Electronic Records Research 1997: Resource Materials

Compilation Copyright, Archives & Museum Informatics 1998
Article Copyright, Author

Bibliography on Electronic Records

Document Management & Metadata

Barry, Richard E. "Electronic Document and Records Management Systems: Towards a Methodology for Requirements Definitions." Information Management and Technology 27, no. 6 (November 1994): 251-256.
This paper discusses steps taken to develop a simple framework for thinking about and articulating functional requirements for electronic documents and records management systems. Through examination of both the life cycle of documents and the domains from which they emanate, Barry states that "the 'management' of efficient documents, including records, may be facilitated through a clear statement of functional requirements for 'electronic document management systems (EDMS).'" [1] However, he points out that an EDMS alone does not fully satisfy efficient record keeping requirements, rather an electronic records management system (ERMS) needs to be integrated into EDMS functional requirements.

Duff, Wendy. "Will Metadata Replace Archival Description: A Commentary." Archivaria 39 (March 1995): 33-38.
(Abstract Provided).
Heather MacNeil and David Wallace have provided two cogent and insightful discussions on the pros and cons of metadata replacing archival description. On the surface, the two papers seem to be advocating two opposing points of view. heather MacNeil suggests that archival description should be performed by archivists after records have outlived their usefulness to their creator. David Wallace posits that description at the end of the life cycle causes backlogs, and the loss of vital contextual information. To solve these problems he recommends that creators or systems generate descriptions during records creation and use or what has been traditionally called the active stage of the life cycle. These two papers provide an excellent opportunity to explore this vital issue.

Electronic Data Management Sub-Committee for the Information Exchange Steering Committee. Finding Information Needles in Government Haystacks: A Report on Electronic Document Management in Australian Government Agencies, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, Australia, August 1991.
This report concerns the issue of developing a "coordinated approach" to electronic records management. Provides recommendations for a "supporting architecture" across the Australian government and steps that specific government agencies need to take, such as the designation of an agency staff member to coordinate such work and the adoption of recognizable information technology standards.

Giguere, Mark. "Philadelphia Electronic Records Project -- Phase I Update." The Philadelphia Record 1, no. 2 (September 1995): 9-10.
Under the guidance of the City of Philadelphia's Electronic Records Group (ERG), the Philadelphia Electronic Records project (PERP) provides perhaps one of the most significant case studies regarding the implementation of elements of the Metadata Model for Business Acceptable Communications developed by the Pittsburgh Project. This article provides a synopsis of the first phase of this project.

Leeuwenburg, Jeff. "Metadata and Better Data." Electronic Records Project Conference, Canberra, Australia, 22 May 1992. Canberra, Australia: Australian Archives, Dept. of Administrative Series, Unpublished paper 22 May 1992.
This paper reviews different technical options for archiving electronic data.

Lincoln, Thomas L., Daniel J. Essin, and Willis H. Ware. "The Electronic Medical Record: A Challenge for Computer Science to Develop Clinically and Socially Relevant Computer Systems to Coordinate Information for Patient Care and Analysis." Information Society 9, no. 2 (1993): 157-188.
The authors argue that the medical establishment still has not been able to move as close as needed to an electronic medical information system that meets regulatory, social, and medical needs of patients. The now established right of the patient to have his or her medical record available to his or her health care provider through the patient's life along with the richer diagnostic information is still a difficult problem to resolve. The authors describe the needs/functions for a medical information system, including costs information, conditions description, access to medical knowledge, identification of rules/guidelines to determine appropriate action, coordination of medical actions, and capture of learning from the diagnostic process.

MacNeil, Heather. "Metadata Strategies and Archival Description: Comparing Apples to Oranges." Archivaria 39 (March 1995): 22-32.
(Abstract Provided).
Advocates of a "metadata systems approach" to the description of electronic records argue that metadata's capacity to provide descriptive information about the context of electronic records creation will obviate, or reduce significantly, the need for traditional archival description. This article examines the assumptions about the nature of archival description and of metadata on which metadata strategies are grounded, for the purposes of ascertaining the following: whether the skepticism concerning the capacity of traditional description to meet the challenges posed by the so-called "second generation" of electronic records is justified; whether the use of metadata as archival description is consistent with their nature and purpose; and whether metadata are capable of serving archival descriptive purposes.

