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Article

Veronica Davies

A recent survey of 30 large companies in the UK, France and Germany concerning news services provided by the information departments showed some startling results.

Abstract

A recent survey of 30 large companies in the UK, France and Germany concerning news services provided by the information departments showed some startling results.

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Records Management Journal, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Veronica Davies

The cost of ‘Fax’ machines gets lower every year. These machines are advertised as the technological solution to fast communication between different organisations and…

Abstract

The cost of ‘Fax’ machines gets lower every year. These machines are advertised as the technological solution to fast communication between different organisations and, indeed, it is now unusual to find a business without such a machine. Facsimile machines allow important documents to be transmitted and received instantaneously in hard copy without the delays and vagaries of the postal system or courier. Although hardly much more than ‘communicating photocopiers’ faxes are of vital interest to the Records Manager, who should establish a set of procedures for their handling. The reason for this is twofold.

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Records Management Journal, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Veronica Davies

Once again the headhunters are busy, capturing talent and delivering their trophies to the boardrooms of the capital. Since professional Records Managers (as opposed to…

Abstract

Once again the headhunters are busy, capturing talent and delivering their trophies to the boardrooms of the capital. Since professional Records Managers (as opposed to ‘let's pretend’ PQ accountants) are a rare species, the hunt this last year has been particularly tense. Only by offering thrilling inducements has the ‘big game’ been caught. In the majority of cases, the headhunters' brief is short and simple: to bag a records manager who will set up a system out of chaos and then run it efficiently. This is a tall order. In the majority of cases the existing records management systems are a veritable Augean Stables, the corruption and confusion has now reached such a depth as to prompt urgent attention from top management. A Hercules is required and, if to be attracted, his or her labours will need to be rewarded handsomely. Not so long ago, the going rate for a Records Manager able to organize a system from scratch was of the order of £20,000. Since this inducement commonly resulted in the recruitment of a Hercules more after the manner of Aristophanes than of Aeschylus, a process of salary inflation deriving from scarcity took over. A few months ago, one leading firm of city recruiters were offering £70,000 + for a manager skilled enough to organize a market‐maker's backrooms. Although no doubt exceptional, this level of remuneration (which, when taking the ‘package’ into account, topped six figures) reflects the growing desperation felt in business for the type of executive who really can make order out of chaos and a filing system out of a heap of contract notes.

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

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Article

Veronica Davies

To be asked to write a column for the Records Management Journal is an exciting prospect. I intend to pick up and air relevant and pertinent changes and developments in…

Abstract

To be asked to write a column for the Records Management Journal is an exciting prospect. I intend to pick up and air relevant and pertinent changes and developments in the Records and Information world which will in one way or another affect all of us working within the environment sooner or later. I do not intend to be restricted by the traditional boundaries which distinguish and isolate one from another, librarians, information scientists and archivists. This column will rove across these hitherto fixed boundaries and link issues that are going to impinge upon all involved in the information industry. These issues will have common themes such as: technology; strategic and tactical planning, information manipulation; the Records and Information Manager. It is my intention within this column to place all these activities within the widest organisational context, whether it be public or private sector, profit‐making or charitable. I am particularly keen to erode the self‐imposed dichotomy between the business and public sectors. After all, the Records and Information Manager on both sides of this divide applies the same principles and techniques. It is as absurd to believe that the public sector possesses a monopoly on integrity as it is to suggest that the private sector has a monopoly on resources and cash.

Details

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

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Article

Veronica Davies

It is a frequent lament among the new technocracy that British culture seems irretrievably locked into a system of values deriving from the pre‐industrial age. Business…

Abstract

It is a frequent lament among the new technocracy that British culture seems irretrievably locked into a system of values deriving from the pre‐industrial age. Business activity is thus still scorned as in some way grubby; arcadian and gentry values are extolled; and the old professions still enjoy a monopoly of prestige and esteem. The new director of the Institute of Directors hammered out this theme at his inaugural address, singling out for especial criticism the influence of the church and the Oxbridge colleges. It is not my purpose to go through the old arguments all over again. They have, after all, been a commonplace since the 1950s and acquired wide circulation with the publication a few years ago of Martin Wiener's British Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit. What I would like to suggest, however, is that the arguments presented by Dahrendorf, Wiener, et al. do have a certain relevance to the world of the library and of information management which has not yet been entirely appreciated.

