By Charlton, Mark.

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Long-term structural weaknesses or even total failure of the business can result. Demonstrating the existence of virtual organization can be problematic. By definition it cannot be observed directly since it exists only in the mind. At best one could ask a selection of staff for their impressions and make certain deductions, but these are likely to be dubious and tainted with the researcher’s own perceptions. As such there has deliberately been no direct empirical research to establish the foundations of this model.

Publications: directories, handbooks, leaflets, annual report, etc. — Funding: local government grant-aided, donations, etc. — Special facilities: foreign languages spoken, access and facilities for people with disabilities, photocopying or fax service, escort, advocacy, etc. g. bus route numbers, underground line and station, etc. — Date information was obtained and/or last updated or checked. These two lists represent most of the facts that a community information service might need to know about an organization or service.

How is the information to be retrieved? — What size is the file likely to be? — What areas, geographical and subject, is the file to cover? In addition, you will need to consider how the information is going to be disseminated, if it is not just for internal use; but that is the subject of the next chapter. The kind of system you choose and the degree of its sophistication will depend on the nature of your information service, the size and complexity of the information you need to store, the staff, and the financial resources available.

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A Handbook of Information Technology by Charlton, Mark.

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