Anecdotal evidence about electronic document management systems implies that they sound good, but implementation is difficult. This paper seeks to utilise the assertions of Hughes and King that the document is a social artefact and to ask what this might mean for electronic document management systems.
After analysing the layers of information contained in documents, the study argues that documents are “wrapping” for content that ensures the provision of social knowledge required for interpretation of the document's content.
Some information systems writers argue that the need for social knowledge in a task negates the possibility of the automation of it. So it can be argued that the “electronic document” is an oxymoron; that only part of what we know to be a document can be provided electronically. The paper concludes that greater success might be achieved by discarding the idea of electronically delivering documents and instead focusing on the delivery of content.
The article explores the fundamental nature of electronic systems and the resulting implications for the form and structure of electronic objects within such systems – a significant issue, which is transferable to the record‐keeping arena.
Forbes‐Pitt, K. (2006), "A document for document's sake: A possible account for document system failures and a proposed way forward", Records Management Journal, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 13-20. https://doi.org/10.1108/09565690610654756Download as .RIS
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