A comparative case study on metadata schemes at Swedish governmental agencies

Nils Troselius (Department of Information Technology and Media, Mid Sweden University, Härnösand, Sweden)
Anneli Sundqvist (Department of Information Technology and Media, Mid Sweden University, Härnösand, Sweden)

Records Management Journal

ISSN: 0956-5698

Publication date: 23 March 2012



The purpose of the paper is to study the development and implementation of metadata schemes in Swedish governmental agencies, in order to gain a better understanding of recordkeeping practices in contemporary organisations and of the use of metadata and practical implementation of metadata schemes.


The study is based on two case studies. The data have been collected through qualitative interviews, e‐mail correspondence and analysis of documentary sources, and analysed with help of the records continuum model and the conceptual framework presented in the international standard for metadata, ISO/TS 23081.


The results from this study show that the agencies had similar reasons to develop metadata schemes, namely to established a unitary and consistent description of records, to enhance retrieval and exchange of information, and to provide external users access to records in compliance with the 24/7‐agency vision. The agencies have, however, chosen different approaches to metadata and based their schemes on different models. This has affected the possibility of capturing contextual relations and transactionality, and thus of guaranteeing the evidential properties of records. The agencies are to various extents covering the different aspects of recordkeeping. None of the agencies are, however, acting in all dimensions of the records continuum model.


The paper shows how the records continuum model can be used as an analytical tool in the study of recordkeeping practices. It further contributes with empirical findings to a field where still little research is done. The paper can also be of value to practitioners seeking to develop and implement metadata schemes for records.



Troselius, N. and Sundqvist, A. (2012), "A comparative case study on metadata schemes at Swedish governmental agencies", Records Management Journal, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 7-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/09565691211222063

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