changes in the role of collection work and developmental changes in the forms taken by collection targets, transmission and exchange.

While dividing the developmental history of collection work into several historical periods certainly should not be done in an arbitrary manner, it is also true that it is very difficult to devise a fixed rule that will be accepted by all. According to the authors' understanding, the developmental history of collection work may be divided into three historical periods: the period of collection acts; the period of "collection work"; and the period of collection as a science and a technology.

Section One -- The Period of Collection Acts

The primary characteristic of this historical period is that most information collection activities were spontaneous isolated acts by scientists and engineers. This historical period may be roughly considered to start with ancient times and proceed right up to the conclusion of the Second World War.

Science and technology developed slowly in ancient times. The scope of mankind's scientific and technological activities was extremely small. Little knowledge was produced. There were few items that could be exchanged. Moreover, most scientists were eclectics or quite multi-talented, versatile individuals. Therefore, except for the comparatively pressing need for military intelligence, the demand for S&T intelligence was by no means urgent. If S&T intelligence was needed, an individual could collect some information and use it directly. This is a classic example of an isolated collection act. Verbal information--information in the form of a spoken language--was one of the items collected. A second item that was collected was symbols that were recorded by hand, on media such as stones, bamboo slips, paper and metal, etc. The primary collection approach that was used during this period was the informal exchange process. Collection activities during ancient times still basically did not feature any organized collection work or organized intelligence work to speak of.

Science and technology developed rapidly in more recent times. The scope of mankind's activities expanded with each passing day and the amount of knowledge produced steadily increased. Scientists could no longer follow the multi-talented model. Rather, they could only become "experts" in certain academic disciplines. Although, as before, scientists had some needs vis-a-vis S&T intelligence work, "collection work" had yet to come on the scene. Whether an individual or a collective body that had been spontaneously organized to carry on scientific research, scientists and engineers still had to collect and arrange information themselves. However, these same scientists and engineers felt that the amount of information was considerable, that they were unable to do as well as they would have wished, and that the task was of considerable difficulty. Collection activities during this time could still be considered isolated acts, and they had not by any means evolved into an independent vocation or profession. During this period, oral information was one collection target, and this period also featured a greater emphasis on documents as a collection target--documents which had arisen out of the new printing technologies. The approach to collection activities during this period featured an equal emphasis on formal exchanges and informal exchanges.

To sum up, during the period of collection acts, collection activities were characterized by the fact that they were primarily carried out in an isolated manner by scientists and engineers themselves. The goal was to use the information oneself, not to share it. The scientists and engineers primary "operational fronts" were academic societies and libraries. The collection targets were verbal information and documents.

Section Two -- The Period of "Collection Work"

The main distinguishing characteristic of collection activities during this period is their evolution into a profession within the broader field of S&T intelligence work. Thus, collection activities have been made to serve the needs of society to a greater extent. "Collection work" is carried out in an organized fashion. Its goal is to share information, not to use it oneself. The period of "collection work" is considered to have begun after the conclusion of the Second World War, and has continued right up until today.

In this era of modern science and technology, the amount of S&T knowledge and S&T information being produced is increasing sharply at an exponential rate. As S&T intelligence work has been confronted by this "information explosion," it has been spurred on to become a social profession in its own right. Moreover, S&T intelligence work has become an important and inseparable component part of the national S&T cause and it is entering a brand new developmental stage. In the train of these developments, information collection activities have also become differentiated and have evolved into a profession; they have evolved into "full-time" "information collection work."

The target of collection has become primarily documents during the period of "collection work." The approach to collection and transmission has become primarily the formal exchange process. Clearly, for scientists and engineers to continue to simply rely on the actions of one individual to collect the continuous flow of information would be of no avail whatsoever. They must avail themselves of S&T intelligence work, thus facilitating the professionalization of collection work. At the same time, it has become more and more difficult for scientists to directly carry out intelligence exchanges among themselves. Collecting verbal information via the informal exchange process has also come to play less of a role. Moreover, whether intentionally or unintentionally, the influence of library acquisition work approaches on collection activities has served to gradually sever the connection between the two exchange processes, even to the point where the perception and modus operandi has arisen that collection activities featuring the informal exchange process should be relegated to a position outside the domain of "collection work."

