Managing Electronic Information


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Part 5 in the series of lectures on Effective Records Management presented on Aug1 & 8, 2009

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  • The types of electronic records requiring preservation are either digitized or “born digital”. Digitized records are source documents that have been digitized or converted to an electronic format by scanning or other methods of conversion, and those records that are “born digital”, having been created on a computer or other electronic device.
  • ERM- Washington State Archives
  • Managing Electronic Information

    1. 1. Managing electronic information by Fe Angela M. Verzosa
    2. 2. Special Libraries Association Docbase WWW HTML pdf XML Tablets Paper Digital
    3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>definition of electronic </li></ul><ul><li>records </li></ul><ul><li>differences between paper records and electronic documents </li></ul><ul><li>forces of change into the workplace </li></ul>
    4. 4. definition <ul><li>electronic records are digital objects of information packaged in any of the following multimedia form of communication : </li></ul><ul><li>data </li></ul><ul><li> text </li></ul><ul><li>image </li></ul><ul><li> audio and video </li></ul>
    5. 5. Records in the Electronic Age <ul><li>“ Born Digital” </li></ul><ul><li>Records created on a computer or other electronic device </li></ul><ul><li>“ Born again” </li></ul><ul><li>Those records scanned or otherwise converted into a digital or electronic format </li></ul>
    6. 6. differences <ul><li>recognizability </li></ul><ul><li>volume </li></ul><ul><li>reliability </li></ul><ul><li>authenticity </li></ul><ul><li>ease of use </li></ul><ul><li>preservation </li></ul><ul><li>Yes No </li></ul><ul><li>large small </li></ul><ul><li>Yes not quite </li></ul><ul><li>Yes difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Yes depends </li></ul><ul><li>Yes costly </li></ul>papaer paper electronic
    7. 7. forces of change into the workplace <ul><li>political </li></ul><ul><li>economic </li></ul><ul><li>business </li></ul><ul><li>personal </li></ul>
    8. 8. It’s not just paper anymore!
    9. 9. business forces <ul><li>high level of competition </li></ul><ul><li>economic recovery </li></ul><ul><li>government deregulation </li></ul><ul><li>flatter organizational structures </li></ul><ul><li>focus on results in achieving business /organizational aims </li></ul><ul><li>focus on client orientation </li></ul>
    10. 10. personal drivers of change <ul><li>greater use of electronic information </li></ul><ul><li>individual approaches to electronic document filing system </li></ul><ul><li>integration of digital forms of communications (voice, text, video) </li></ul><ul><li>more flexibility in converting document forms (from text to image, voice to text, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>relying less on traditional approaches to recordskeeping </li></ul>
    11. 11. the electronic environment <ul><li>where is the workplace going ? </li></ul><ul><li>why automate ? </li></ul><ul><li>why manage electronic records ? </li></ul>
    12. 12. where is the workplace going ? <ul><li>emphasis on personal utility tools </li></ul><ul><li>emphasis on team work </li></ul><ul><li>integration of the workplace </li></ul><ul><li>need for location-independent work </li></ul><ul><li>information anytime, anywhere, anyplace </li></ul><ul><li>changing workplace mix </li></ul><ul><li>changing workforce mix </li></ul>
    13. 13. reasons for automation <ul><li>rising costs of traditional approaches </li></ul><ul><li>fear of loss in competitive position </li></ul><ul><li>incompleteness of files </li></ul><ul><li>increasing difficulty of accessing files </li></ul><ul><li>increasing backlog of unprocessed records </li></ul><ul><li>seeming inevitability of automation </li></ul>
    14. 14. why manage electronic records <ul><li>a totally different nature compared to paper </li></ul><ul><li>an ever-increasing mass of electronic records </li></ul><ul><li>complexity thru a variety of hardware/software </li></ul><ul><li>complexity thru distributed systems and networks </li></ul><ul><li>short life-time/danger of obsolescence </li></ul>
    15. 15. Issues and concerns in managing electronic records <ul><li>availability </li></ul><ul><li>intelligibility </li></ul><ul><li>reliability </li></ul><ul><li>accessibility through time </li></ul>
    16. 16. reliability <ul><li>easy to alter electronic docu- ments and images without any visible evidence </li></ul><ul><li>the need for periodic recopying introduces the possibility of accidental corruption </li></ul>
    17. 17. Gone forever There are electronic records that are now extinct and gone forever. On the endangered list How many floppy disks, CD’s, tapes, DVD’s, or other soon to be obsolete media may contain records of importance that are not well preserved and may be unreadable, inaccessible – and gone?
    18. 18. accessibility thru time <ul><li>extend the life of the information carrier </li></ul><ul><li>recopy onto more durable media </li></ul><ul><li>migrate across technology generations through system upgrades </li></ul><ul><li>leap-frog from a technology that is on the verge of obsolescence to a state-of-the-art one, bypassing current technology </li></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><ul><li>Email often replaces phone conversations and face to face meetings that would not have been included in files in the past, resulting in more records being created. </li></ul></ul>E-MAIL: Why are we talking about it?
