Monday, April 6, 2015

Electronic records management

  • Up to 93% of an organization’s information is created digitally
  • Many different types of electronic information
    • Text, image, audio, video, e-mail, web pages, databases, etc.
    • Email can be a big issue
    • No one dominant program
    • Different versions
  • Many different file formats
  • Rapid rate of change and obsolescence
    • Compatibility, security, crashing, archival, consistency
Canadian legislation
  • Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
    • Electronic documents equivalent to paper with regards to privacy protection required
  • CGSB 72.34
  • Fisher, Paul. Electronic Records as Evidence: The Case For Canada’s New Standard. Information Management Journal; Mar/Apr 2004, Vol. 38, Issue 2, p39, 6p.
  • Discusses the development of the Electronic Records as Documentary Evidence standard in Canada. Factors that contributed to the creation of a standard application to both electronic records and results of electronic data interchange by the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB). Background on the structure and provisions of the standards; Predictions on the applications of the standard. 
  • Available on EBSCOHost Academic Search Premier
  • The Archives And Record Keeping Act S.M. 2001, c. 35
  • “electronic” includes created, recorded, transmitted, or stored in digital or other intangible form by electronic, magnetic, optical or any similar means
Types of electronic records
  • Electronic records contain machine-readable information consisting of:
  • Minnesota State Archives. Electronic Records Management Guidelines. File Formats.
  • Types of storage media
  • Magnetic
    • Magnetic disk
    • Magnetic tape
    • Digital audio tape (DAT)
    • Videotape
  • Optical
    • Large storage capacity
    • Random access technology means fast retrieval speed
    • Compact Disk (CD)
      • CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW
    • WORM: Write-Once/Read Many times
      • Info on a WORM disk can be read many times, but cannot be erased
    • Erasable optical (EO)
    • DVD
      • DVD video, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD+RW
    • Optical cards
    • Optical tape
    • any information that can be stored on magnetic media can be stored on optical media
  • Minnesota State Archives. Electronic Records Management Guidelines. Digital Media. 
Storage options
  • Online
    • Properly designed storage in your computer system may provide full access to appropriate users. Online access means that the record is accessible immediately through your network (e.g. on your network server or on your computer’s hard drive). This option maintains the greatest functionality.
  • Nearline
    • Nearline storage includes storage in a system that is not a direct part of your network, but that can be accessed through your network (e.g., an optical media jukebox). This option maintains a moderate amount of functionality.
  • Offline
    • Offline storage refers to storage on a system that is not accessible through your network (e.g. removable media such as magnetic tape). This option retains the least amount of functionality, while still maintaining records in an electronic format.
  • Paper or microfilm
    • Printing records onto archival-quality paper or outputting them to microform for storage may be acceptable as long as the complete records, including all components and metadata, is included.
Digital preservation techniques
  • Computer museum approach
  • Emulation
  • Migration and conversion
    • Most common technique
Long-term retention approaches
  • Conversion
    • When you convert a record, you change its file format. Often, conversion takes place to make the record software independent and in a standard or open format. For example, you can convert a record created in WordPerfect by saving it as a Rich Text Format (RTF) file or to Microsoft Word.
  • Migration
    • When you migrate a record, you move it to another computer platform, storage medium, or physical format. For example, when you migrate records, you may need to migrate them to another storage medium to ensure continued accessibility. For example, if you migrate records from magnetic tapes that deteriorate, you may need to migrate the records to a compact disk to ensure continued accessibility.
Care and maintenance
Electronic records management programs
  • Identify all electronic records
  • Conduct an inventory and appraisal
  • Develop the retention and disposition schedules
  • Develop procedures for storage and retrieval
  • Store inactive electronic records carefully
  • Update the records manual
Manitoba Government records policies and guidelines

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