People have gradually begun to feel that "documents," "information," and "intelligence" are three concepts that are both mutually connected and mutually distinguishable. This has been because the number of information sources has been continuously increasing, the forms that information takes have been becoming more and more diverse, and especially because large amounts of machine readable information have come to the fore. It has also been because people are placing an ever stronger demand on information processing and information activation capabilities. As a result, collection workers are facing a series of work-related questions and theoretical questions. This has served to further promote the development of collection work and has facilitated the gradual transformation of collection work from acquisition work associated with libraries to "information collection work" associated with S&T intelligence.

We should also point out at this point that, although the complete evolution of collection into a profession occurred within the broader field of S&T intelligence work, the development of collection has nevertheless been sluggish. For a long time now, the everyday work of merely "incorporating into collections" and "building collections" has been thought to be the role of collection work. Yet the scientific and technological nature of collection has been overlooked. Also, the fact that collection represents an open system and that we ought to give full play to its overall social effect has been overlooked. We often think of collection in too simplistic a manner. In regard to theory, for example, theories in intelligence science regarding searches, etc. have already been quite thoroughly thought through; while only in regard to collection theory have such inquiries been few and far between. Another example: Realistically, collection serves as an extremely important prerequisite and foundation within the entire intelligence work; yet we have been unable to think of collection from an overall standpoint and incorporate it into the national systems. Even though collection practice and experience has had considerable usefulness in every vertical administrative system, we have been unable to give full play to the effect of large national systems, and the nation has also not received the overall beneficial effect that it should have.

Section Three -- The Period of Collection Work as a Science and a Technology

In the genuine information age society of the future, this is the stage that collection work will be in. At that time, collection will be regarded as a national undertaking and its beneficial overall social effect will be realized to the utmost. At that time, every department will shake off sectarianism and interact with each other and stimulate each other, forming a large collection system throughout the whole society. At that time, it will not be administrative departments alone that intervene vis-a-vis the operational mechanisms of the collection system. Rather, we will move from the traditional model featuring administrative decrees exclusively to a model in which three kinds of mechanisms coexist: administrative decree mechanisms; market mechanisms; and mass organization mechanisms. At that time, collection will have become a comparatively independent work within the broader S&T intelligence system, and will be generally regarded as a branch of learning to be studied, with collection guided by the theory of "collection science." At that time, people will utilize a set of new concepts to guide collection. They will utilize a set of new technological resources to assure the efficiency of collection. Work methods will undergo qualitative changes, and a brand-new situation will emerge vis-a-vis information collection.

If we consider the past for a moment, we find that S&T intelligence is considered to have begun in 1769 in Germany, with the advent of the first digest-type periodical. Following about two-hundred years of development, talented Soviets proposed the scientific term "intelligence science" for the first time in 1962. The term immediately obtained recognition in intelligence circles in every country and has also gone through almost thirty years of subsequent development. Nevertheless, as of today a full-fledged intelligence science has yet to be formed, and the branch of learning dealing with intelligence as a science and a technology has yet to be set up. Such being the case, there is little reason to expect that the era of collection as a science and a technology will be upon us very quickly. The fact is, in ancient times people were already engaging in collection activities, and not until 1983 did Professor Qian Xuesen propose the scientific term "information science" for the first time, pointing out that we cannot regard collection work as merely a routine work, but that it is rather a branch of learning, a science, and a technology. What a vast amount of time from ancient times up until Professor Qian Xuesen's proposal! This is not even to mention that there is still a dispute as to whether the theory that guides collection work is called "information science," to the point that even many collection workers to this day still do not have a sense of urgency as to the need for theoretical guidance! The heavy and historic responsibility of pioneering the new period of information collection as a science and a technology can only be undertaken by information collection workers. Collection workers must pool their practical work experience and their work-related research, improve quality at the level of the individual, improve the macrostructure, increase their level of learning, perfect their knowledge, and endeavor to be ready to greet the advent of the period of collection as a science and a technology in the 21st century.

Section Four -- Regarding the Reform of Information Collection Work

China's S&T intelligence cause has already been developing for more than thirty years. As of now, we have assembled a contingent of collection workers of considerable scale in approximately four-thousand intelligence organizations throughout all of China. We have also achieved preliminary results as far as the establishment of S&T intelligence sources.

While China's information collection work has experienced many ups and downs during these thirty-plus years, it has nevertheless made outstanding contributions to the rejuvenation of the S&T intelligence cause, the invigoration of science and technology, the construction of the national economy, and the construction of national defense.

