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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2019

Lale Özdemir

This paper aims to assess how prepared public bodies are for the transfer of born-digital records to the National Archives (TNA) of the UK in line with the reduction in…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess how prepared public bodies are for the transfer of born-digital records to the National Archives (TNA) of the UK in line with the reduction in the transfer rule from 30 to 20 years.

Design/methodology/approach

The change in the transfer rule means that records of UK public bodies will be transferred to TNA for permanent preservation at 20 years as opposed to 30 years old. This move, which has been described as a major change that is going to be introduced in a manageable and affordable way (20-year rule, The National Archives), will inevitably witness the transfer of born-digital records to the archives much earlier than would have been the case if the change in the transfer rule had not been made. This paper reports on research carried out in the winter of 2017 on the extent to which UK public bodies are prepared for the transfer of born-digital records to TNA. Research was based on a survey of 23 public bodies which included ministries, charities and non-departmental public bodies. The target population was predominantly public bodies that had the highest level of transfer of records to TNA. The justification for this lies in the fact that these bodies, amongst others, transfer the most records to TNA, thus it would be interesting to gain an insight into how prepared these relatively larger public bodies are with regard to born-digital transfer. The remaining public bodies were chosen randomly amongst non-ministerial departments. The primary areas under analysis are plans of public bodies for the transfer of born-digital records, processes for transfer to be undertaken such as selection, appraisal etc., the use of technology in sensitivity review and the trigger date for the transfer of records.

Findings

An analysis of the research findings found that while a few UK public bodies surveyed had transferred datasets within the framework of the TNA Government Datasets (NDAD) initiative or as part of an inquiry, only one public body had transferred other born-digital records to TNA. The findings also reveal that most public bodies are yet to plan for, or to adjust, their current archival processes to take into account the different mind-set and skills required for the transfer of born-digital records. The level of preparedness is therefore limited primarily because public bodies have yet to undertake a transfer of born-digital records to the archives. The research findings also revealed that public bodies had not as yet made adjustments or changes to current practice to take into account the issues relating to the processing of born-digital records prior to transfer.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the research at hand are based on a survey submitted electronically to twenty-three public bodies with the aim of assessing how prepared they are for the transfer of born-digital records to the National Archives (TNA). The survey was sent to 27 public bodies with responses received by 23 public bodies. The survey sent to these bodies comprises eight questions that were deemed to be important in the current digital landscape with regard to the processes involved in the transfer of records, beginning from their creation. Thus, an element of subjectivity exists with regard to the outcome of the research, as the public bodies chosen were guided in prioritising any issues about digital transfer through the questions posed. The research carried out is also limited in that it focuses primarily on ministerial departments (14 of the 23 surveyed) and also constitutes a very small sample of UK public bodies overall. However, the originality of the data obtained through the study carried out by far outweighs the limitations of the research methodology.

Originality/value

This paper highlights that the transfer of born-digital records through original research amongst the 23 public bodies surveyed is not widespread, and that processes and procedures specifically for the management of processes for born-digital records are yet to be implemented. The study concludes that long-term planning for the transfer of born-digital records is yet to be undertaken and that public bodies are more likely to deal with the issue when their digital records are closer to reaching the point of transfer.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 29 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Anthony Cocciolo

– The purpose of this paper is to highlight the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving using a New York Archive Museum (NYAM) as a case.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving using a New York Archive Museum (NYAM) as a case.

Design/methodology/approach

The digital record-keeping practices at NYAM were studied using three data sources: focus groups with staff, totaling 81 individuals, or approximately one-third of all staff; analysis of network file storage; and analysis of digital records in archival storage, or specifically removable media in acid-free archive boxes.

Findings

This case study indicates that the greatest challenges to born-digital institutional archiving are not necessarily technological but social and cultural. Or rather, the challenge is getting individuals to transfer material to a digital archive so that it can undergo the technological transformations needed to ensure its long-term availability. However, transfer is impeded by a variety of factors which can be addressed through education, infrastructure development and proactive appraisal for permanent retention.

Practical implications

This paper highlights the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving, yet notes that these challenges can be overcome by following a multi-pronged approach.

Originality/Value

This paper outlines the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving, which is not often discussed in the literature outside of the context of higher education.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Valerie Johnson, Sonia Ranade and David Thomas

This paper aims to focus on a highly significant yet under-recognised concern: the huge growth in the volume of digital archival information and the implications of this…

2833

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on a highly significant yet under-recognised concern: the huge growth in the volume of digital archival information and the implications of this shift for information professionals.

