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a.. Electronic Records Management [ERM] 
Electronic records management [ERM] is using automated techniques to manage records regardless of format. Electronic records management is the broadest term that refers to electronically managing records on varied formats, be they electronic, paper, microform, etc. Electronic recordkeeping [ERK] is a subset of ERM, because ERK focuses on electronically managing electronic records. 

b.. Electronic Recordkeeping [ERK] 
Electronic recordkeeping [ERK] is the development of automated processes an agency uses to manage its electronic records. These automated processes support not only the preservation of an electronic record's content, but also its context and structure over time. These first Fast Track documents specifically address ERK issues.

c.. Electronic information system [EIS] (From WhatIs.Com, term=INFORMATION SYSTEM) 

"The collection of technical and human resources that provide the storage, computing, distribution, and communication for the information required by all or some part of an enterprise. A special form of information system is a management information system (MIS), which provides information for managing an enterprise." 
Electronic information systems automate certain business functions. Other programmatic electronic information systems may automate agency mission-specific business functions, and as such, may produce Federal records in the process. These electronic information systems may or may not incorporate all aspects of appropriate electronic recordkeeping, depending on their design characteristics.

d.. Electronic Recordkeeping System [ERKS] 
An electronic recordkeeping system [ERKS] is an electronic information system that meets an agency's recordkeeping needs. At a high level, NARA has defined an ERKS as an electronic information system in which records are collected, organized, and categorized to facilitate their preservation, retrieval, use, and disposition (36 CFR 1234.2). From a records perspective, an ERKS will ensure that the records it maintains will have sufficient authenticity and reliability* to meet all of the agency's recordkeeping needs. 

*The International Council on Archives document Guide for Managing Electronic Records from an Archival Perspective states "The reliability of a record is its ability to serve as reliable evidence....Authenticity refers to the persistence over time of the original characteristics of the record with respect to context, structure and content. An authentic record is one that retains its original reliability."

e.. Electronic Document Management System [EDMS] 
An electronic document management system [EDMS] is software that manages the creation, storage, and control of semi-structured documents. It consists of several technologies including, but not limited to document management, COLD (Computer Output to Laser Disk), imaging, and workflow. See Preliminary Planning for Electronic Recordkeeping: Checklist for RM Staff for a more detailed description of these technologies. 

In part, because an EDMS does not support the preservation of the business context of an individual record (i.e., EDMS systems manage a content item as an individual unit, as opposed to preserving its relationship to a larger group of documents that provide evidence of the same particular organizational function), EDMS systems are not electronic recordkeeping systems. 

f.. Records Management Application [RMA] 
Records Management Application [RMA] is the term used in DoD 5015.2-STD, Design Criteria Standard for Electronic Records Management Software Applications, for software that manages records. Its primary management functions are categorizing and locating records and identifying records that are due for disposition. RMA software also stores, retrieves, and disposes of the electronic records that are maintained in its repository. DoD 5015.2-STD requires that RMAs be able to manage records regardless of their media. The DoD maintains a list of software products that have been tested and certified to comply with the mandatory requirements of DoD 5015.2-STD. 

See NARA endorsement of DoD 5015.2-STD.


Kind Regards,


John A. Gervais
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