I. The Predicament Faced by Information Collection Work

As of now, profound changes have already occurred in the larger environment in which China's S&T intelligence work and information collection work finds itself. As we go into the information society age, intelligence as a science and a technology is about to become a burgeoning discipline. Intelligence work will become the heart of the new industrial revolution. The economic system of organization in China is just now changing from a rigid planned economy model to a planned commercial economy model. New mechanisms that are self-regulating and self-restraining from an economic standpoint are just now inducing the occurrence of corresponding changes in the intelligence system. The purpose of S&T intelligence work is just now swinging from being primarily oriented to scientific research and leadership concerns to being primarily oriented to economic construction concerns. To boil it all down to one sentence: The consumer and his needs in regard to the content of intelligence, the forms that intelligence takes, and intelligence products, have undergone fundamental changes. However, whether from the standpoint of concepts and the management system, or from the standpoint of operational mechanisms and work methods, China's current information collection work is far from coming into line with the demands posed by the changes in the larger environment. Therefore, it has fallen into a predicament. Intuitively, one feels that this predicament manifests itself in the following ways:

1. The image of a collection worker is warped. He or she is regarded merely as a mechanical worker who provides labor services and simply "checks items as approved," "checks off items," "purchases books," and "sends books." Collection is regarded as work that anyone is capable of doing.

2. As far as developing collection work as a science and a technology, it is very difficult to realize accomplishments with a distinctive "collection science" flavor. This is for reasons relating to the environment, leadership and policies. In addition, the quality and structural composition of collection personnel are also contributing causes.

3. Urged on by the planned commercial economy and lured on by market mechanisms, collection departments at every level have found it necessary to be able to gradually squeeze into the technology market and the information market by presenting themselves as producers and managers of information products. On the other hand, the broad mass of collection workers still rigidly cling to the matter of the "public good" and, as a result, are at a loss what to do.

4. Few collection achievements, especially high-level achievements, receive awards, and the quality of the awards that are received is low. This has gone to the point where some people hold that collection achievements cannot be separated from S&T hardware achievements and stand in their own right.

5. The approach of emphasizing collecting and downplaying usefulness continues to play a role. On the one hand, great amounts of information are collected. However, consumers are few, giving rise to an "information explosion." On the other hand, the information that is needed by consumers who are oriented to economic construction is difficult to obtain, giving rise to an "information famine." All of this necessitates that we adjust the guiding principles and the operating emphases of collection as quickly as possible.

6. Due to factors such as the rise in book prices in China and abroad, upward revisions of management costs, and the devaluation of the Renminbi, contradictions resulting from shortages vis-a-vis information costs are growing keener with each passing day in each work unit, even to the point where accounts have been overdrawn. For these reasons, every intelligence organization has no choice but to reduce the amount added to its collection with each passing year. The situation where each intelligence organization independently builds its own "library" is not tenable any longer.

The various manifestations of our predicament that we have enumerated above are in regard to collection work as it pertains to the collection of ordinary S&T information. In regard to collection work as it pertains specifically to the collection of national defense S&T information, it goes without saying that we are in even more of a hard place. This is due to the strategic shift in the guiding ideology for national defense construction; viz., the need to move from the state of affairs in the past, which was based on early, large-scale fighting capabilities "on the eve of the battle," to a new state of affairs emphasizing national-defense construction in peacetime.

II. Defects in Information Collection Work

As far as the predicament which China's information collection work is currently in, everybody is going through it personally, it is obvious to all, and people's experiences are basically identical. However, when inquiring into the reasons why this predicament has arisen, the focal points that are emphasized by different people vary, due to the fact that each individual's work experience and intellectual background is different. Therefore, there is not a great deal of unanimity in what people express. It may be summarized in the following several points:

1. Inferiority Complex. For a long time, a considerable number of collection workers have been accustomed to explaining away their own profession as a kind of service profession that supports other professions and is attached to other professions. However, very few have genuinely promoted the systematic relationship between the information collection profession and other professions, in which they are mutually dependent and interact with each other. Nor have they done their utmost to urge that the collection profession can also put forth its own distinctive flowers and bear its own distinctive fruit, to the point that it has really made people feel that it doesn't matter if there is information collection or not, and that its role is merely to "nourish" and nothing else.

2. Looking Down on Science. One of the diseases that has resulted in society's disapproval of the collection undertaking is the cold shoulder that has been given to collection work theoretical research and the lack of zeal and enthusiasm for setting up an information science and a collection science. As people attach greater importance to economic efficiency, the problem of looking down on collection as a science and a technology will tend to become more serious.

