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

Purpose – The 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/approach – The paper looks at the problems presented by electronic records, considers a definition of electronic records, and discusses the authenticity and reliability of electronic records. Findings – Research 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/value – Concepts, 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Records Management Journal Emerald Publishing
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