Electronic Records Research 1997: Resource Materials

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

Bibliography on Electronic Records

Use: Reference, Access, FOI, and Legal Issues

Boss, Amelia H. "Electronic Data Interchange Agreements: Private Contracting Toward a Global Environment." Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business 13 (1992): 31-70.
The author discusses the problems arising from the increase in electronic international business transactions in relation to the development of international and domestic legal systems. As the author points out, "a prerequisite for the formation of any contract is the movement or exchange of information." [32] However, existing legal systems "have not focused on the movement of information, the rules governing that movement, or the commercial attributes of information as property in its own right." [33] As a result, Boss proceeds to examine the issue of interchange agreements in terms of: technical requirements, verification issues, third party issues, storage and audit trails, authentification issues, security, confidentiality, and data protections. She also reviews legal issues, such as: validity and enforceability, evidentiary value, liability, contract formation, terms and conditions, and disputes. The author ends with a discussion of the implications resulting from the issue of interchange agreements.

Brown, Thomas Elton. "The Freedom of Information Act in the Information Age: The Electronic Challenge to the People's Right to Know." American Archivist 58, no. 2 (March 1995): 202-211.
(Abstract Provided).
While the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees the American people access to information in federal records, the legislation predates the proliferation of computers in federal agencies. While FOIA applies to information in electronic records, the full impact of FOIA on computerized records is not clear. This paper traces the case law on how FOIA relates to the records of the new technology, discusses the unanswered questions, and outlines three possible scenarios for the resolution of these public issues.

Cline, Nancy M. "Local or Remote Access: Choices and Issues." Electronic Access to Information: A New Service Paradigm, eds. Win-Shin S. Chiang, and Nancy E. Elkington, 17-24. Palo Alto, CA, 23 July 1993. Mountain View, CA: The Research Libraries Group, Inc., January 1994.
(Abstract provided).
Dean Cline brought the participants' attention from the philosophical to the practical. She considered the choices and issues involved in selecting different modes of access to information. She suggested several strategies in making the right choices and emphasized the importance of focusing firmly on the needs of the user.

Cunningham, Adrian. "The Archival Management of Personal Records in Electronic Form: Some Suggestions." Archives and Manuscripts 22, no. 1 (1994): 94-105.
(Abstract provided).
The archival management of electronic personal records is notably absent from the increasing literature on electronic record keeping. This is a reflection of the fact that the professional impetus to develop strategies to manage electronic records has come from government or organizational archives sector rather than from archivists working within the historical manuscripts tradition. Either by design or omission personal records have rarely entered the conceptual framework being explored by influential writers on electronic record keeping matters. This article outlines and analyses the issues surrounding the keeping of electronic personal records, suggests some strategies that personal records practitioners could consider adopting, and challenges both theorists and practitioners to open up this aspect of the electronic record keeping debate.

Downing, Kathryn M. "How Fair is Use: When is Publishing More Like Broadcasting?" Electronic Access to Information: A New Service Paradigm, eds. Win-Shin S. Chiang, and Nancy E. Elkington, 33-40. Palo Alto, CA, 23 July 1993. Mountain View, CA: The Research Libraries Group, Inc., January 1994.
(Abstract provided).
Downing urged the participants to reexamine the "fair use" doctrine in the context of promoting greater access to information. She suggested that the real issue of copyright was one of economics and cited the highly successful copyright/licensing program used by the music industry as a possible model for solving the dilemma. To remove real and perceived access barriers, it is essential that publishers, librarians, and other stakeholders get together and begin a dialogue as a matter of priority.

Emmerson, Peter. "Computer-generated Records: Some Legal Aspects." Computer Generated Records: Proceedings of a Seminar, ed. Michael Cook, 32-39. University of Liverpool, 26 September 1986. England: Society of Archivists, 1987.
Emmerson describes the British Laws that address issues related to the legal admissability of electronic records including: the Criminal Evidence Act, 1965; the Civil Evidence Act, 1968; and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, 1984. He outlines possible computer problems (hardware, software or transmission malfunctioning) that could jeopardize the accuracy and validity of electronic records.