3. Lacking Systematization. That our collection system lacks systematization is something that everybody knows. It is very difficult to implement coordination and cooperation because each managerial department goes its own way, collection work organizations overlap, forces are dispersed and each gets along by defending his own "library." For many years there have been cries for an information collection network featuring a rational overall arrangement, each part having its particular emphasis, with a high degree of interconnectedness and outstanding usefulness. However, real achievements have not been great.

4. A Single Operational Mechanism. Currently, we still primarily rely on administrative mechanisms for the operation of our collection system. Collection departments are overly dependent on administrative departments, making it very difficult for the various collection departments to handle matters in accordance with economic laws and the laws of the science and technology of intelligence. Moreover, it is very difficult for such departments to carry out collection activities fully, conscientiously and independently in a self-supporting manner. They are unable to quickly come into line with the change from collection as a "cause" to collection as an "industry," under planned commercial economy conditions.

5. A Drab Assortment. Many collection departments frequently overstress the collection of unadulterated S&T information, neglecting information of a more comprehensive nature, such as information with S&T and economic content combined and information with military and economic content combined. In regard to the forms that information takes, too much emphasis is put on information in the form of printed symbols, and not enough on information in the form of electromagnetic signals, acoustic signals and optical signals.

III. A Turning Point in the Reform of Information Collection Work

As we have noted above, the larger environment and the boundary conditions present a very large challenge to China's collection work; for example, the reform and opening up to the outside world and the developing of a planned commercial economy, as well as the implementation of the guiding policies of improving the economic environment, rectifying the economic order and deepening reform. Furthermore, various inherent defects in the collection system have led information collection to fall into a predicament. However, on the other hand, this also presents an opportunity for the reform of collection work. Provided we conform to this type of environment, seize the opportunity, deepen reform, adjust, and improve and rectify, we will be able to gradually extricate ourselves from the predicament and change a turn for the better into a turning point. An excellent case in point is the plan for the rational overall arrangement of national defense document resources, which was organized and implemented by the S&T Intelligence Bureau [Keji Qingbao Ju] of the State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND), and which has obtained substantive progress after several years of work. Actually, this work was driven by the predicament. Recently, the focus of the S&T document work of the State Science and Technology Commission's (SSTC's) S&T Intelligence Department [Keji Qingbao Si] has been to "adjust and reform current document resource management methods" and to "implement a rational overall arrangement and resource sharing." This is yet another very persuasive concrete example.

We can begin our consideration of seizing the opportunity and changing a turn for the better into a turning point by considering the following few points:

1. Limited Goals, Not Acting with Undue Haste. The task of promoting the beneficial, abolishing the harmful and reforming collection is extremely formidable. The process of extricating collection from its predicament is extremely complex. We must take this fully into account. Given that they cannot control the larger environment themselves, and that they cannot choose the system of administrative leadership themselves, it certainly will not do for information collection workers to conceive of their reform goals in terms that are too grand. To demand that the transformation move at too rapid a speed will also cause us to miss an opportunity due to delay and to bungle the navigation of this critical turning point. The reform task at this stage is not to form a set of new self-regulating, self-restraining collection systems. Rather, it is to seek out an operational mechanism which, while it may be flawed, may nevertheless be controlled so that collection workers can really take care of a number of matters well.

2. Demands for Increases in Appropriations Must be Appropriate. Currently, the focal point of China's economic construction and reform is still to improve the economic environment and rectify the economic order. Based on society's current perception of S&T intelligence work, to demand that the nation grant special consideration vis-a-vis information costs and continuously increase inputs is impractical. No matter how many times the importance of intelligence resources and the great increases in the costs of domestic and foreign information are pointed out, while administrative leaders can understand, they find themselves willing to help but unable to do so. On the other hand, to speak too much of these matters may even have negative side effects. Therefore, while appeals for increased appropriations vis-a-vis information costs are necessary, such calls must be appropriate. What is more important is to do solid work on matters such as the implementation of a rational overall arrangement and the sharing of resources so that more abundant results are seen.

3. Adjust the Information Assortment Structure. Adjusting the assortment structure of information that is collected refers to the need to gradually increase the proportion of information products used and gradually decrease the proportion of information recorded on paper relative to the total amount of information, and also to the need to energetically enhance the collection of verbal information and the collection of information of a comprehensive nature that is integrated with economic information. All of this is geared to the national economy and the demand of many consumers under the socialization associated with a planned commercial economy. All of it serves to increase the beneficial social effect and the beneficial economic effect of collection work, and all of it is carried out under the aegis of a combined command task and market-guided management task.

