Published on February 17, 2014
Records Continuum Model Louise Spiteri School of Information management Louise.email@example.com CNSA 2012 Conference
Recordkeeping Recordkeeping is a process involving both record management and archival management. Records are: CNSA 2012 Conference
Recordkeeping Theory In traditional recordkeeping theory, records have different values: CNSA 2012 Conference
Definition of Record • ISO 15489: “Information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in transaction of business.” • The evidential value of a record can exist only if the content, structure, and context are preserved. The context is the link between different records that belong together and also to the process where the record was created. CNSA 2012 Conference
The Records Life Cycle: History The Records Life Cycle Model was conceived by Phillip Coolidge Brooks and Emmett J. Leahy of US National Archives in the late 1930s and further developed by Ira Penn. Based on the concept that a record has a life similar to that of a biological organism: It is born (creation phase) It lives (maintenance and use phase) It dies (disposition phase CNSA 2012 Conference
Linear Concept of the Life Cycle Model The initial model postulated that the record life cycle is linear and sequential CNSA 2012 Conference
Circular Life Cycle Model Today, the life cycle model is considered continuous and circular, as demonstrated by this representation from Library and Archives Canada. Note, however, that each stage is separate. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/007/ 002/007002-2012-e.html CNSA 2012 Conference
Underlying Premise of the Life Cycle Model The life cycle model is based on the idea that records become less important as time passes. Active or Current records: Used regularly and frequently in dayto-day work of the organization. Semi-active: Not in use as frequently as current records, but must be kept for legal or operational reasons to be retained. Required for compliance with procedural, statutory, or financial requirements. Inactive Records: Records no longer required for the work of the organization. Subject to appraisal procedures for final disposition CNSA 2012 Conference
Demarcated Phases in the Life Cycle Model The life cycle model is divided between the records management and archival phases CNSA 2012 Conference
Records Management Phase Creation or receipt of information in the form of records Classification of the records or their information in some logical system Maintenance and use of the records CNSA 2012 Conference
Archival Management Phase Selection/acquisition of the records by an archives Description of the records in inventories and finding aids Preservation of the records Reference and use of the information by researchers and scholars. CNSA 2012 Conference
Stages in the Life Cycle Model, 1 Creation and Capture of Official Records (RM) The first phase of the Records Life Cycle involves records being created, collected or received through the daily transactions of the agency that detail the functions, policies, decisions or procedures of the agency. Records should be captured to ensure that they are accessible to all who require them, subject to any restrictions that may apply, and managed in accordance with policy and procedures secured against tampering, unauthorized access or unlawful deletion, and disposed of promptly in accordance with legal authority. CNSA 2012 Conference
Stages in the Life Cycle Model, 2 Organization, Maintenance & Use (RM) This can include filing, retrieving, use, duplication, printing, dissemination, release or exchange of the information in the record. This stage is managed by records managers. Management of official records includes the following: Standards and procedures for classifying, indexing, labeling, and filing the records and information to ensure their ready access and retrievability for the conduct of the agency's business; Establishing and documenting file locations; and Standardized procedures for retrieval and refiling of records and information. CNSA 2012 Conference
Stages in the Life Cycle Model, 3 Disposition (RM) At the disposition phase, records are assessed to determine their retention value using records retention and disposal schedules. This leads to either the preservation or destruction of the record. This stage is managed by records managers. Permanent records are those records that have enduring historical or other value and will never be destroyed. When records are determined to be of permanent value they need to be transferred to archival storage. CNSA 2012 Conference
Stages in the Life Cycle Model, 4 Preservation (archival management) Archival records are protected for the use of present and future generations. Different measures are taken to minimize the risk of loss of records and to slow down, as much as possible, the processes of physical or virtual deterioration which affect most archive materials. CNSA 2012 Conference
Value of the Life Cycle Model The life cycle model has been seen as an effective to manage records: Without this model, vast quantities of inactive records clog up expensive office space and servers, making it difficult to retrieve important administrative, financial and legal information. Without a model that controls records through the earlier phases of their lifecycle, those of archival value cannot be identified and preserved. CNSA 2012 Conference
Demarcation of Roles The life cycle approach draws a clear demarcation the functions of the records manager and the archivist. The division of activities into records management and archival phases, with the consequent division of responsibility between the records manager and the archivist could be seen as artificial and restrictive. CNSA 2012 Conference
Concerns with this Demarcation, 1 In 1958 Ian Maclean, the Australian National Archivist, toured North American and European archival institutions looking for best practices and suitable patterns for structuring archival services. Maclean concluded that records managers were the true archivists, and that archival science should be directed toward studying: the characteristics of records materials, the past and present recordkeeping systems, and the classification problems associated with these. CNSA 2012 Conference
Concerns with this Demarcation, 2 At the 1985 meeting of the Association of Canadian Archivists, Jay Atherton questioned the logic of the linear sequence of the life cycle model: Is the management of current records the first stage in the administration of archives? Is the continuing preservation of valuable records the last step in records management? Does the archivist have no role to play in serving the creator of the records, in determining disposal periods, or developing classification systems? Does the records manager have no responsibility in identifying permanently valuable records or serving researchers? CNSA 2012 Conference
Concerns with this Demarcation, 3 Atherton postulated that all stages of records are interrelated, forming a continuum in which both records managers and archivists are involved, to varying degrees, in the ongoing management of recorded information. As they progress through their life cycle, records experience a series of recurring and reverberating activities within both archives and records management. The underlying unifying or linking factor in the continuum is the service function to the creators and all users CNSA 2012 Conference
