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Journal cover: Records Management Journal

Records Management Journal

ISSN: 0956-5698

Online from: 1989

Subject Area: Information and Knowledge Management

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Concepts and principles for the management of electronic records, or records management theory is archival diplomatics

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Title:Concepts and principles for the management of electronic records, or records management theory is archival diplomatics
Author(s):Luciana Duranti, (School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
Citation:Luciana Duranti, (2010) "Concepts and principles for the management of electronic records, or records management theory is archival diplomatics", Records Management Journal, Vol. 20 Iss: 1, pp.78 - 95
Keywords:Archives management, Information management, Records management
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/09565691011039852 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This article is a revised English version of a talk given at the Annual Conference of the Association of Catalan Archivists in Vic, Spain, in May 1999. This article was originally published in Records Management Journal, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 149-71 (1999) and has been republished as part of the journal's 20th anniversary commemorative issue.

PurposeThe greatest challenges which digital systems present are the creation and maintenance of reliable records and the preservation of their authenticity over time. It is vital for every organisation that its records should be able to stand for the facts which they concern, i.e. that their content is trustworthy. To meet these challenges the international community of records professionals must develop appropriate strategies, procedures and standards. This paper seeks to explore the concepts and principles derived from archival diplomatics that should guide the management of electronic records and therefore these developments, as well as drawing conclusions about the nature of the research work required.

Design/methodology/approachThe paper looks at the problems presented by electronic records, considers a definition of electronic records, and discusses the authenticity and reliability of electronic records.

FindingsResearch work needs to be carried out to formulate the principles that will guide the development of international, national and organisational policies, strategies and standards, the specific criteria for each type of policy, strategy and standard, and the procedural methods for their implementation. The most important thing is to ensure that the policies, strategies and standards are consistent with one another, and this is only possible when they are based on the same concepts and inspired by the same principles.

Originality/valueConcepts, laws and models from various fields must be studied to foster useful transfers from one field to another, to encourage the development of theory in emerging areas of endeavour and investigation, to eliminate the duplication of theoretical efforts in different fields, and to promote consistency of scientific knowledge. However, in order to develop the body of knowledge of records management, concepts, laws and models of archival diplomatics must be brought to bear.

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