4. Seek Development Via Data Collection. The collection of electromagnetic media information is a comparatively weak link in current collection. In all of its various kinds of levels, such electromagnetic media information provides an important foundation for national economic development, especially large-scale document banks, fact databases and numeric databases. In its predicament, collection might well consider striving for development by collecting data that is needed to build these databases. We should make up our mind to shift the direction of investments to this work in a step-by-step manner. Work units that meet the prerequisites can carry out unified implementation of economic data collection, management data collection and document information collection.

5. Enhance Network Construction. In line with reducing the intervention of administrative departments in the operation of the collection system, the motive forces driving the deepening of collection reform include giving full play to the integrated role of administrative mechanisms, mass organization mechanisms and market mechanisms, and promoting the construction of information transmission networks. Only in this way will it be possible to overcome a state of affairs characterized by ossification in which the function of each collection organization is identical, and thereby lead every collection organization to augment its own individuality in an environment of mutual competition and mutual interaction, incorporating itself into a network, and exhibiting its own peculiar characteristics in the process of self-regulation and self-development.

6. Enhance Research on Collection as a Science and a Technology. Whether with respect to the need to improve the efficiency of information collection work, or with respect to the need to establish the standing of information collection in an information society, the task of enhancing research on collection science and of shouldering the historic responsibility of establishing a science and a technology of collection has already, objectively speaking, been set forth before collection workers. There will perhaps be some people who will be relatively interested in this topic in the 1990's. In the 21st century, some people will undoubtedly realize achievements in this area.

Section Five -- The Rational Overall Arrangement of S&T Information

Implementation of a rational overall arrangement of S&T information is an important indicator of the transition of information collection from the stage of "collection work" to the stage of collection as a science and a technology. The problem of the rational overall arrangement of information is becoming more and more prominent with each passing day. From outward appearances, it appears that the problem stems from increases in the price of information and hardships arising from a lack of financial support. However, the significance of the implementation of a rational overall arrangement certainly does not lie merely in how to allocate and use limited funds. Rather, the implementation of a rational overall arrangement is significant in that the objectives of a "rational overall arrangement, a particular emphasis for each part, a high degree of interconnectedness and outstanding usefulness" are the basic prerequisites for building a collection system in accordance with systems principles.

I. The Overall Arrangement of Information in Some Foreign Countries

Every developed country abroad has taken definite measures in regard to the overall arrangement of information, in order to reduce the collection of duplicate information.

The USSR has managed the introduction of information from abroad very strictly, and has adopted a number of measures in regard to the overall arrangement of information. The first measure has been to set up a coordination committee. This committee explicitly stipulates that there generally be only three to five subscriptions to any given foreign language periodical original. It is calculated that the USSR imports 16,000 foreign periodicals, and that it imports 70,000 books annually. There are only an average of four duplicates in any given collection. The second measure has been to transfer information to microfilm, reducing the number of periodicals in the form of original editions. 15% of the entire collection of the Pan-Soviet S&T Intelligence Office is information on microfilm. About one-half of the foreign periodicals at the Leningrad and Tbilisi Intelligence Offices are on microfiche. The third measure has been to make photocopies. For example, of the 1000 foreign periodicals that are collected by the Tbilisi Intelligence Office, about 200 are photocopied periodicals. The fourth measure has been to make union catalogs so that each makes up what the other lacks. Every republic in the USSR is making a union catalog. Moreover, the USSR is advocating replacing purchases with exchanges, and the USSR has already established information exchange relationships with several thousand work units located in dozens of countries. It is especially worth noting that the USSR has an organization that is responsible for the free allocation and transfer of information that is left unused. Every ten years, the USSR's intelligence organizations do an information "housecleaning" in which unused information is allocated and transferred without charge to a work unit that needs it.

The former German Democratic Republic also emphasized coordinated collection. The entire country imported a total of 8000 foreign periodicals. However, the Central Intelligence Document Research Institute, which served as an intelligence center for the nation, only collected 500 different periodicals. The Germans maintained that intelligence sources ought to be near to the consumer and that, if a periodical is imported, it should first be used to meet the need of a specialized intelligence work unit.

