Review: Keeping Abreast of Science and Technology: Technical Intelligence for Business

5 Star, Intelligence (Commercial)

5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on the market for technical business intelligence,

April 8, 2000
W. Bradford Ashton
Dick is a genius, and he and Bradford Ashton have pulled together a number of very fine contributions in this book. Still, they sum it up nicely in the concluding chapter: “The formal practice of developing technical intelligence in American business is only in its infancy.” They have a nice appendix of sources on scientific and technical intelligence that is missing a few big obvious sources like the Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) and the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) as well as the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) and several smaller sources. On balance, this technical intelligence community is, as Bradford notes, in its infancy. It is U.S. centric, does not yet understand operational security and counterintelligence, is weak of cost intelligence, relies too heavily on registered patents, and has too few practical successes stories. Especially troubling is the recent trend within DIA and the Air Force of cutting off all funding for open source exploitation of Chinese and other foreign S&T sources, combined with a dismantling by many corporations of their libraries and most basic market research functions. This book is an essential reference and I admire its authors greatly-sadly, they are part of a small minority that has not yet found its full voice.
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