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Article

Frank Upward

This article outlines the development of a records continuum model initially developed as a teaching tool to communicate evidence‐based approaches to archives and records

Abstract

This article outlines the development of a records continuum model initially developed as a teaching tool to communicate evidence‐based approaches to archives and records management. The continuum is being used in Australia as a metaphor to assist in getting records management ‘right’ in recordkeeping environments built around electronic communications, and the model supports this endeavour. It extends the concept of the continuum beyond metaphor, representing the case for viewing it in its fuller spacetime meanings as a worldview. In this form, the continuum is potentially a technologically driven paradigm shift within all information management and systems practice. There is a new game developing and the concept of the continuum can help us re‐organise our knowledge for that game. This article will discuss the diversity of records management theory and practice. It will look at the meanings of the continuum and my own model of it, including the differences between a worldview and a detailed view. Three other continuum models are presented. A continuum ‘patrol and control’ strategy for analysis is outlined briefly, and represents a point at which my own approach to the continuum is taking off into more detailed practical considerations in records management education and training.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Kate Cumming

In this commemorative issue of Records Management Journal, milestones from the last 20 years of recordkeeping practice are being celebrated. This paper aims to provide a

Abstract

Purpose

In this commemorative issue of Records Management Journal, milestones from the last 20 years of recordkeeping practice are being celebrated. This paper aims to provide a retrospective of the records continuum and examine its evolution, its impact and its influence, and to reference some of the controversy it has inspired.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a review of literature and a historical assessment, which are intended to contextualise and explain the continuum.

Findings

The continuum has a long history in Australian recordkeeping culture, but significant international research and theory have also fed into its development. The continuum has an enduring relevance and remains a fundamental tool for assessing and realigning recordkeeping practice today.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is strongly supportive of the continuum approach, and as such is not an impartial assessment of the model and of the criticism that has been levelled against it.

Practical implications

It is hoped that the paper helps to foster further understanding and use of the records continuum model.

Originality/value

While owing a great deal to Sue McKemmish and Frank Upward, the paper aims to present a fresh perspective on continuum theory, in a way that helps to explain and encourage the adoption of continuum‐based approaches to recordkeeping.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Marjo Rita Valtonen

The purpose of this article is to explore the documentation work in pre‐trial investigation performed by the police from the records management perspective. The study

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explore the documentation work in pre‐trial investigation performed by the police from the records management perspective. The study, undertaken as doctoral research, is meant to give answers to the questions: what kind of information is recorded in the pre‐trial investigation process, how are recordings made, and what are the regulatory and statutory requirements for the recording processes? The aim is to produce new knowledge of the Finnish recordkeeping field and of the relationships between work processes, record management and information systems.

Design/methodology/approach

This study presents findings from a qualitative explorative case study. Data collection methods were based on triangulation of data sources. Data were collected for the period 1999‐2004.

Findings

Documentation of activities proved to be a coherent part of pre‐trial investigation. Various activities in the investigation process are reported exactly, with information on criminal cases captured as a record or recorded in registers. Diverse information systems are used in the pre‐trial investigation process. The relationships between tasks, information systems and information management proved to be slight. Information systems do not serve the pre‐trial investigation process in the desired way. Several different legal and statutory requirements concern operations in pre‐trial investigation and their documentation. There are divergences in compliance with legal norms and guidelines depending on types of norms, actors, tasks and cases. The records management norms are not very well‐known, and compliance with them is poor.

Originality/value

There is an obvious need for studies aimed at examining the relations between task performance, information systems and documentation.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

Content available
Article

Frank Upward

The Information Age during the transition from the paper era to the digital one saw the fracturing and fragmenting of the information-based specialisations. More recently…

Abstract

Purpose

The Information Age during the transition from the paper era to the digital one saw the fracturing and fragmenting of the information-based specialisations. More recently, professional norms for governance have been swept aside within new business models based on information based business applications. This paper aims to support an advance towards networked cohesion based on informatics, regenerating professionalism for the complex networked age.

