Electronic information media and records management methods : a survey of practices in UN organizations

by Tora K. Bikson, Sally Ann Law

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The rapid and widespread diffusion of electronic information and communication media has presented significant challenges for archives and records management in UN organizations. Traditional practices devised primarily to handle paper-based record material are not readily extendable to these new media. The Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Information Systems (ACCIS) identified the need for UN organizations to develop policies and procedures directly applicable to record material in electronic form. Developing such policies and procedures requires an understanding of the kinds of practices emerging within UN organizations as the use of electronic information and communication technologies grow. The survey reported here was undertaken to supply that understanding. The survey addresses four main content areas related to problems of records management in an electronic information environment: (1) the roles of three electronic media--telex, facsimile, and electronic mail--in organizational information handling systems; (2) the properties of computer-based information exchange among organizations that have introduced electronic mail; (3) associated technology options and constraints, as well as standards that have been adopted or are being considered; and (4) policies, guidelines, training programs, and plans UN organizations are implementing with respect to electronic records management issues.

Originally published in: The Information Society, v. 9, pp. 125-144.

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