Electronic Discovery: What is a review platform?

What is a review platform?

A review platform is a method of allowing people from within an office, or around the world, to view, search and identify  documents as part of an electronic discovery case.

What goes into a review platform?

Data that has been collected, culled and processed is loaded into a review platform, which allows the legal teams or investigators to review the data. The interface for the most review platforms is a web browser; with the  most well known exception being Attenex, which uses Citrix, due to some of the more advanced functionality of the interface.

What does a review platform do?

A review platform can host all of the documents for a case, and allows some or all  of the following functions:

  1. Keyword searching of documents
  2. Filtering, de-duplication, and ordering documents by dates, file types, location, etc.
  3. Marking of documents for relevance/privilege
  4. Redaction of documents
  5. Document management for disclosure. Tracking the speed and quality of the review, and production for courts

Some review platforms have the ability to conduct near-duplication, find conversations threads for of emails, and concept searching, though the traditional “linear” review is simply based on reviewers going through one document at a time.

There are a wide variety of products on the market, but they all serve the same basic functions highlighted above. What distinguishes one product from another is the ease of interface and the ability for a law firm to manage their review. E.g can searches be saved? Is it clear which document has been marked relevant or not relevant, and by who? How are families of documents kept together? Can you redact a document easily? How are spreadsheets handled? Does it have its own viewer? Can you print out documents required? Is tiffing conducted on the fly or separately?

On face value all review platforms may appear the same, but the devil really is in the detail.

Are review platforms secure?

Review platforms are built to be secure, with a variety of security policies that are available.  For example, in addition to a user name and password required for access, the sites access can be restricted to IP address; this means that only certain offices can view the documents. Some review platforms even allow security to be increased by the use of RSA dongles. Its impossible to make anything online 100% secure, but there have been no reported case of review platforms being hacked (and there must be a lot of incentive to do so), so something must be working.

How much do review platforms cost?

In the UK there are generally  two options available for companies who are keen to have their data on a review platform, they can buy a review platform and host the data themselves or they can ask a vendor to do this. The first option is expensive, often running into $100,000s once all the servers, training, and rack space has been allowed for.

This option is normally only taken by large law firms. The second option is to ask a vendor to host the data.  The prices just for hosting vary from one company to a next, and the review platform, but there are normally costs per GB per month.  The costs can vary from tens to over a hundred pounds per month per gigabyte.  Its also not unusal for companies to charge loading fees, which are also based on a gigabyte fee.


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13 Responses to “Electronic Discovery: What is a review platform?”

  1. Electronic Discovery: How does a review platform work? « Data - Where is it? Says:

    […] review platform can provide a fantastic tool to review a very large volume of documents, allowing interaction […]

  2. Electronic Discovery: What is Linear Review? « Data - Where is it? Says:

    […] “linear review” is a traditional review of documents within an electronic discovery review platform.This means that the legal team, review team, or investigators, will look at one document after […]

  3. Electronic Discovery: Review Platforms « Data - Where is it? Says:

    […] Discovery: Review Platforms Posted on May 4, 2009 by Rob Below is a list of popular review platforms, within the electronic discovery […]

  4. Electronic Discovery: The Benifits of Concept Searching Tools « Data – Where is it? Says:

    […] Review platforms are there to allow law firms, or investigators, to find documents of relevance, through the process of electronic discovery, far far quicker than manual searching and reading paper documents could ever hope for. […]

  5. Forensics: What jobs are there in IT forensics? « Data – Where is it? Says:

    […] So, as the 21st century started so did Electronic Discovery.  For the past 5 years those in electronic discovery industry have been doing, the computer forensics industry will be able to do in the next 5 years. Deal with huge volumes of email data, search it, and mark what is relevant quickly and easily, through a review platform. […]

  6. Electronic Discovery: What is Near Deduplication « Data – Where is it? Says:

    […] Near de-duplication is best described as a fuzzy version of  the standard de-duplication which, in brief, states that if two files are identical then only one needs to be reivewed, i.e. shown in a  review platform. […]

  7. Electronic Discovery: What is a Non Linear Review? « Data – Where is it? Says:

    […] most review platforms could not handle non linear review, only allowing data to be reviewed one document after another […]

  8. Electronic Discovery: Concept Searching Tools « Data – Where is it? Says:

    […] data is loaded into a review, to cull or sort the data, or once the data has been loaded into the review platform to improve the efficency of a […]

  9. Electronic Discovery: iConect adds Concept Searching « Data – Where is it? Says:

    […] Discovery: iConect adds Concept Searching Posted on January 20, 2009 by 585 The review platform iConect has now added concept searching to its […]

  10. Forensics: Computer Forensics – Police or Civil? « Data – Where is it? Says:

    […] companies are able to have hundreds of people reviewing and marking documents, around the world, on the same case, securely, in a live […]

  11. Electronic Discovery: Early Case Assessment « Data – Where is it? Says:

    […] solicitors can have a custodian’s mailbox delivered to their screen, through the wonders of review platforms, over night. This technology meant data could be de-duplicated, filtered, and keyword searched at a […]

  12. What is computer forensics? « Data – Where is it? Says:

    […] are, in short, far more powerful and capable than any of the “computer forensics” tools.  Review platforms, concept searching, near de-duplication, building and displaying social networks, etc; this all […]

  13. Electronic Discovery: Early Case Assessment v Review Platforms « Where is Your Data? Says:

    […] Electronic Discovery: Early Case Assessment v Review Platforms September 17, 2009 — 585 Early Case Assessment: Why not just use a linear review platform? […]


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