Design/methodology/approach

New regulatory approaches will have to manage monistic diversity, connecting the deeper logic of continuum thinking in which information governance exists as part of a simple whole (the monistic component) with a recognition that the parts of information governance are much more complex than the whole (the expanding diversity). A continuum approach of this type involves studying things in motion as part of evolutionary processes.

Findings

The production of information is galloping ahead of its authoritative management, and this is at the heart of many of the failings of the post-truth information era. Informatics with its emphasis upon the joint operation of technologies, social processes and knowledge forming and its ability to be an umbrella term for many specialisations can be a cohering force.

Practical implications

The alignment of thought, action and ethical information governance across inter-connected practices for individuals, groups and organisations can be supported by the deeper logic and grounded experience of continuum thinking.

Originality/value

This paper will look to expand the array of sympathisers who wish to get more in touch with studying things in motion, including those trying to cope with the need to develop more adequate ways for managing nanosecond archiving processes.

Details

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

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Article

Frank Upward, Barbara Reed, Gillian Oliver and Joanne Evans

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the widespread crisis facing the archives and records management professions, and to propose recordkeeping informatics, a single

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the widespread crisis facing the archives and records management professions, and to propose recordkeeping informatics, a single minded disciplinary approach, as a way forward.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reflects an Australasian perspective on the nature of the crisis besetting archives and records management professions as people struggle to adjust to digitally converged information ecologies. It suggests recordkeeping informatics as an approach for refiguring thinking, systems, processes and practices as people confront ever increasing information convergence, chaos and complexity. It discusses continuum thinking and recordkeeping metadata as two key building blocks of the approach, along with three facets of recordkeeping analysis involving the understanding of organisational culture, business process analysis and archival access.

Findings

Discussion of information and communication technologies as a “wild frontier” highlights the breaking down of recordkeeping processes within them. The causes for this chaos are complex and there is an urgent need to develop more coherent frameworks to identify and address the issues. Such frameworks need to grow from, and be conversant with, strong symbiotic relationships between social formations, recordkeeping processes, and archives, so that they may be applicable in an increasingly diverse range of organisational and community contexts. Embracing complexity is a must if the wild frontier is not to grow wilder.

Originality/value

The paper outlines a new disciplinary base from which new and old recordkeeping methods can be launched that are appropriate for this era.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Nils Troselius and Anneli Sundqvist

The purpose of the paper is to study the development and implementation of metadata schemes in Swedish governmental agencies, in order to gain a better understanding of

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to study the development and implementation of metadata schemes in Swedish governmental agencies, in order to gain a better understanding of recordkeeping practices in contemporary organisations and of the use of metadata and practical implementation of metadata schemes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on two case studies. The data have been collected through qualitative interviews, e‐mail correspondence and analysis of documentary sources, and analysed with help of the records continuum model and the conceptual framework presented in the international standard for metadata, ISO/TS 23081.

Findings

The results from this study show that the agencies had similar reasons to develop metadata schemes, namely to established a unitary and consistent description of records, to enhance retrieval and exchange of information, and to provide external users access to records in compliance with the 24/7‐agency vision. The agencies have, however, chosen different approaches to metadata and based their schemes on different models. This has affected the possibility of capturing contextual relations and transactionality, and thus of guaranteeing the evidential properties of records. The agencies are to various extents covering the different aspects of recordkeeping. None of the agencies are, however, acting in all dimensions of the records continuum model.

Originality/value

The paper shows how the records continuum model can be used as an analytical tool in the study of recordkeeping practices. It further contributes with empirical findings to a field where still little research is done. The paper can also be of value to practitioners seeking to develop and implement metadata schemes for records.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Proscovia Svärd

The purpose of the paper is to establish whether Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Records Continuum Model (RCM) frameworks could be used to mitigate long-term

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to establish whether Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Records Continuum Model (RCM) frameworks could be used to mitigate long-term preservation challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research was undertaken using two case studies and interviews were conducted with the different categories of the municipal personnel to solicit answers to the research questions. The questions were designed using the lens of the RCM and its four dimensions that cover the creation, capture, organization and pluralization of records and prescribed factors of ECM which include business process management, enterprise architecture, collaboration, system integration, re-purposing of information, change management, knowledge management and the life cycle management of information. Not all the ECM factors are dealt with in this paper: the remainder have been dealt with in the author's earlier works.

