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Subject: Taxonomy of classification
From: Jesse Wilkins <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 21 Nov 2008 15:19:31 -0700
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Hi all,
An interesting question has been presented to me and I thought some of you
might have cogitated upon this at some point. I have been asked to help
create a graphic that neatly(!) outlines the relationships between:

   - Classification scheme
   - Taxonomy
   - Business classification scheme
   - Records classification scheme
   - File plan
   - Records retention schedule
   - Records disposal authority

Part of the problem for this organization is that different references have
different usage. We're going back & forth between NAA, DIRKS, ISO 15489, the
ARMA Glossary, several other glossaries, and a number of other references.
For example, NAA's "Overview of Classification Tools for Records Management"
states that "A records classification scheme is sometimes referred to as a
'file plan' or 'records plan', while the ARMA Glossary identifies a file
plan as "A classification scheme describing different types of
files maintained in an office, how they are identified, where they should be
stored, how they should be indexed for retrieval, and a reference to the
approved disposition for each file" which is much broader. Similarly,
Patrick Lambe describes the key attributes of a taxonomy as "a
classification scheme, a semantic convention, and a knowledge map".

As I look through the various references the model I get is that:
1. A Classification Scheme is a general term that includes the other five.
Each of them is a different sort of CS for a different purpose.
2. A Taxonomy is an information model for a particular domain and is often
used as a filing aid.
3. A BCS is hierarchical, follows the Function/Activity/Task or Transaction
model, and by itself is a taxonomy of the organization and its functions.
4. The RCS = file plan and is a taxonomy of the organisation's records.
Where those records are filed functionally, it is equivalent to the BCS as
applied to records. Non-records might appear in the BCS but would not appear
in the RCS. The RCS goes to the level of individual records series. At the T
level of the RCS, this could be a mix of transactions, subjects, or records
types, and could be broken down even further if warranted, e.g.
Function/Activity/Topic/Subtopic. I have also seen quite recently a
differentiation that FP = departmental instance of the RRS that should roll
up into the corporate RRS.
5. The RRS is the instantiation of the RCS/FP with the addition of retention
and disposition instructions.
6. Records disposal authority = RRS

Your thoughts? Once I get your feedback I will do two things. First, I will
create that graphic and post it to the Yahoo! OT group. Second, I will use
it to update http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classification_scheme.

Regards,

Jesse Wilkins
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