Design/methodology/approach

Though data loss and format obsolescence are often considered to be the major threats to digital records, the problem of scale remains under-acknowledged. This paper discusses this issue, and the challenges it brings using a case study of a set of Second World War service records.

Findings

TNA’s research has shown that it is possible to digitise large volumes of records to replace paper originals using rigorous procedures. Consequent benefits included being able to link across large data sets so that further records could be released.

Practical implications

The authors will discuss whether the technical capability, plus space and cost savings will result in increased pressure to retain, and what this means in creating a feedback-loop of volume.

Social implications

The work also has implications in terms of new definitions of the “original” archival record. There has been much debate on challenges to the definition of the archival record in the shift from paper to born-digital. The authors will discuss where this leaves the digitised “original” record.

Originality/value

Large volumes of digitised and born-digital records are starting to arrive in records and archive stores, and the implications for retention are far wider than simply digital preservation. By sharing novel research into the practical implications of large-scale data retention, this paper showcases potential issues and some approaches to their management.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Corinne Rogers

This paper aims to explore a new model of “record” that maps traditional attributes of a record onto a technical decomposition of digital records. It compares the core…

2489

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore a new model of “record” that maps traditional attributes of a record onto a technical decomposition of digital records. It compares the core characteristics necessary to call a digital object a “record” in terms of diplomatics or “evidence” in terms of digital forensics. It then isolates three layers of abstraction: the conceptual, the logical and the physical. By identifying the essential elements of a record at each layer of abstraction, a diplomatics of digital records can be proposed.

Design/methodology/approach

Digital diplomatics, a research outcome of the International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES) project, gives archivists a methodology for analyzing the identity and integrity of digital records in electronic systems and thereby assessing their authenticity (Duranti and Preston, 2008; Duranti, 2005) and tracing their provenance.

Findings

Digital records consist of user-generated data (content), system-generated metadata identifying source and location, application-generated metadata managing the look and performance of the record (e.g., native file format), application-generated metadata describing the data (e.g., file system metadata OS), and user-generated metadata describing the data. Digital diplomatics, based on a foundation of traditional diplomatic principles, can help identify digital records through their metadata and determine what metadata needs to be captured, managed and preserved.

Originality/value

The value and originality of this paper is in the application of diplomatic principles to a deconstructed, technical view of digital records through functional metadata for assessing the identity and authenticity of digital records.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 15 December 2017

Sylvia James

Abstract

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Modern Information Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-525-2

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 March 2019

Cleophas Mutundu Ambira, Henry Nyabuto Kemoni and Patrick Ngulube

This paper is based on the doctoral study conducted in 2016 at the University of South Africa. The purpose of this study was to investigate how the current state of…

2913

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is based on the doctoral study conducted in 2016 at the University of South Africa. The purpose of this study was to investigate how the current state of management of electronic records in Kenya facilitates or undermines implementation of e-government with a view to develop a best-practice framework for management of electronic records in support of e-government.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used the interpretive research paradigm and adopted qualitative research methodology using phenomenological design. Maximum variation sampling was used to identify the research sample for the study.

Findings

The findings established that the general status of management of e-records (MER) in government ministries is inadequately positioned to support e-government; use of e-government in Kenya had grown significantly and more ministries were adopting e-government services; although some initiatives have been undertaken to enhance MER, the existing practices for MER require improvement to ensure they adequately support e-government.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations were access to respondents and the challenge of self-reported data.

Practical implications

Recommendations and a best-practice framework for managing electronic records in support of e-government have been provided. A proposal for implementation of the recommendations on a priority basis has also been provided.

Social implications

The study’s contribution to scholarly works and literature in the field resides in its findings and a framework that can be practically adopted for management of e-records in support of e-government. By establishing the nexus between management of e-records and e-government in Kenya, it is hoped that it will provide input to policymakers to consider records managers as key stakeholders in e-government.

Originality/value

The originality of this study stems from two aspects: original topic and understudied area.

