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Article

Adrian Cunningham and Margaret Phillips

To review the challenges associated with ensuring the capture and preservation of and long‐term access to government records and publications in the digital age and to…

Abstract

Purpose

To review the challenges associated with ensuring the capture and preservation of and long‐term access to government records and publications in the digital age and to describe how libraries and archives in Australia are responding to the challenge.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature‐ and case‐study‐based conceptual analysis of what makes government online information so vulnerable and initiatives at the National Library of Australia and the National Archives of Australia.

Findings

Democracy, governance, consultation and participation all depend on the availability of authentic and reliable information. Government agencies as well as educational and research institutions are producing increasingly large volumes of information in digital formats only. While Australia has done more than most countries to date to address the need to identify, collect, store and preserve government publications and public records in digital formats, large amounts of information are still at risk of loss.

Research limitations/implications

Focuses on circumstances and initiatives in the Australian Government.

Practical implications

Librarians and archivists need to become more proactive in influencing the behaviour of government agencies to ensure that important evidence of democratic governance is created and managed in ways that facilitate their accessibility and long‐term preservation.

Originality/value

Emphasises the vital role that information management agencies such as libraries and archives have to play in supporting transparent and accountable governance in the digital age, and explores innovative strategies for ensuring the long‐term preservation of this important documentary heritage material for the use of future generations.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 57 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article

Trudy Huskamp Peterson

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the critical reasons why citizens need government archives, with an elaboration on why managing electronic records is crucial.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the critical reasons why citizens need government archives, with an elaboration on why managing electronic records is crucial.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper offers a philosophical framework that argues that not managing records harms individuals. Examples from several countries are reviewed to find the relevance of the records relationships between people and governments, and the nexus between human rights and archives through an examination of the first three articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is analyzed.

Findings

The paper identifies a strong relationship between human rights and archives and the way lives are reflected in the records in government archives. This reinforces the argument that governments need clearly established and legally empowered archival institutions.

Originality/value

Critical examination of the “I” in government archives is relatively rare in the literature, particularly when linked to the human rights implications of government records. The study is a constructive beginning for further academic discussions to explore this dimension, which in turn is related to both the efficiency of governance and the public trust in government.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

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Article

Zhiying Lian

The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a qualitative study exploring the conditions associated with the creation, preservation and transmission of Shuishu…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a qualitative study exploring the conditions associated with the creation, preservation and transmission of Shuishu archives in China, and the crises today in their preservation and transmission and the reasons behind them. It also proposes activation mechanisms to shift Shuishu archives from jeopardized collective memory to preservable cultural memory.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews and ethnographic fieldwork were conducted over the course of a month in 2015.

Findings

The creation, preservation and transmission of Shuishu archives in the community of the Shui rely upon the community’s closed system. But this system has been broken as a result of modernization and wide use of new media in China. To preserve and transmit Shuishu archives to future generations, there needs to be mutual trust and equitable cooperation between government archives and the Shuishushi. The “cultural consciousness” of the Shui needs to be stimulated, and more members of the Shui and the whole of society need to participate in the preservation and transmission of this distinctive memory.

Practical implications

The study can provide a provocative example for education in preservation and LIS about community culture and archiving, and the preservation of social memory, identity and culture. The activation mechanisms seek to aid in the preservation and transmission of Shuishu archives and other similar community memory.

Originality/value

The study uses semi-structured interviews and ethnographic methodology to develop a rich understanding of the history and the status quo of the preservation and transmission of Shuishu archives. It redefines Shuishu archives and sheds light on the roles government archives should play in the preservation and transmission of Shuishu archives.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article

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…

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

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Article

Xiaomi An, Wenlin Bai, Hepu Deng, Shuyang Sun, Wenrui Zhong and Yu Dong

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between different mechanisms for integrating national archival resources, leading to the development of a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between different mechanisms for integrating national archival resources, leading to the development of a knowledge management-based framework for facilitating the optimal utilization of national archives resources in China.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a mixed-methods approach consisting of a review of existing mechanisms for integrating national archival resources and site visits and interviews for investigating the effectiveness of these mechanisms in real world practices for managing and utilizing national archives resources in China.