Although the U.S. is comparatively flush in terms of funds, it nevertheless also emphasizes coordinated collection and attention to the matter of an overall arrangement. In order to solve the problem of duplicate collecting, the Ohio University library entered into an agreement with four work units in the city. In regard to certain periodicals that were read relatively infrequently, the agreement was that just one subscription would be made for all the parties to the agreement, rather than each party getting a subscription. The subscription was handed over to one work unit for safekeeping, and every work unit shared this subscription. In view of their positive experience with this measure, the approach was later expanded to apply between cities. Currently, more than 200 work units have been organized to use this type of subscription approach.

II. A Tentative Plan for Implementing a Rational Overall Arrangement of Information

As we have explained above, due to a lack of unified organization and coordination and due to the irrational overall arrangement of information, information collection and the work of building data banks and databases in China are characterized by a situation where some regions have a surplus with low utilization rates and high duplication rates, while other regions have a shortage and are unable to meet demand. This situation has been caused to some degree by limitations imposed by historical and economic factors. However, the situation is also closely related to factors such as collection work's excessive dependence on administrative departments, the presence of a single operational mechanism in the collection system, and a guiding policy for construction that emphasizes collection and downplays usefulness in intelligence work.

It is true that, in the light of the daily increase in the amount of information in the world, the amount of demand for information in China is also showing a marked increase. However, it is by no means true that, in the light of the huge price increases for information, China will be able to make corresponding increases in expenditures for information. Thus, the implementation of a rational overall arrangement and resource sharing is absolutely imperative.

To this end, SSTC's S&T Intelligence Department has put forth suggestions for adjustment and enhancement vis-a-vis pertinent areas, such as the overall arrangement of information. These suggestions were put forth in two documents that were published respectively in 1988 and 1989: "Suggestions in Regard to the Adjustment and Enhancement of Document Work in the Pan-China S&T Intelligence System," and "Several Suggestions in Regard to Enhancing and Adjusting the Construction of Pan-China S&T Intelligence Computer Retrieval Systems." Some of these suggestions were as follows:

1. Regarding the Overall Arrangement of Document Resources

(1) Further Free Ourselves from Old Ways of Thinking and Adopt an Overall Point of View

In our thinking, we must smash sectarianism and adopt an overall point of view. On the basis of its own unique nature, task and capabilities, each work unit must spell out the distinctive characteristics and scope of its own collection. Each work unit must regard itself as a component part of the whole document support system, with mutual coordination, mutual cooperation and mutual complementation, thus giving full play to the system's overall beneficial effect.

(2) Enhance Coordination via Organizations; Develop Horizontal Combinations

In order to coordinate the overall arrangement of document resources throughout China and benefit the development and construction effort, it is necessary to set up high-level organizations to coordinate and manage lower-level organizations. Every ministry and commission, and every province, municipality, large city and autonomous region can set up an appropriate organization and formulate a coordination plan, all on the basis of its own specific situation and needs.

(3) Implement a Rational Overall Arrangement; Establish a Document Resource Support System Featuring Different Levels

The overall arrangement of documents in the Pan-China S&T intelligence system may be divided into three levels: a national level; a specialized department level; and a regional level.

Some examples of national-level S&T intelligence organizations are: the National Comprehensive S&T Intelligence Center [Guojia Zonghexing Keji Qingbao Zhongxin], the National Natural Sciences Intelligence Center [Guojia Ziran Kexue Qingbao Zhongxin], the National Military S&T Intelligence Center [Guojia Junshi Keji Qingbao Zhongxin], the National Patent Documents Center [Guojia Zhuanli Wenxian Zhongxin], and the National Standards Documents Center [Guojia Biaozhun Wenxian Zhongxin]. These national-level S&T intelligence organizations collect documents as appropriate in accordance with their respective designated spheres of collection.

The S&T intelligence centers of the various departments and ministries of the State Council are examples of S&T intelligence organizations at the specialized department level. The sphere of document collection for these organizations is primarily that information which is most closely related to the specialty of the organization in question.

S&T Intelligence Research Institutes [Keji Qingbao Yanjiusuo] in provinces, municipalities, large cities and autonomous regions are the comprehensive S&T intelligence centers for those provinces, municipalities, cities and autonomous regions. The sphere of document collection for these organizations should be determined on the basis of the long-term plans for the economy, and S&T and social development in the particular province, municipality, large city or autonomous region, and also on the basis of the focal points of the particular province, municipality, large city or autonomous region and its own capability to render processing services. The S&T Intelligence Research Institutes in the prefectures, cities and counties are the local, grassroots intelligence organizations. The sphere of document collection for these organizations primarily revolves around urgent needs vis-a-vis local industrial and agricultural production. The organization in question collects and provides pertinent practical technical information.