    20. 20. The trouble with e-mails is… <ul><li>Staff routinely deleting e-mails – no written policy in the office on saving and deleting e-mails </li></ul><ul><li>Executive officer withdrew executive order directing deletion after 6 months…Not adequate for “protecting critical information and providing evidence….” </li></ul><ul><li>Technician reformatting a disk drive during routine maintenance accidentally deleted the files </li></ul>
    21. 21. Why do we need an e-mail policy? <ul><ul><li>Help employees understand the importance of managing e-mail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help employees use and manage e-mail properly, consistently, and effectively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarify responsibility & retention issues for e-mail </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li>Should the message be sent? </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid sensitive / confidential information - Beware of copyright </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful of Distribution Lists/Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Informal/Careless Tendency for misuse </li></ul>
    23. 23. “ Netiquette” aka E-mail Etiquette <ul><li>Provide a meaningful subject line </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on topic; don’t combine subjects. If it comprises multiple topics, consider multiple messages </li></ul><ul><li>Mind your manners “Please and Thank You” </li></ul><ul><li>Use a title if unfamiliar with the person or if it is formal correspondence </li></ul><ul><li>Watch your tone - BE CAREFUL OF ALL CAPS Use exclamation points sparingly!!!! </li></ul>
    24. 24. When constructing the message… <ul><ul><li>Be concise and professional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid wordiness - Stay away from jargon, acronyms, abbreviations, emoticons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If forwarding a message / attachment, is permission required? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><ul><ul><li>Am I the originator of the email and the message…. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>is a substantive message ? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>has to do with the work of my office? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>has content that I will need in future years to do my job? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>supports decisions that were made in my program area? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>requires me to take action? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>will be needed for operational, fiscal or legal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>purposes? </li></ul></ul></ul>Save the Email if you answer “yes”
    26. 26. The Email can be destroyed if you answer “yes” <ul><ul><li>Am I the originator of the email and the message is… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>personal? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>just “chit-chat?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>informational only? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Something I probably will not need and is being kept by someone else for operational, fiscal or legal purposes? </li></ul></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Save the Email if you answer “yes” <ul><li>Remind employees that the office has a right to monitor employee e-mails </li></ul><ul><li>Enforce office’s e-mail policy equally across organization </li></ul><ul><li>Be realistic about personal use </li></ul><ul><li>Never use e-mail to fire employees or to deliver bad news </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use e-mail to discuss an employee’s performance with other managers </li></ul><ul><li>Do not rely on e-mails to the exclusion of </li></ul><ul><li>personal contact </li></ul>
    28. 28. Think electronic “file cabinets” E-mail management Just like traditional metal cabinets used for paper, only digitized
    29. 29. How it works <ul><li>Individual users move e-mails into pre-determined folders </li></ul><ul><li>Users are responsible for decisions on retention and disposition </li></ul><ul><li>Good to set up as “working files”, or transitory administrative type information </li></ul><ul><li>Recommend “record” copies be retained </li></ul><ul><li>on drives or servers </li></ul>E-mail management
    30. 30. Adapt your paper files <ul><li>There is a good chance you already have an existing paper file structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapt to use for your “electronic file cabinets” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most users will use a limited number of folders specific to their job function and responsibilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create “desk guides” to get users familiar with their filing system </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. what is the lesson here ? modern information technology not only causes the problem , but also provides the possibilities to deal with them.