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

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Article

Veronica Davies

The 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act emphasises that all line managers are responsible for the safety of staff within the workplace. Those failing in their duties may be…

Abstract

The 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act emphasises that all line managers are responsible for the safety of staff within the workplace. Those failing in their duties may be prosecuted under the act. Recent examples of successful court actions include the ‘Herald of Free Enterprise’ and ‘Piper Alpha’. Emphasis in safety guidelines is generally placed on avoiding slips, trips and falls, on lifting and handling, on fire prevention, on using approved equipment, and on the immediate reporting of faults. As far as information technology is concerned, however, there remains an insufficiency of expertise when it comes to the purchase of equipment. The early optimism over the paperless office which entranced records managers, has turned to a nightmare of tangled electronic communicators and replicators, fax machines, photocopiers and workstations. These present unforseen hazards to the workforce. Electromagnetic radiation is emitted by many electronic products. The majority of photocopiers give out ozone that is certainly not good to breathe. Backache is a continuing problem. There has been a dramatic increase in upper limb disorders, particularly RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) among keyboard operators, whilst the growing list of office induced ailments also includes hormonal imbalances caused by dull fluorescent lighting and nausea — the symptoms of sick building syndrome.

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Records Management Journal, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Veronica Davies

The Independent on Sunday runs an infuriating weekly competition, in which readers are asked to identify an old master from a tiny detail of the work. The new Sainsbury…

Abstract

The Independent on Sunday runs an infuriating weekly competition, in which readers are asked to identify an old master from a tiny detail of the work. The new Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery will not make the labour of identification any easier and so will not make Sunday any less troubled. It must stand, nevertheless, as an important milestone in the development and popularisation of information technology.

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

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Article

Veronica Davies

The 1988 Copyright and Patents Act which came into force in April 1989 made fundamental changes to the Criminal Copyright law of which all records and information managers…

Abstract

The 1988 Copyright and Patents Act which came into force in April 1989 made fundamental changes to the Criminal Copyright law of which all records and information managers should be aware. As I write I am making the assumption that all photocopiers scattered across organisations already sport loud stickers warning against the infringement of copyright in respect of reproducing published material for any other purpose than personal study. In what respects then has the law on copyright been tightened? Why are the new regulations of such importance to the Records and Information Manager?

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Veronica Davies

In the first heady days of post‐communist government, citizens in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania occupied archives belonging to the local security police…

Abstract

In the first heady days of post‐communist government, citizens in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania occupied archives belonging to the local security police, ransacking these in a search for their own political files. In adjacent rooms, former security staff were busy shredding and burning evidence which might incriminate them in subsequent legal proceedings. Order has now been restored and guards placed over the relevant buildings. Nevertheless, issues of confidentiality and ownership remain to be resolved.

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Records Management Journal, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article

Kiran Chartaby

In a truly back‐to‐the‐future scenario, given that we could relive our business lives over the past 20 years, is it not likely that, with the knowledge we currently…

Abstract

In a truly back‐to‐the‐future scenario, given that we could relive our business lives over the past 20 years, is it not likely that, with the knowledge we currently possess in the world of information management, we would not have abdicated so much power and control to the technocrats, the technology providers and the data‐processing manager? Similarly it may be posited that 10 years from now, and partly as the legacy of the previous 20, with hindsight we should not now abdicate control of our corporate or organizational culture to the records manager. One may laugh at the comparison with the almighty powers that data‐processing has agglomerated, but we are standing perilously close to this threshold.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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