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Subject: Re: Defining a Record:
From: "Lloyd, Susanne" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 12 Dec 2002 20:01:21 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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No answers.  Just more to add to the puzzle.

The question of the definition of a record has been much on my mind
lately.  In the pre-computer era of the paper file, there would have been a
meeting or a phone call or a face-to-face conversation in which an issue
was discussed and resolved, and the person responsible would have created a
memo that documented the conversation and the decision.  The memo, i.e.,
the record, would have been placed on the file.

In the world of e-mail, decision-making may involve an exchange that runs
to a dozen messages with each person putting their new contribution at the
beginning of the string of messages, until some sort of agreement is
reached, so the latest (topmost) message contains the summarized discussion
and decision.  I.e., by the old standards only the last message is the
record; the rest is process, some of which might be quite far off what is
eventually agreed.  But, if you have the software, you can save the whole
exchange into an ED/RMS repository and treat it as a record.  Or, you could
print the whole thing and place it on your paper file.  Is that what we
should be doing -- saving the process dross along with the finished
product?  Quite aside from the potential FOI issues, is that good record-
keeping practice?  Does the practice represent a de facto new definition of
a record?

On the data side, systems often seem to be designed so that they donít
maintain records.  We have reports that are generated annually and sent to
employers on paper.  Itís essentially a merge with the data being inserted
into the report template.  We donít keep a copy of the finished product but
can supposedly regenerate the output if necessary.  Do we have records of
those transactions?  Not by the old definition certainly.  Again, does the
practice represent a de facto new definition of a record?


Susanne Lloyd
RIMS Project
Corporate Records Management - Legal Services
Workers' Compensation Board of B.C.
Phone:  (604) 232-1822
E-mail:  [log in to unmask]



On Thu, 12 Dec 2002 14:57:38 -0500, Bell, Laura Ms SAALT/IMO
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>I've got another one for you along that line (what is a record). Just
>because the data is somewhere (i.e. hundreds of thousands of entries) and
>not consolidated, not meanifull unless you have the guidelines behind it?
>Is it record
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: mckinney, susan [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2002 12:42 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Defining a Record: WAS: Electronic Records Certifications
>
>
>This is quite an interesting discussion, but I did want to take a little
>part of one of the posts and expand on it.
>
>I was at a meeting over the weekend of archivists and records managers, and
>the question of the definition of a record came up again and again.  I
know,
>we all know what a "record" is.  But do we?  Do the current definitions
that
>we have used, taught, and explained over the years still hold true?  Do we,
>as a profession, need to re-define and expand "record", both for
>practitioners and users?
>
>Susan McKinney, CRM
>Records & Information Management
>University of Minnesota
>[log in to unmask]
>
>List archives at http://lists.ufl.edu/archives/recmgmt-l.html
>Contact [log in to unmask] for assistance
>
>List archives at http://lists.ufl.edu/archives/recmgmt-l.html
>Contact [log in to unmask] for assistance

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