Garrett, John R., and Joseph S. Alen. Toward a Copyright Management System for Digital Libraries, Copyright Clearance Center, Inc., 1991.
(Abstract taken from report).
The report outlines four specific scenarios describing different structures for organizing and operating digital libraries, describes how contractual arrangements might be utilized to manage copyright in each environment, and reviews major issues raised by each model. There is also an extensive bibliography.

Gliniecki, Judith Y., and Ceda G. Ogada. "The Legal Acceptance of Electronic Documents, Writings, Signatures, and Notices in International Transportation: A Challenge in the Age of Global Electronic Commerce." Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business 13 (June 1992): 117-158.
The authors' study a set of international conventions from 1924 to 1989 to determine "how these conventions and instruments have approached the issue of legal acceptance of electronic messaging." [122] They find a "clear increase in the level of acceptance of electronic means over time," [126] with the earliest language coming in the early 1970s and such language a standard by another decade. The authors conclude that this acceptance is a factor of the nature of the treaty and the increasing use of electronic information technology.

Humeston, Helen. "Archives, Optical Disks, and the Copyright Act of 1976." Archival Issues 18, no. 1 (1993): 15-30.
(Abstract provided).
Recently many archival repositories have begun or are planning to copy portions of their holdings onto optical disks. This article contends that, depending upon the copyrighted status of the material, using computer-assisted reprography might infringe upon the author's copyrights. This interpretation is based upon an analysis of the provisions of Title 17 of the United States Code, the legislative and judicial case history of copyrights, and the final report of the National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copy-righted Works. Extensive bibliographic citations are provided.

"Interagency Conference on Public Access." Government Information Quarterly 9, no. 2 (1992): 187-198.
(Abstract taken from document).
On May 20-21, 1991, the first interagency conference on public access was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at Solomons, Maryland. The conference offered departmental and agency officials an opportunity to discuss issues surrounding public access to government information, particularly that which is collected or generated and maintained in electronic format, and to share experiences to date. Congress is increasingly requiring that specific databases generated by an agency for its own use be made available to the general public electronically, as with the EPA Toxins Release Inventory (TRI). In addition, departments and agencies are more aware of their obligations to make information available in the format in which they are using it. Public interest groups, professional associations, academia, libraries and the press are demanding access to government information in electronic format, through fear that movement to electronic media will eventually limit access to those with the means of accessing it. This, in turn, raises a fear that the citizen may not have access to the information necessary to exercise his or her rights effectively in a democratic society.

Johnson, Gregory L. "Elecronic Contracts: Are They Enforceable Under Article 2 of the U.C.C.?" Software Law Journal IV (1991): 247-269.
(Abstract taken from Introduction).
This Comment will focus on whether exchanges using EDI [Electronic Data Interchange] become legal, enforceable, and binding contracts subject to Article 2 of the U.C.C. First, this Comment will discuss the development of EDI and its premises of traditional or "paper" contract formation under the U.C.C. Third, this Comment will address whether EDI transactions satisfy U.C.C. Section 2-201, the Statue of Frauds writing requirement. Fourth, this Comment will discuss the relationship of the parol evidence rule, U.C.C. Section 2-202, with EDI transactions. Fifth, this Comment will focus on "the battle of forms," U.C.C. Section 2-207, as it relates to EDI transactions. Finally this Comment concludes that Article 2 of the U.C.C., although initially drafted prior to the advent of the commercial use of computer technology, was masterfully drafted and brings EDI transactions within its scope. This Comment suggests that an effort to update the U.C.C., "Official Comments" should be drafted to include EDI technology. This update would reduce ambiguity and quiet debate over whether the U.C.C. should undergo a major revision because of EDI's impact on business transactions.

Kahin, Brian. Property and Propriety in the Digital Environment: Towards an Examination Copy License, EDUCOM, Princeton, NJ, 1988.
(Abstract taken from Introduction).
This paper addresses the particular problem of facilitating faculty examination of academic software -- of balancing ease of access with suitable precautions against abuse -- to ensure that the true power of computer software for teaching and research is widely recognized and duly appreciated. [The author] looks first at copy-right law and current licensing practices to explain the problems of disseminating examination copies. To accommodate different distribution practices, two model examination copy licenses are proposed -- each of which is conceived as a standard for shared expectations and mutual respect between producers and users.