(4) Enhance the Work of Supplying Photocopies, Reproductions and Microfiche

In accordance with the demands posed by a rational overall arrangement of information, the S&T Intelligence Research Institutes of every ministry and commission, as well as every province, municipality, large city and autonomous region should, as a matter of principle, only collect those documents that are the most closely related to its own specialty or the development of its own region. Other relevant documents may be requested from the pertinent collecting work unit or that work unit may be requested to provide a photocopy, a reproduction or microfiche.

2. Regarding the Overall Arrangement of Database Resources

(1) We should consolidate our forces and aggressively develop Chinese-language document databases. We should strengthen and improve Western-language document databases. Setting out on a practical basis, we should engage in the wholesale building of fact and numeric databases. Every department under the Party's Central Committee and the State Council should build document banks. Every department, and every province, municipality and large city can build fact databases and numeric databases.

(2) We should make ample use of foreign document database magnetic tapes that can be conveniently imported. We should import and use optical disk database systems in a reasonable manner. In regard to ordinary grassroots intelligence work units and the great majority of the intelligence centers of provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities under the central government and Independent Planning Cities, it is not easy for them to purchase or copy magnetic tapes and build Western-language database systems themselves. [Translator's Note: In 1989, the Independent Planning Cities were Chongqing, Wuhan, Shenyang, Dalian, Harbin, Xi'an, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Ningbo, Xiamen, Nanjing, Chengdu, Changchun and Shenzhen.]

(3) We should build four comprehensive on-line retrieval centers and six specialized on-line retrieval centers.

III. A Brief Introduction to a Rational Overall Arrangement of National Defense S&T Document Resources

The organization of the implementation of a rational overall arrangement of national defense S&T document resources was begun by COSTIND's S&T Intelligence Bureau in 1986. After several years of work, the S&T Intelligence Bureau has, in accordance with systems principles, evolved a set of plans and measures for the rational overall arrangement of foreign S&T document resources. It has adjusted the overall arrangement of the primary foreign document resources in pertinent S&T intelligence organization collections throughout the national defense S&T industry--resources such as periodicals, large and complete document sets, major document series, conference papers and serial publications that form small series. The S&T Intelligence Bureau has formulated "The Year 2000 Long-Term Plan for the Building Up and Rational Overall Arrangement of National Defense S&T Documents." It has developed database software and an associated computer management system for the rational overall arrangement of foreign periodicals, conference papers, and serial publications that form small series.

By means of a rational adjustment of the overall arrangement of information, the S&T Intelligence Bureau has fundamentally brought the relations between the various S&T intelligence organization collections at the ministerial and commission levels into better balance. It has spelled out the focal points for collection, as well as the varieties and amounts to be collected, for each respective intelligence organization. Duplicate importation has been avoided, new varieties have been added, the scope of sharing has been expanded, the overall usefulness of national defense S&T document resources has been improved, and funds have been saved by avoiding duplicate orders for documents.

1. Principles for Overall Arrangement

The following principles are abided by in the rational overall arrangement of national defense S&T documents:

(1) Unified Long-Term Planning. Proceeding from the standpoint of the entire national defense S&T industry, give full play to its overall usefulness. On the basis of the demands posed by the development of the national defense S&T industry, carry out overall long-term planning for a rational overall arrangement of national defense S&T documents, while considering, as far as possible, the processing capabilities of the various collecting work units and the traditions that they represent.

(2) A Particular Emphasis for Each Part. On the basis of the different tasks for each respective intelligence work unit that participates in the overall arrangement, spell out the collection focal points for each respective work unit and give full play to the strong points of each respective work unit.

(3) Resource Sharing. By means of a rational overall arrangement of national defense S&T documents, and from the standpoint of the collection and provision of documents, form all of the work units into an integrated system in which each work unit can make up for what the other lacks, and in which the work units are complementary and mutually beneficial.

(4) User-Friendly. Once the overall arrangement has been achieved, immediately implement a series of measures to assure that use of the overall arrangement of information is user-friendly. Such measures would include the making of reproductions, the drawing up of union catalogs, and the provision of microfiche.

(5) Equality and Reciprocity. Each member work unit that participates in the overall arrangement is equal in terms of its status. Problems must be resolved via negotiations. Principles of reciprocity and mutual benefit must be observed when implementing the overall arrangement.

