A crowdsourcing effort may speed the archiving of drug lawsuit documents, making them more accessible to the public. The Drug Industry Document Archive wants to enlist the help of crowds in an effort that has exceeded its capacity.
DIDA was formed following a lawsuit in which Parke-Davis was charged with illegally promoting a drug for unapproved uses. Witnesses against the drugmaker approached the now 11 million-document Legacy Tobacco Documents Archive, created as a condition of the settlement between tobacco companies and states that sued them. Tobacco companies were forced to hire workers to enter document metadata, making the archives searchable.
DIDA already has thousands of documents from attorneys and journalists involved in drug company lawsuits, and it expects millions more. But they need to be indexed, evaluated and entered before they are searchable.
Archive manager Kim Klausner pictures "an Internet army" of students, journalists and citizens doing the work. Grants aren't feasible, she says.
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