Stephen Doheny-Farina

Stephen Doheny-Farina is Assistant Professor in the Technical Communications Department at Clarkson University. His previous book, Effective Documentation received the 1989 Award for the Best Collection of Essays, the National Council of Teachers of English Awards for Scientific and Technical Communication.

  • Rhetoric, Innovation, Technology

    Rhetoric, Innovation, Technology

    Case Studies of Technical Communication in Technology Transfer

    Stephen Doheny-Farina

    Stephen Doheny-Farina shows that the technical and commercial processes of turning technologies into products are, in significant ways, communication processes.

    Improving the way that technology is transferred from laboratory to marketplace is central to improving American productivity and competitiveness in a global economy. In this provocative analysis, Stephen Doheny-Farina shows that the technical and commercial processes of turning technologies into products are, in significant ways, communication processes. He explores the key role that technical communicators must play in the movement of technology from expert designers and developers to users. Several lengthy case studies illustrate the rhetorical issues involved in technology transfers as well as the rhetorical barriers to their success. Doheny-Farina argues that processes typically called information transfer and technology transfer are not transfers at all but instead are series of personal constructions and reconstructions of knowledge, expertise, and technologies by the participants attempting to adapt technological innovations for social uses.Underscoring the rhetorical nature of any technology transfer, the case studies describe the powerful effect that a startup company's business plan can have on its future (including the many factors that surround the writing of a business plan), the rhetorical barriers to the transfer of an experimental artificial heart from a university research hospital to a biomedical products manufacturer, and two compelling situations that call for the inclusion of technical writers in new product development from its inception. A final chapter focuses on the important elements in the education of technical communicators and an appendix discusses classroom applications and includes a fictional case incorporating issues of intraorganizational barriers to collaboration in the new product development process.

    • Hardcover $12.75
    • Paperback $30.00
  • Effective Documentation

    Effective Documentation

    What We Have Learned from Research

    Stephen Doheny-Farina

    Effective Documentation is a major sourcebook that offers technical writers, editors, teachers, and students of technical communication a wide variety of practical guidelines based on often hard to find research in the usability of printed and electronic media. The book's eighteen chapters provide a wealth of material on such topics of current interest as the writing of design manuals, research in cognitive psychology as applied to the design of user manuals, and the organizing of manuals for hierarchical software systems. Included are chapters by such well known scholars in the field as Philip Rubens, Robert Krull, Judith Ramey, and John Carroll.

    Effective Documentation reviews the advice offered by other "how to produce usable documentation" books, describing the different types of usability research and explaining the inherent biases of each type. It goes beyond the actual design of textual and/or electronic media to look at these designs in context, giving advice on effective management ("good management is a requisite of good writing"), on the relationship between document design and product design, and on how to find out who one's readers really are. Advances in the presentation of textual information are explained, with suggestions on how to improve the usability of individual sentences and the design of entire books. The concluding chapters discuss advances in the design and use of online information and offer valuable insights into the use of graphic information and the development and design of information communicated via electronic media.

    Effective Documentation is included in the Information Systems series, edited by Michael Lesk.

    • Hardcover $70.00
    • Paperback $40.00