Findings

The knowledge management-based framework is shown to be useful for building interdependence, interconnections and interactions between diversified integration mechanisms to meet national, societal and public needs in China. The framework is significant for rearranging the role of knowledge management in collaboration to protect the value of national archives resources as the knowledge asset of a state. It can reengineer the knowledge management activities in communication to share the value of national archives resources as the knowledge asset of a society. Furthermore, the framework can reconfigure knowledge management artifacts in connectivity to increase the value of national archives resources as the knowledge asset of the public.

Research limitations/implications

The review of the related literature is selective rather than comprehensive, and the interviews are based on a self-selected convenience sample, which is rather skewed demographically.

Practical implications

The proposed framework can be used to guide the development of a national strategy for the effective integration of national archives resources to promote a better delivery of public-centric knowledge services in a specific society.

Originality/value

This study provides a knowledge management framework for the effective integration of national archives resources toward their optimal utilization. It contributes to the examination of the role of different integration mechanisms in interactive knowledge management processes and the advancement of academic debate on the effectiveness of these mechanisms for the integration of national archives resources to facilitate their optimal utilization in China.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article

Sarah Horton

The purpose of this paper is to review how the role of the local authority archive service in the UK has developed, and the implications of the requirement for public…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review how the role of the local authority archive service in the UK has developed, and the implications of the requirement for public sector bodies to demonstrate value in relation to concepts such as social capital, for the way in which services are promoted, evaluated and delivered.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of literature (1919‐2006) is synthesized to provide a perspective on archive service development, theories of social capital and public value, and government policy, as a means of identifying the implications of current government agendas for archive service delivery. The findings are presented in sections addressing: the context of archive service provision; social capital and government policy; the role of the archive service in meeting government agendas; and the need for services to demonstrate public value.

Findings

Provides information about the context of archive service provision, and how services have responded to government agendas within an operational environment which has seen a renewed emphasis on the archive domain within government policy and in terms of structural development since 1997. Considers the applicability of thinking on social capital and public value to service provision. Recognises the implications of the low profile of the archive domain to the capacity of services to demonstrate public value in these terms.

Research limitations/implications

Commentary focuses on the local authority context of archive service provision, within England and Wales.

Originality/value

Brings together information from different sources in making explicit the need for archive services, as with libraries and museums, to respond to government priorities.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 58 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

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Article

Proscovia Svärd

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the long-term preservation challenges that the Swedish private archives are faced with. In as much as they offer a complement to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the long-term preservation challenges that the Swedish private archives are faced with. In as much as they offer a complement to the public archives and hence offer a nuanced national narrative, they lack both financial and human resources to effectively deal with the digital information management environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Participatory Action Research (PAR) was used to identify the challenges of long-term preservation together with the six private archives institutions that were involved in the collaboration. The collaboration was financially facilitated by the Södertörn University. PAR is defined as a systematic investigation, with the collaboration of those affected by the issue being studied, for the purposes of education and taking action or effecting social change. What is distinctive of PAR is the active involvement of people whose lives are affected by the phenomenon under study.

Findings

The private archival institutions face long-term preservation challenges such as lack of a digital repository that would facilitate the capture, organization and management of digital records that are of different formats and in a dispersed environment. There are no stringent legal requirements to facilitate the creation and management of the records in a standardized way and the institutions fear that imposing such requirements might deter their clients from depositing archival materials with them. The institutions will also need to espouse the business-oriented archival descriptions where private organizations are concerned to identify relevant archival materials and to promote participatory archival descriptions that would allow the creators to tag their records with metadata. Digital information requires a proactive approach, that is, planning for the long-term preservation of the information before it is created. Private archives need to invest in education packages that will facilitate their clientele’s understanding of the challenges of digital long-term preservation.