2. Implementation Methods

(1) Establish an Organization. Under the leadership of COSTIND's S&T Intelligence Bureau, establish a Group for a Rational Overall Arrangement that is composed of each and every participating work unit. This group will be permanent and will be responsible for supervising the implementation of the plan for the overall arrangement, providing coordination in the event of problems that arise during the implementation of the plan, researching issues that are related to the overall arrangement, and revising the structure of the overall arrangement.

(2) Gradual Development. Establishing a rational overall arrangement for national defense S&T documents is an extremely complex systems project. The overall arrangement should be centered on general goals and should be implemented in a step-by-step manner. For example, in regard to regions we should first implement a rational overall arrangement in the Beijing area. In regard to organizational levels, we should first implement a rational overall arrangement between intelligence organizations at the ministerial and commission levels. In regard to types and varieties of documents, we should first implement a rational overall arrangement where there are rules that can be followed. In regard to domestic and foreign documents, we should first implement a rational overall arrangement of imported foreign documents.

The sequence to be followed in the overall arrangement of different types of documents is as follows. First, implement the overall arrangement of periodicals. Then implement the overall arrangement of large and complete document sets, major document series, and other serial publications. In regard to the overall arrangement of periodicals, first implement the overall arrangement of high-priced periodicals that have an annual cost of 1000 RMB or more. Then implement the overall arrangement of periodicals that have an annual cost of 500 RMB or more. Finally, implement the overall arrangement of the other periodicals.

(3) Agreement on Norms and Standards. Once plans, measures and methods for the overall arrangement have been decided upon through consultation, each and every work unit must strictly comply with them. When there is a need for adjustment and revision, it must be done through discussion and approval by the Group for a Rational Overall Arrangement. No member work unit has the right to implement adjustments and revisions on its own.

(4) Appropriate Duplication. One must of course do one's best to keep duplicate collecting to a minimum when implementing a rational overall arrangement. However, when such a course leads to a negative effect on utilization, necessary duplication must be permitted. One may also consider duplicate orders in the case of low cost documents, when the cost of making a reproduction is higher than the original cost of the document.

(5) Draw Up Subscription Union Catalogs. The overall arrangement can only be upheld if resource sharing is achieved. If we are to realize resource sharing, the drawing up of union catalogs is a very important measure, and the facilitation of interlending and the making of reproductions at favorable terms are also significant measures.

3. The Results of the Overall Arrangement.

If we just take the example provided by the last three years:

(1) The overall arrangement has improved the overall capability of the national defense S&T information collection system. Implementation of the overall arrangement has served to enhance the mutually dependent and mutually interactive relationship between work units. It has served to moderate the strong administrative flavor of collection work, and has led to some overall construction of the national defense S&T information collection system and some improvement of its capability.

(2) The overall arrangement has given an impetus to research on collection as a science and a technology. The practical experience stemming from implementation of the overall arrangement has served to pose a series of theoretical questions to national defense S&T information collection workers, particularly questions relating to sources and techniques of obtaining national defense S&T intelligence. Solving these questions will undoubtedly be a precious gift to the cause of establishing a collection science.

(3) The overall arrangement has served to reduce duplication and increase variety. For example, the number of duplicate copies of high-priced periodicals having an annual cost of 1000 RMB or more per year has been reduced by 153 copies, and there are now 21 more varieties of such periodicals. The duplication rate for high-priced periodicals of 73.7% before implementation of the overall arrangement has been reduced to 32.8% after the implementation of the overall arrangement. The number of duplicate copies of serial publications has been reduced by 74 copies, and there are now 8 more varieties of such publications. The duplication rate for serial publications of 54% before implementation of the overall arrangement has been reduced to 37% after the implementation of the overall arrangement.

(4) The overall arrangement has led to cost savings. Work units that participated in the overall arrangement realized cost savings of 568 thousand RMB in 1987. In 1988, they realized cost savings of 763 thousand RMB. The total savings for the two years was 1.331 million RMB.

(5) The overall arrangement has improved collection targeting. The work of implementing a rational overall arrangement of national defense S&T documents has, on the one hand, led to macro-adjustments of the overall arrangement. On the other hand, it has also led each participating work unit to micro-adjust the varieties that it collects, thus enhancing collection targeting.

(6) The overall arrangement provides valuable experience. The work of implementing a rational overall arrangement of national defense S&T documents represents a pioneering step in the work of overall arrangement throughout the entire nation. The experience furnished by the implementation of a rational overall arrangement of national defense S&T documents serves as a model for a number of systems or work units where carrying out a overall arrangement is desirable.

On to Chapter Three