The purpose of this paper is to explore the favoured and almost ingrained way of managing groups of documents in systems, specifically in electronic document and records management systems (EDRMS), namely the folder, considered by many users as a sine qua non to any information system.
The most significant barrier to successful implementation of EDRMS is “culture” rather than cost. Implicit is a willingness of users to employ EDRM as their method of choice to achieve such an end. Anecdotal evidence and a real case example are shared to explore the approach to developing virtual folders to meet user requirements and organisational needs.
Staffordshire County Council's EDRMS does not employ folders. To save a document, users associate it with a level in the Council's functional business classification scheme (BCS); this is achieved through a series of “saved searches”. Metadata requirements are embedded within the BCS levels and the user chooses a title and functional association for the record.
This is a way of adopting what exists as standard technology within EDRM systems to satisfy a user need. The vital part is to firstly recognise why the barrier existed in the deployment of a functional classification scheme and further to move beyond the “face value” of why the users performed a particular methodology. More controlled and detailed research is required beyond the work that has been completed.
This paper aims to provoke thought around the need to understand perceptions around documents, records and the systems, in particular EDRM systems, that manage them.
Jones, P. (2008), "The role of virtual folders in developing an electronic document and records management system", Records Management Journal, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 53-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/09565690810858514Download as .RIS
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