Research limitations/implications

The findings cannot be generalized to all private archival institutions, as it was only six institutions that participated, but the issues discussed are relevant to most archival institutions.

Practical implications

A lot of research has been carried out in the area of long-term preservation, but researchers have not paid enough attention to the woes of the private archives. To sustain a nuanced national narrative, the private archives need all the support to be able to live up to their mission of preserving archives of the private sector that are not captured by the public archival institutions. This is important in a pluralistic society such as Sweden. Highlighting the challenges might enable the institutions to work towards finding common challenges.

Social implications

The private archives are part of Sweden’s national heritage. Their preservation matters to the society as a whole and to enhancing the voices of the underrepresented.

Originality/value

The literature review revealed that not much research has paid attention to the challenges being faced by the private archives. This paper, therefore, contributes to this knowledge gap.

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Article

Yaolin Zhou, Jingqiong Sun and Jiming Hu

The purpose of this paper is to identify the leading topics and developmental trends of archival information resource research in China by visualizing the intellectual…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the leading topics and developmental trends of archival information resource research in China by visualizing the intellectual structure and evolution patterns of archival information resource research.

Design/methodology/approach

This study took China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) as the data source and extracted keywords from relevant articles in archival information resource research as the sample. First, the frequency and co-occurrence of keywords were calculated by using SCI2. Second, this study analyzed the co-word network indicators by using Pajek. Then, topic community detection was conducted by using a VOS viewer, as well as the visualization of intellectual structures. Next, this study developed a graphical mapping of the evolution of research topics over time by using Cortext.

Findings

The research topics of archival information resources in China were unbalanced but distinct. Researchers focus on the construction and utilization of archival information resource, which consist of five evident research directions. The phenomena of fusion and differentiation coexist in research topic evolution. There were both continuities of traditional research and innovations in emerging research. The archival information resource research tended to be systematized and extended, reflecting the vertical and horizontal extension of the research content.

Originality/value

Based on a large number of previous studies, this study adopted quantitative methods to reveal the intellectual structure and evolution patterns of archival information resource research in China, providing guidance for researchers and institutions to grasp research status and developmental trends.

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Article

M. ROBERT‐HENRI BAUTIER

Avant‐propos sous les auspices de l'Institut international de Coopération intellectuelle, paraissait en 1934 le t. I, consacré à l'Europe, du Guide international des

Abstract

Avant‐propos sous les auspices de l'Institut international de Coopération intellectuelle, paraissait en 1934 le t. I, consacré à l'Europe, du Guide international des Archives. Le questionnaire envoyé à tous les États européens comportait sous les points 4 et 6 les questions suivantes: ‘Existe‐t‐il un guide général pour les diverses catégories d'Archives ou des guides particuliers pour l'une ou l'autre d'entre elles?’ et ‘Existe‐t‐il des catalogues imprimés, des publications tant officielles que privées, susceptibles de constituer un instrument complet de référence pour tout ou partie importante des fonds d'archives?’ Les réponses des divers pays à ces questions, malgré leur caractère très inégal, ont fait du Guide international un bon instrument d'information générale sur les Archives. Malheureusement les circonstances ont empêché la publication du volume consacré aux États non européens, tandis que le temps qui s'écoulait tendait à rendre périmés les renseignements fournis sur les Archives européennes.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article

Carl Newton

Examines the archives held by the voluntary sector and the role the sector could play in future provision for English archives in general in light of the new fund from the…

Abstract

Examines the archives held by the voluntary sector and the role the sector could play in future provision for English archives in general in light of the new fund from the Government enabling the voluntary sector to expand its operations in the delivery of public services. Concludes that a new methodology will be needed and that it must be based on an inclusive and even‐handed approach to the workers in all the different sectors.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

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