Introduction to Electronic Records
April 12, 2005
Virginia A. Jones. CRM
Second 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.
In this day-long workshop Virginia Jones introduced the participants to major electronic records concepts and issues including: capture techniques for paper and born-digital documents; storage, retrieval, and distribution of electronic records; workflow considerations; quality control and security issues; and electronic records management systems.
Elements of Electronic Records Management
Ms. Jones began with a discussion of the records and information life cycle 6 and explained the concept of Information Life Cycle Management (ILM). 8 She reviewed definitions of record, document 12, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) 13, and provided a detailed explanation of how terms such as archive, backup, file and record are utilized and have different meanings in the records management and information technology worlds. 15 30
Ms. Jones then focused on the following electronic records management issues: 31
Retention and Disposition
Emphasizing the importance of applying approved retention and disposition schedules to electronic records, Ms. Jones cautioned that while paper and electronic versions may have the same retention period disposition of electronic records may be more difficult. 32
Ms. Jones stressed the importance of migration, media conversion and enterprise content preservation. 34
Ms. Jones focused on the necessity of identifying vital records and protecting critical information by performing scheduled backups. Ms. Jones talked about tape/disk, mirroring, and web-based backup options. 35
Compliance, Legality and Security
This section included a discussion of public, official, and discoverable records, as well as reference to state and federal laws that govern the creation, maintenance and preservation of records. 39 Ms. Jones also stressed the legal implications of failing to document polices and procedures, conduct routine audit of records, or initiate security and version controls. 52a 52b Participants were introduced to ANSI/AIIM TR31, the national standard for Legal Acceptance of Records Produced by Information Technology Systems. 53
Electronic Records Formats
Ms. Jones began by classifying electronic records as controlled or un-controlled. Uncontrolled records are managed by individual users rather than any practical application of technology.
Controlled records are those documents and files that have been converted to or created in digital format and that are managed by an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). 54
She continued with a discussion of the management of electronically created reports 57b, correspondence, including emails 60a 60b 61, and forms 62 and a detailed account of how Enterprise Content Management (ECM), essential for e-business, gives users the ability to capture, create, customize, deliver and manage electronic business processes from accounting to e-mail to databases to GIS. 64
In her review of databases, Ms. Jones explained the difference between a data warehouse and a data mart. She also defined the elements that go into data warehousing (acquisitions, modeling and schema, metadata 74, data management and analysis 77) and addresses the issue of when data is a record, archiving websites, and the application of retention and disposition schedules to web content. 78
Engineering, architectural and cartographic materials. Ms. Jones provided descriptions of these records 81 and discussed the different management issues associated with them. She focused much of the presentation on Computer Assisted Drafting (CAD) 83 84 86, Geospatial Information Technology (GIT), Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and their impact on records management 98, including how records are scheduled 101, vital records concerns, and preservation issues.
Electronic Records Control
Ms. Jones detailed the differences between ERMS (Electronic Records Management System) and EDMS (Electronic Document Management System). 109
ERMS software is designed to electronically complete records management tasks for analog and digital records, including applying retention schedules, generating disposition lists, identifying vital records, managing records storage and maintaining an inventory. 110
EDMS is an integration of input, management and storage technologies. 112 The software applications are designed to control and manage documents and files which have been converted to or created in digital format. Within her presentation, Ms. Jones discussed imaging 114, document services 116, workflow systems 117, and management systems for reports, correspondence, forms, and engineering drawings. 127