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Survey research on tasks and competencies to inform records management education

Sarah A. Buchanan (School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA)
Caroline Stratton (School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA)
Yalin Sun (School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA)
Ankita Chaudhary (Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA)

Records Management Journal

ISSN: 0956-5698

Article publication date: 20 March 2017

2986

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report findings from research conducted to study the everyday work of information professionals, specifically records managers. This paper is a part of the “Research on the Work of 21st Century Information Professionals” study.

Design/methodology/approach

Researchers used the tailored design approach to create and increase response rate of our survey. Survey research methodology facilitated the development, pilot and launch of a survey instrument with a 20-question module specific to records management work.

Findings

The authors discovered the frequency of 11 tasks in records managers’ daily work, as well as how important each of 11 competencies are to their success on the job. Professional development topics and format, job satisfaction, strategies for gaining compliance, desired skills for new hires and curricular recommendations are also presented.

Research limitations/implications

The survey generated 334 responses from records management professionals. This sample was based on graduate alumni, targeted professional groups and snowball strategy. Implications from this study include educating doctoral students to study information work and identifying particular areas for strengthening graduate curricula and professional training.

Practical implications

The authors obtained direct insight on what records managers do in their daily work that will inform curricular decision-making.

Originality/value

The study explores an interest in daily work activities through multiple quantifiable data measures to offer nuanced insight on the relationships between different aspects of records management work.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the US Institute of Museum and Library Services, Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program for their generous funding of this research (Award #RE-02-12-0009-12). Thank you to Prof. Lecia Barker for teaching the graduate survey research course in which this paper developed. We also thank the hundreds of records and digital assets managers who took the time to complete our survey and to encourage their colleagues to complete it.

Citation

Buchanan, S.A., Stratton, C., Sun, Y. and Chaudhary, A. (2017), "Survey research on tasks and competencies to inform records management education", Records Management Journal, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 2-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/RMJ-11-2015-0041

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, S. Buchanan, C. Stratton, Y. Sun and A. Chaudhary.

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