[OAI-eprints] Total Quality Scholarship (TQS)

Gerry Mckiernan gerrymck at iastate.edu
Tue Jul 29 15:28:49 EDT 2003

                                                   Total Quality
Scholarship (TQS)

   Thanks to the response from Paul Evans, Head of Electronic Marketing
& Support Services
Emerald (Thanks, Paul!), I learned about a *most* fascinating article
that describes the
concept and implementation of Action Learning/Action Learning Groups
for Quality Assurance for Scholarship*before* Publication
]. In this excellent review, "Write Right First Time," the author,
Robert Brown, draws several interesting parallels between the inherent
goals of various forms of Total Quality Management (TQM)  and the
scholarly writing and editing process. One of most interesting of
several quotable sentences is the following

  "In TQM, the most elementary trap is to try to inspect (edit) in
quality at the end of the assembly-line rather than building it in at
the outset."

   The quote as well as the article in general, inspired me to think
more broadly and specifically about the applicability of TQM in general
and Deming's 14 Points in particular to the Scholarly Peer Review
Succinctly stated my analogy is that editorial peer review is a form of
inspection (Deming Point 3), and represents a quality assurance
mechanism of an earlier era, and that perhaps internal, institutional,
or individual  quality improvement  mechanisms 

http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Web4Lib/archive/0307/0215.html ]

and/or digital assurance mechanisms (e.g., downloads, ratings, links)
hold potential for  augmenting/improving/replacing [?] classical peer
review in the era of TQM and OAI. 


Point 3. Cease reliance on mass inspection to achieve quality.
Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality
into the product in the first place.

"Management should stop depending on inspection. According to Deming,
inspection of a finished product as it comes off the line, or at key
points during production, is too late, ineffective, and expensive. With
this type of inspection, the company is paying workers to make defective
parts and then correct the defects. The consumer pays for the
duplication of work. This sort of inspection does not improve or
guarantee quality because it fails to improve the process that is
producing the defects. Deming (1986) says, "Quality comes not from
inspection but from the improvement of the process." Inspection the
Deming way is a process in which the workers are enlisted and trained to
evaluate the quality of their own work. By spotting problems in the
system early, you can "nip them in the bud." Huge savings can be
achieved if a system is not creating faulty products and generating
waste therefore reducing the inspection function."


BTW: Deming was a native Iowan ! [

   As Always, Any and All contributions, comments, critiques, queries,
questions, Cosmic Insights,  Three Letter Acronyms (TLA), or Three
Letter Initialisms (TLI) are Most Welcome!

   TIA !


Gerry McKiernan 
Improved Librarian 
Iowa State University 
Ames IA 50011

gerrymck at iastate.edu 

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