I approached the writing of this paper by trying to reach some tentative conclusions about some of the differences between administrative records and other forms of information. It seems to me that published sources, information digests and management information have as their aim the dissemination of knowledge. This knowledge is directed either at the world at large or at a general, though perhaps specialist, sector of it. Moreover the knowledge is packaged, selected and processed to illustrate a theme, to answer an information requirement or to prove a point. Records, on the other hand, are composed of items of information directed at particular known users or recipients and created in the service of a particular administrative process. They are thus relatively unselfconscious. The case report which documents a particular social work decision does not wish to call attention to itself except as a justification for and record of that decision. It is this specificity and unselfconsciousness which seem to distinguish administrative records from the rest and which give them a unique value.
Whittick, M. (1991), "Types of information in social services departments: client records and organizational records", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 43 No. 11/12, pp. 353-360. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb051235
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