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Checklists for Evaluating the Quality of Recordkeeping
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Technology and Media.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2575-3653
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Technology and Media.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1247-0467
2010 (English)In: Proceedings of the 4th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation / [ed] Miguel deCastro Neto, Reading: Academic Conferences Limited, 2010, p. 15-23Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Records are evidence of business transactions and actions. They provide the basis for accountability and traceability. Therefore they are essential to evaluation and audit processes. Records and documents are sources of knowledge that support a learning organization and can be defined as “institutional memory”. However there are few examples in the literature of how records have been used to evaluate and critically assess the outcomes of business activities.

The purpose of this paper is to identify potential criteria for creating a checklist that provides enough information about the records and the business that created them to ensure that records could be used as tools in evaluation programs. In this research paper we have used the ISO standards ISO 15489 and ISO 23081 as tools to achieve our purpose. This was a qualitative research project, situated in a large railway infrastructure project where the budget is 6.6 billion Swedish kronor (approx 650 million €). The project is ten years long, and to date more than 250 000 records have been produced. Many sub-contractors and 16 other public agencies are involved in the project.

The internal regulation of records management regulated within the project is very detailed, and at first glimpse the directives seem to be well grounded. Requirements for records creation, capture and metadata-tagging are presented in the regulations.  Yet even after minor analysis it is obvious that the railway project focuses only on managing records that are documents, i.e. in formats that can be treated as a single unit. Common examples of document types are spreadsheets, Word documents, PDF files and blueprints. Thus the project is failing to capture crucial records created in non-document and more complex formats, such as databases and technical drawings produced in applications like CAD. More importantly, the research found that the project’s metadata design and capture is inadequate for capturing the context of the records that are kept and preserved. This makes it difficult to use the records for evaluating the project for accountability purposes both during and after the project. The experience and knowledge gained from the project is also difficult to transfer to similar future projects.

Records without the contextual binding and applicable contextual metadata cannot provide a quality basis for evaluation of the business. If records are to be used as tools for evaluation, we need to preserve records following the quality criteria that are presented in the ISO 15489 and ISO 23081 standards.

If records are to be used as evaluation tools they need to be usable for that purpose and be of sufficient quality. In this paper we propose that the assessment of the quality of a record should be based upon the metadata elements found in the ISO 23081.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Reading: Academic Conferences Limited, 2010. p. 15-23
Keywords [en]
Checklists, Evaluation, Metadata, Recordkeeping, Recordkeeping standards
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12008ISI: 000284262400003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84900790934ISBN: 978-1-906638-73-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-12008DiVA, id: diva2:352673
Conference
ECIME 2010
Available from: 2010-09-22 Created: 2010-09-22 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Borglund, Erik A.MAnderson, Karen

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