Information Technology Essentials
for Records Managers and Archivists
March 24, 2005
John Breeden, CRM
First in the Missouri Electronic Records Education and Training Initiative (MERETI) workshop series
Note: Click on the to watch the instructor discuss key points. The number refers to the corresponding slide in the accompanying PowerPoint presentation and handout.
This one-day workshop focused on familiarizing participants (records managers, archivists and information technology professionals) with basic information about the creation and maintenance of electronic records and providing them with essential knowledge to communicate across functional boundaries e.g. communications between records professionals and IT professionals.
In his introductory section, Collaborating for Success, instructor John Breeden discussed the relationship between records management and information technology and emphasized the importance of adopting a collaborative approach to managing electronic records that includes records managers, archivists, information technology processionals and program managers. He also highlighted the tangible benefits of collaboration, including improved storage, greater efficiency, accuracy of information, and legal compliance, and how to overcome barriers. Slide 2a 2b
Getting Started. Mr. Breeden stressed the importance of a comprehensive records management program and identified the keys to successfully managing electronic records. 12 In addition, he noted the requirements for a successful electronic records program and the benefits that result from good records management.
The majority of the workshop concentrated on bridging the communications gap between participants by learning to speak each other’s language, with Mr. Breeden providing an overview and defining essential terms in each of the following areas. 28 29 30
Records Management Terminology and Concepts
Mr. Breeden defined and discussed the basics: record (RSMo 109.210.5), document, official record, series, retention schedule, file plan, recordkeeping system, retention period, disposition and archives. 41
Information Technology Terminology
Participants were introduced to computer hardware, software and coding terms, such as RAM, ROM, bit, byte, and ASCII. The section also discussed various storage media.
Document Management Technology and Terminology
Mr. Breeden identified various document management technologies 58, explained their role in the document management lifecycle, and discussed planning considerations. 61 This section includes definitions of 37 document management terms. 66
The ability to store data in a format that requires less space is known as data compression. Mr. Breeden discussed the use of compression, standards, file formats, and the data compression technologies lossy and lossless. 77 78
This section included requirements for electronic document management systems, identified common problems with electronic documents including questionable authenticity, loss of context, disposal 84, and robustness against organization change. Mr. Breeden also described common electronic document formats.
Mr. Breeden provided a detailed explanation of how databases work and the problems, questions and challenges associated with their management. In addition, he identified the different types of databases, components, and languages. This section includes definitions for 35 database terms. 107 109 116 117
Networked computers allow offices to share hardware, software, and information while centralizing administration and support. Mr. Breeden’s presentation included discussion of network types, design, components, topology, and protocols.
Enterprise Content Management
ECM is the technologies, tools and methods used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content across an enterprise. This section provided an explanation of ECM and the associated terminology. 146 148 149 158
Mr. Breeden introduced the participants to document and records management standards 160 161 162, including ISO 15489 for records management, TR-27 an electronic imaging RFP 166a 166b, TR-48 that focuses on integrating electronic document management and electronic records management 168, ISO 12032 for statistical sampling for document images, the trustworthiness standard ISO 15801 170, as well as draft standards for PDF-A and PDF-E. 172 173