Article
Publication date: 20 May 2020

Tim Hutchinson

This study aims to provide an overview of recent efforts relating to natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning applied to archival processing, particularly…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to provide an overview of recent efforts relating to natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning applied to archival processing, particularly appraisal and sensitivity reviews, and propose functional requirements and workflow considerations for transitioning from experimental to operational use of these tools.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper has four main sections. 1) A short overview of the NLP and machine learning concepts referenced in the paper. 2) A review of the literature reporting on NLP and machine learning applied to archival processes. 3) An overview and commentary on key existing and developing tools that use NLP or machine learning techniques for archives. 4) This review and analysis will inform a discussion of functional requirements and workflow considerations for NLP and machine learning tools for archival processing.

Findings

Applications for processing e-mail have received the most attention so far, although most initiatives have been experimental or project based. It now seems feasible to branch out to develop more generalized tools for born-digital, unstructured records. Effective NLP and machine learning tools for archival processing should be usable, interoperable, flexible, iterative and configurable.

Originality/value

Most implementations of NLP for archives have been experimental or project based. The main exception that has moved into production is ePADD, which includes robust NLP features through its named entity recognition module. This paper takes a broader view, assessing the prospects and possible directions for integrating NLP tools and techniques into archival workflows.

Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Evgenia Vassilakaki and Valentini Moniarou-Papaconstantinou

This paper aims to identify through a systematic review the roles that archivists adopt in a changing archival landscape and to illustrate any similarities between the…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify through a systematic review the roles that archivists adopt in a changing archival landscape and to illustrate any similarities between the roles of archivist and librarians.

Design/methodology/approach

The systematic literature review approach was adopted for the purposes of this research. Specifically, peer-reviewed literature published in English between 2000 and 2015 was considered. The relevant papers were retrieved based on specific search terms run on related databases.

Findings

The analysis showed that the traditional roles of record-keeper and collection manager were still relevant, whereas new ones, namely, digital archivist, archivist as educator and dual archivist/librarian, started to prevail. The technological developments as well as the social and educational changes seemed to have affected the emergence of these new roles, whereas the need for collaboration and communication among archivists, librarians and researchers was evident in many roles, namely, archivist as educator, dual archivist/librarian and archivist as researcher.

Originality/value

This literature review explored the different roles that archivists adopt within their work context and not the archivists’ skills, duties and responsibilities.

Details

Library Review, vol. 66 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 October 2021

Christos Chrysanthopoulos, Ioannis Drivas, Dimitrios Kouis and Georgios Giannakopoulos

University archives (UA) are the bridge between the past and the present and serve as a beacon for highlighting the contribution of academic institutions to society…

Abstract

Purpose

University archives (UA) are the bridge between the past and the present and serve as a beacon for highlighting the contribution of academic institutions to society. Although the UA topic was introduced and formalized in the 1950s, the scientific research interest has increased significantly in the past two decades. This paper aims to provide insights into the UA research topic during the previous 15 years.

Design/methodology/approach

The combination of two well-established methods for performing literature review was deployed, aiming to identify, select and assess the research documents. Based on the selection criteria, 49 documents presenting research efforts around the UA topic were finally examined from the Scopus citation index. The selected studies have been classified into three main topics: strategic management of UA and the derived challenges, the educational contribution of UA and the strategic information systems for UA.

Findings

Some of the main findings are the lack of well-defined administrative policies, the low level of awareness and archival consciousness within the universities, the inadequacy of university archivists’ educational and training background, the need to use UA for building relationships with alumni and society, and finally, the need for metadata standardization by the UA management systems.

Originality/value

As a literature review around UA has not been conducted before, the reader will gain insights into the methods and research designs that other scholars had already applied to designate useful findings and results.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 April 2020

Thomas Sødring, Petter Reinholdtsen and Svein Ølnes

This paper aims to examine the role blockchain can play for record-keeping by exploring what information from a record-keeping system it is possible to publish to a…

1005

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the role blockchain can play for record-keeping by exploring what information from a record-keeping system it is possible to publish to a blockchain. A credible approach is presented, followed by a discussion on both benefits and limitations.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is a combination of theorised possibilities verified with practical software implementation. The basis for the work is relevant record-keeping and blockchain literature.

Findings

The results show that it is possible to separate the formal record keeping structure from content, and this opens for new possibilities when integrating record keeping and block chain technologies. However, the approach does come with some limitations.

Research limitations/implications

The approach is beneficial where there is a record-keeping standard that has a clearly defined metadata model, and that also makes use of globally unique identifiers. Privacy legislation, for example, GDPR, may limit the scope of an implementation of the approach.

Originality/value

The originality lies in presenting an approach whereby a record-keeping standard is analysed, separating structural and content information to publish structural information to a blockchain.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

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