Kahin, Brian. "Scholarly Communication in the Network Environment: Issues of principle, policy and Practice." The Electronic Library 10, no. 5 (October 1992): 275-286.
The author examines the legal and ethical issues involved in the development of digitized information and growth in research networking. Kahin's intention is to encourage researchers involved in the creation and dissemination of scholarly information to arrive at a consensus from which policies and practices could be derived to deal with "first, those [issues] arising from the greatly expanded opportunities and relationships within informal communication, pre-publication and formal publication; second, post-publication issues associated with the network as a distribution environment." [275].

Nilsen, Kirsti. "Canadian Government Electronic Information Policy." Government Information Quarterly 10, no. 2 (1993): 203-220.
The most important aspect of this essay is the author's contention that between 1983 and 1987 there has been a shift from the public's right to government information to government information as a marketable commodity. Nilsen argues that in the "present government climate of restraint and cost recovery, of deficit reduction and income generation," that the interpretation of laws will probably impair access by the public to government information. [217].

Ritter, Jeffrey B. "Defining International Electronic Commerce." Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business 13 (1992): 3-30.
As electronic commerce, more particularly electronic data interchange (EDI), continues in the direction of becoming the preferred method for doing business throughout the world, the need to overcome legal obstacles has emerged as a necessity -- if organizations are to feel confident in using such systems. Ritter's article "represents an exploratory effort toward presenting a functional description of the essential aspects of international electronic commerce. An attempt is made to emphasize particularly those features which have possible significance to those law reform efforts which are underway and those which can be anticipated within the foreseeable future. However, at the outset and in order to define better the focus of the broader task of legally facilitating electronic commerce, some thoughts are offered regarding how the continuing evolution of information technologies interacts with the processes of law reform." [5].

Samuel, Jean. "Electronic Mail -- Information Exchange or Information Loss?" Electronic Information Resources and Historians: European Perspectives, Eds. Seamus Ross, and Edward Higgs, 57-72. The British Academy, London, 25 June 1926. St Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae Verlag, 1993.
(Abstract provided).
After defining the domain of electronic mail -- business communication networks, bulletin boards/listservers, and voice mail -- the paper investigates the issues of use. It covers the advantages and disadvantages to users, records managers and archivists. These are issues that include the legal status, audit trails, proof of receipt, version control and provenance. using an example of e-mail the paper demonstrates the sorts of data that are lost to history. It concludes by detailing retention issues and suggesting approaches to the issues made possible by this type of media.

Tannenbaum, Eric. "The perils of Use." Computer Generated Records: Proceedings of a Seminar, ed. Michael Cook, 47-53. University of Liverpool, 26 September 1986. England: Society of Archivists, 1987.
This paper focuses on use as an indicator of an archives' success. Tannenbaum draws on the experience of the ESRC Data Archives, for which usage (perhaps) acts as the primary indicator of its raison d'etre, to show the costs entailed in "looking good" according to this criterion. Specifically, the paper argues that the necessity of demonstrating the use made of its wares forces an archive to divert its attention from its traditional role as a place where historic records are securely retained for reference when required.

Trubow, George B. "National Information Policy and the Management of Personal Records." Software Law Journal 2, no. 1 (December 1987): 101-112.
Trubow's article focuses on data protection law, particularly as it pertains to personal information. In doing so, he briefly reviews selected events that led to discussions on fair information practices, as well as legislation enacted as a result of these discussions, such as the Federal Privacy Act of 1974, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (1970), and the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978, among others. In addition, the author provides a brief discussion on European privacy protection initiatives. Finally, a "checklist" is included that identifies twelve basic information management questions that must be considered in order to develop data protection laws.

Walden, Ian. "Electronic Documentation and the Law." Electronic Information Resources and Historians: European Perspectives, Eds. Seamus Ross, and Edward Higgs, 119-133. The British Academy, London, 25 June 1926. St Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae Verlag, 1993.
(Abstract provided).
This paper will review the range of statutory regulations which impact the means by which data is stored; the conditions under which such storage must occur and the rules regarding the release of such information. In particular, it will focus on data protection and intellectual property implications for electronic record-keeping.

Last Modified: 8/14/96 [kjb]

Bibliography on Electronic Records

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