Recordkeeping informatics: Re-figuring a discipline in crisis with a single minded approach

Frank Upward, Barbara Reed, Gillian Oliver, Joanne Evans

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight the widespread crisis facing the archives and records management professions, and to propose recordkeeping informatics, a single minded disciplinary approach, as a way forward.

    Design/methodology/approach – This paper reflects an Australasian perspective on the nature of the crisis besetting archives and records management professions as people struggle to adjust to digitally converged information ecologies. It suggests recordkeeping informatics as an approach for refiguring thinking, systems, processes and practices as people confront ever increasing information convergence, chaos and complexity. It discusses continuum thinking and recordkeeping metadata as two key building blocks of the approach, along with three facets of recordkeeping analysis involving the understanding of organisational culture, business process analysis and archival access.

    Findings – Discussion of information and communication technologies as a “wild frontier” highlights the breaking down of recordkeeping processes within them. The causes for this chaos are complex and there is an urgent need to develop more coherent frameworks to identify and address the
    issues. Such frameworks need to grow from, and be conversant with, strong symbiotic relationships between social formations, recordkeeping processes, and archives, so that they may be applicable in an increasingly diverse range of organisational and community contexts. Embracing complexity is a must if the wild frontier is not to grow wilder.

    Originality/value – The paper outlines a new disciplinary base from which new and old recordkeeping methods can be launched that are appropriate for this era.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)37 - 50
    Number of pages14
    JournalRecords Management Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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