The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a research project that analyzed records management (RM) and electronic records management (ERM) course syllabi from North American archival studies’ programs. By identifying the convergences and divergences of the topics and literature found within the syllabi, the authors sought to understand the relationship between the two courses and gain insight about how these courses continue to serve as an integral component of archival studies education.
The paper is based on a qualitative analysis of 23 RM and 12 ERM course syllabi from 26 academic institutions from North America. The research examined three different aspects of the syllabi: textbooks, required articles and weekly topics. The syllabi were analyzed as separate data sets (RM syllabi and ERM syllabi), which was followed by a comparative analysis of the two types of syllabi.
The findings of this study reveal that RM, ERM and (to a lesser extent) DA (digital archives) knowledge as represented in archival education converges in some course contents but diverges in others. Archival educators should pay close attention to overlapping areas so that the courses can better complement each other and advance knowledge representation within archival studies.
This study only considered graduate-level programs in the USA and Canada. The study did not include syllabi or instructional guides from associate-level programs or professional organizations such as the International Certification of Records Managers or Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) International.
The results of this study lead the authors to present two different approaches for how RM and ERM knowledge may be incorporated into archival curriculum.
This is the first research project to analyze RM and ERM syllabi with regards to the enhancement of records and information management education and archival curriculum development.
The authors would like to thank the reviewer for his/her feedback which significantly contributed to the improvement of this article. Additionally, the authors wish to thank Sukwon Lee, PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies, for his assistance in collecting, organizing and parsing the syllabi data.
Force, D.C. and Zhang, J. (2016), "Knowledge discovery from within: An examination of records management and electronic records management syllabi", Records Management Journal, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 259-278. https://doi.org/10.1108/RMJ-11-2015-0034Download as .RIS
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