Recommendations for reducing ambiguity in written procedures.

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Description

Previous studies in the nuclear weapons complex have shown that ambiguous work instructions (WIs) and operating procedures (OPs) can lead to human error, which is a major cause for concern. This report outlines some of the sources of ambiguity in written English and describes three recommendations for reducing ambiguity in WIs and OPs. The recommendations are based on commonly used research techniques in the fields of linguistics and cognitive psychology. The first recommendation is to gather empirical data that can be used to improve the recommended word lists that are provided to technical writers. The second recommendation is to have ... continued below

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14 p.

Creation Information

Matzen, Laura E. November 1, 2009.

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 23 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Description

Previous studies in the nuclear weapons complex have shown that ambiguous work instructions (WIs) and operating procedures (OPs) can lead to human error, which is a major cause for concern. This report outlines some of the sources of ambiguity in written English and describes three recommendations for reducing ambiguity in WIs and OPs. The recommendations are based on commonly used research techniques in the fields of linguistics and cognitive psychology. The first recommendation is to gather empirical data that can be used to improve the recommended word lists that are provided to technical writers. The second recommendation is to have a review in which new WIs and OPs and checked for ambiguities and clarity. The third recommendation is to use self-paced reading time studies to identify any remaining ambiguities before the new WIs and OPs are put into use. If these three steps are followed for new WIs and OPs, the likelihood of human errors related to ambiguity could be greatly reduced.

Physical Description

14 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2009-7522
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/976943 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 976943
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc930780

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • November 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 1, 2016, 1:41 p.m.

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Matzen, Laura E. Recommendations for reducing ambiguity in written procedures., report, November 1, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc930780/: accessed May 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.