When relational databases (RDBs) appeared there was a deal of confusion about what they were. Everybody now knows that they are only a collection of very simple records in ‘card‐indexed’ files, where anything is automatically cross‐referenced to everything else, but as late as 1986 I had to explain to the MD of a software house that his product was not relational even though it allowed cross‐references to be built between files. Relational databases provide automatic cross‐referencing and keep it up to date. They also check it is not self‐contradictory, or in RDB jargon, ensure it has ‘referential integrity’.
Sometime in late 1987 I asked a colleague for specialist advice in text management software and commented that he ought to write down the overview of text management systems which emerged. It seems that other people were telling him the same thing and he took us at our word. Text Retrieval & Document Databases by J Ashford & P Willett (Chartwell‐Bratt £6.95) is the result, a review of the history and present status of text management and a description of the logical basis of current products. And it sparked this article.
A press announcement that the Sybase database management system (DBMS) is available on the latest SUN workstation with 40 MIPS (million instructions per second) is the latest of many over the last few months to help sketch the shape of computing for the '90s. The picture is one of open systems software operating new client‐server DBMS's which refine the basic relational database (RDB), and which provide structured data and images and free text from one source via local area networks or integrated service data networks on normal telephone circuits.
The closed eye test is useful in evaluating all the procedural paraphernalia needed for running an IT department. You close your eyes and visualise a meeting about one of the problems which you suspect will shortly climb in over the transom. If you can't “see” the meeting following the advised procedures, they won't work.
One difficulty in planning IT applications is the speed with which new technology invalidates the plans. Planning would be difficult enough if it were possible to…
One difficulty in planning IT applications is the speed with which new technology invalidates the plans. Planning would be difficult enough if it were possible to visualise the future, but it is almost impossible to predict where technology is going.
This paper aims to introduce the topic of explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) and reports on the outcomes of an interdisciplinary workshop exploring it. It reflects…
This paper aims to introduce the topic of explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) and reports on the outcomes of an interdisciplinary workshop exploring it. It reflects on XAI through the frame and concerns of the recordkeeping profession.
This paper takes a reflective approach. The origins of XAI are outlined as a way of exploring how it can be viewed and how it is currently taking shape. The workshop and its outcomes are briefly described and reflections on the process of investigating and taking part in conversations about XAI are offered.
The article reinforces the value of undertaking interdisciplinary and exploratory conversations with others. It offers new perspectives on XAI and suggests ways in which recordkeeping can productively engage with it, as both a disruptive force on its thinking and a set of newly emerging record forms to be created and managed.
The value of this paper comes from the way in which the introduction it provides will allow recordkeepers to gain a sense of what XAI is and the different ways in which they are both already engaging and can continue to engage with it.
The purpose of this paper is to examine critically the history of Records Management Journal on its 20th anniversary; it aims to review and analyse its evolution and its…
The purpose of this paper is to examine critically the history of Records Management Journal on its 20th anniversary; it aims to review and analyse its evolution and its contribution in the context of the development of the profession and the discipline of records management. The paper seeks to provide the context and justification for the selection of eight articles previously published in the journal to be reprinted in this issue.
The paper utilises the contents of Records Management Journal (1989 to date) to present a thematic analysis of topics covered and their development over time, and statistical data (from 2002 to date) provided by the current publisher to assess quantitatively the use and impact of the journal worldwide. The paper then compares this with a series of key turning points in the records management profession.
There is evidence that the initial aspiration for the journal to make an important and long‐lasting impact on the field of records management in the UK has been exceeded because its readers and contributors are global. The volume of downloads has continued to increase year‐on‐year and the journal appears to be the only peer‐reviewed journal in the world in the records management discipline. The journal has responded to and kept abreast of the records management agenda.
The analysis is based on the work of the current and immediate past Editor and did not seek the views of its Editorial Board members, readers or contributors to the journal.
Looking to the future, the journal must seek to widen its impact on other key stakeholders in managing information and records – managers, information systems designers, information creators and users – as well as records professionals. It must also continue to develop the scope of its content, whilst maintaining its focus on managing records, and must keep pace with technology developments. It should try to influence the professional agenda, be controversial, stimulate debate and encourage change. And it should remain a quality resource.
The paper provides a unique critical analysis of the journal, its history and contribution to the development of records management, on its 20th anniversary of publication.