New York, State Archives and Records Administration, Records Advisory Services. Managing Records in E-Mail Systems, (DRAFT - last updated on February 27, 1995).
(Abstract taken from Introduction).
This booklet provides practical guidance to program managers, network administrators, and end users aimed at ensuring that e-mail messages, like other records, are identified, made accessible, and retained as long as needed to support government business and satisfy record keeping requirements. The appendices include an example of an e-mail policy, guidelines for e-mail etiquette, and a selected bibliography.

Parer, Dagmar, and Keith Parrott. "Management Practices in the Electronic Records Environment." Archives and Manuscripts 22, no. 1 (May 1994): 106-122.
(Abstract provided).
The adoption of technology within organizations has resulted in the creation of electronic records which are managed in varying degrees dependent upon the professional background of the manager responsible for them. Organizations need a common approach to the management of electronic records to satisfy good information management as well as to meet basic accountability requirements and specific legislative concerns. This article describes three management approaches to electronic records and assesses if archival interests are addressed in each. It suggests utilizing Information Management methodology to devise an organization-wide Information Management Plan, incorporating records management and archival requirements, to facilitate the identification of records of value to the organizations to be managed as any other corporate asset.

Stein, Eric W., and Vladmir Zwass. "Actualizing Organizational Memory with Information Systems." Information Systems Research 6, no. 2 (June 1995): 85-117.
(Abstract Provided).
Preservation of organizational memory becomes increasingly important to organizations as it is recognized that experiential knowledge is a key to competitiveness. With the development and widespread availability of advanced information technologies (IT), information systems become a vital part of this memory. We analyze existing conceptualizations and task-specific instances of IT-supported organizational memory. We then develop a model for an organizational memory information system (OMIS) that is rooted in the construct of organizational effectiveness. The framework offers four subsystems that support activities leading to organizational effectiveness. These subsystems rest on the foundation of five mnemonic functions that provide for acquisition, retention, maintenance search, and retrieval of information. We then identify the factors that will limit the success of OMIS implementation, although full treatment of this issue is outside the scope of the paper. To initiate a research agenda on OMIS, we propose an initial contingency framework for OMIS development depending on the organization's environment and its life-cycle stage, and discuss the relationships between an OMIS and organizational learning and decision making.

Wallace, David A. "Managing the Present: Metadata as Archival Description." Archivaria 39 (March 1995): 11-21.
(Abstract Provided).
Traditional archival description undertaken at the terminal stages of the life cycle has had two deleterious effects on the archival profession. First, it has resulted in enormous, and in some cases, insurmountable processing backlogs. Second, it has limited our ability to capture crucial contextual and structural information throughout the life cycle of record-keeping systems that are essential for fully understanding the fonds in our institutions. This shortcoming has resulted in an inadequate knowledge base for appraisal and access provision. Such complications will only become more magnified as distributed computing and complex software applications continue to expand throughout organizations. A metadata strategy for archival description will help mitigate these problems and enhance the organizational profile of archivists who will come to be seen as valuable organizational knowledge and accountability managers.

Wallace, David A. "Metadata and the Archival Management of Electronic Records: A Review." Archivaria 36 (1993): 87-110.
(Abstract provided).
Several of the most influential and prolific electronic records archivists have advocated a metadata systems approach to the management of electronic records. This essay introduces the metadata concept and reviews both its context and its content in the "second generation" of electronic records archives and scholarship. These writings theorize that a metadata systems approach will affect archival appraisal and preservation, and fundamentally alter arrangement, description, and reference. A survey of four leading electronic records programmes examines their metadata applications and underscores the value of this approach for other archivists. It is concluded that a metadata systems approach will become the basic strategy for archivists seeking to manage electronic records systems. To be successful, this strategy will require archivists to become proactive, develop new technological skills, and commit themselves to multi disciplinary collaborations.

Zweig, Ronald. "Beyond Content: Electronic Fingerprints and the Use of Documents." Electronic Information Resources and Historians: European Perspectives, Eds. Seamus Ross, and Edward Higgs, 251-259. The British Academy, London, 25 June 1926. St Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae Verlag, 1993.
(Abstract provided).
Documents are generated within organizations. The record they process of decision making, policy information and implementation which are also social events -- things done by people acting together. The manner in which organizations are structured and function, that is the social context in which documents are generated, are no less significant than the content of the documents stored in archives. Conventional archives are excellent repositories for documentary content, but retain meager records of the way documents are generated and used. Electronic office systems create important information on the context in which documents were generated and used. This information can be a major resources for historians if it is retained. However, existing office systems mimic conventional office filing practices and the fingerprints of usage are lost.

Last Modified: 8/14/96 [kjb]

Bibliography on Electronic Records

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