Findings

Challenges of long-term preservation of information still persist despite the enormous research that has been generated over the years. The municipalities that were subjects of this research are still grappling with issues of lack of long-term information management policies, enterprise architecture, disparate information systems, collaboration and system integration. This is likely to work against the investments that are being ploughed into e-Government developments should the municipalities fail to espouse strong information and records management regimes. Embracing the ECM prescribed factors and the RCM thinking might mitigate these challenges.

Originality/value

The author's licentiate research proved that there was no discourse between records managers/archivists and ECM proponents. Therefore, the originality of this article lies in the application of the two frameworks of ECM and RCM. The findings confirmed that even within the records management framework the municipalities were addressing factors similar to ECM prescribed factors. Embracing both the RCM model and the ECM prescribed factors might mitigate the challenges of long-term preservation and hence the re-use of information and enhancement of the societal memory.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Zawiyah M. Yusof and Robert W. Chell

Records managers often complain that records management is undervalued, suffers from the influence of irrelevant traditional concepts, and is therefore theoretically…

Abstract

Records managers often complain that records management is undervalued, suffers from the influence of irrelevant traditional concepts, and is therefore theoretically flawed. The findings of several surveys attest to this situation, but do not explain the many reasons that contribute to the lack of understanding and acceptance of records management as a separate discipline. For any field or discipline to be accepted, it must possess a strong foundation in theory. This article will examine whether there is an accepted body of theory underlying records management methods and practices. An attempt is made to develop a conceptual model that the authors believe records managers need in order to explain the present “state of the art” of the discipline and justify their contribution to the management of organisations.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Ann-Sofie Klareld

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the implications of an outsourcing policy for public recordkeeping. The research question addressed is as follows: What are the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the implications of an outsourcing policy for public recordkeeping. The research question addressed is as follows: What are the current impediments to create, capture, organize and pluralize records produced by contractors to whom work has been outsourced?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses four dimensions of the records continuum model (RCM) as a structure for understanding what important aspects of recordkeeping that can be affected by an outsourcing policy and discuss the consequences for the creation of public archives. An investment project at a Swedish public agency with a far-reaching outsourcing policy in the form of a client–contractor model is used as a case to exemplify the problem.

Findings

The findings indicate that the legal framework for recordkeeping needs further development, or clarification as to how it should be interpreted in the outsourcing context. More case studies are needed to provide richer data about recordkeeping challenges arising from outsourcing and further opportunities for theoretical analysis using the RCM.

Originality/value

The RCM has been used in a first attempt to understand various aspects of records management practices and what principles need to be taken into account when making such significant organizational structural and cultural changes.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Monica Mensah and Musah Adams

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between corporate governance and records management in private and public hospitals in Ghana, with the aim of

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between corporate governance and records management in private and public hospitals in Ghana, with the aim of finding out how the effective and efficient management of a hospital's records can facilitate its governance obligations, which includes but not limited to accountability, transparency and information security.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was informed by the triangulation of the Stakeholders' and Records Continuum Theories. Data used for analysis were drawn from 90 respondents from four hospitals with the use of questionnaires and personal observations. A total of 82 questionaries' were returned in their complete forms and used for the analysis. Linear regressions were performed to establish the relationship between corporate governance and records management.

Findings

The key finding of the study was that, the hospitals generated different types of records in the course of their business activities but existing records management standards, practices and systems were inadequate and undermined the contribution records could make in support of the governance function in the hospitals. Results of a linear regression also revealed that positive and significant relationships exist between corporate governance and records management. Furthermore, all variables used as predictors of corporate governance had positive and significant relationships with records management except information security.

Research limitations/implications

Participants were from four hospitals in only one Region in Ghana, and as such the results could not be generalised to the whole country.

Practical implications

The study has established the recognition of the essential but often ignored conditions necessary for an effective and efficient governance system for hospitals.

Originality/value

The study has demonstrated that the effective management of hospital records is a critical factor in providing capacity for hospitals' efficiency, accountability, transparency, information security and indeed good governance. This research has also contributed towards bridging the theoretical gap identified in the study.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

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