Symbiotic Record Manager/Archivist Relationship Effective management of recorded information requires ongoing cooperative interaction between the records manager and the archivist to: Ensure the creation of the right records, containing the right information, in the right format; Organize the records and analyze their content and significance to facilitate their availability; Make them available promptly to those who have a right and a requirement to see them; Systematically dispose of records that are no longer required; and Protect and preserve the information for as long as it may be needed. CNSA 2012 Conference
Records Continuum Model The model was developed in the 1990s by Frank Upward, senior lecturer in the School of Information Management and Systems at Monash University in Melbourne,who was influenced heavily by Jay Atherton’s theories about the relationship between records management and archivists. The records continuum is a consistent and coherent regime of management processes from the time of the creation of records (and before creation, in the design of recordkeeping systems) through to the preservation and use of records as archives. CNSA 2012 Conference
Upward’s Underlying Principles Records are used for transactional, evidentiary, and memory purposes, and should be handled by a unified approaches to archiving/recordkeeping, regardless of retention periods. Records as logical rather than physical entities, regardless of whether they are in paper or electronic form. The recordkeeping profession needs to integrate recordkeeping into business and societal processes and purposes. Archival science is the foundation for organizing knowledge about recordkeeping. CNSA 2012 Conference
The role of Recordkeeping in the Continuum Model To facilitate governance. To facilitate corporate, social, cultural, and historical accountability. To capture corporate and collective memory, especially insofar as records capture experiential knowledge. To provide evidence of both personal and collective identity. To provide value-added information that can be exploited as assets, with new records being created in the process. CNSA 2012 Conference
Contributions of the Continuum Model The model brings together records managers and archivists under an integrated recordkeeping framework with a common goal: to guarantee the reliability, authenticity, and completeness of records. The model provides common understanding, consistent standards, unified best practice criteria, and interdisciplinary approaches in recordkeeping and archiving processes. The model provides sustainable recordkeeping to connect the past to the present and the present to the future. CNSA 2012 Conference
Records Continuum Model http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/research/groups/rcrg/publica CNSA 2012 Conference tions/frank-u-rmj-2001.pdf
Dimension 1: Creation Involves: a creator(s) the transaction in which they take part, of which a document is a result the document itself (with or without archival characteristics) the trace (or representation) of that transaction embodied in the document. The model identifies accountable acts and creates reliable evidence of such acts by capturing records of related/supporting transactions. Records of business activities are created as part of business communication processes within the organization. CNSA 2012 Conference
Dimension 2: Capture Involves: the personal and corporate recordkeeping systems that capture documents to support their function as evidence of the social and business activities of the units responsible for the activities Records that have been created or received in an organization are tagged with metadata, including how they link to other records. With characteristics from the second dimension, records, now attest to evidence of action and can be distributed, accessed and understood by others involved in undertaking business activities CNSA 2012 Conference
Dimension 3: Organize Involves: investing the record with explicit elements needed to ensure that the record is available over time. Records become part of a formal system of storage and retrieval that constitutes the organization's corporate memory. CNSA 2012 Conference
Dimension 4: Pluralize Involves: The broader social, legal, and regulatory environments in which records operate Records required for purposes of societal accountability become part of wider archival systems that comprise records from a range of organizations. Ensures that records can be reviewed, accessed, and analyzed beyond the agency for social, legal, and cultural accountability for as long as they are required. CNSA 2012 Conference
Axes, 1 The recordkeeping axis represents the state of the record and is the closest axis to the traditional Life Cycle model, as it follows a record from creation to description, then to organization, and then to incorporation in a general body of information. As a record moves out to each stage, it does not lose the previous quality; an individual record within the cultural memory is still a document that has been created. The axis is still about context rather than about the passage of time. CNSA 2012 Conference
Axes, 2 The identity axis indicates what entity that record is associated with. The transactional axis is concerned with the use of that record. The evidence axis is about the record’s state as evidence. A record may be involved in any of the axes, depending on when it is considered, and in what context. CNSA 2012 Conference
Benefits of the Continuum Model, 1 The Model’s primary focus is the multiple purposes of records. Its goal is the development of recordkeeping systems that capture, manage, and maintain records with sound evidential characteristics for as long as the records are of value to the organization, any successor, or society. It promotes the integration of recordkeeping into the organization’s business systems and processes. CNSA 2012 Conference
Benefits of the Continuum Model, 2 Instead of being reactive, managing records after they have been created, recordkeeping becomes proactive. In partnership with other stakeholders, identify records of activities that need to be retained, then implement business systems designed with built-in recordkeeping capability, to ensure that records of evidential quality are captured as they are created. With appropriate metadata to ensure that they are accurate, complete, reliable, and usable, these records have the necessary attributes of content, context, and structure to act as evidence of business activity. CNSA 2012 Conference
Integration of records management and archiving By focusing on: similarities rather than differences qualities and quantities of records rather than quantities alone cohesive ways of thinking of records rather than disparate or passive ways integrated policy making rather than fragmented frameworks integrated control of policy implementation rather than separate control integrated rather than disparate approaches to problem solving meeting customers' needs through collaboration rather than by duplication and overlap CNSA 2012 Conference
Archivists in the Continuum The traditional role of archivists posits that their work begins once records enter the archival repository, i.e., at the end of their life cycle. The records continuum removes the distinction of records in use and records in their archival (dead) state, since records are used in their archival phase. The records continuum allows archivists to intervene in the creation stage of records to ensure their reliability and authenticity over time and space. This requires knowledge of the activities that give rise to the creation of records with evidential properties. Archivists must be able to indicate which artefacts are, in fact, records. CNSA 2012 Conference
Model Aspect Life Cycle Continuum Origins • evolved from the need to effectively control and manage physical records after World War II • evolving from the more demanding need to exercise control and management over electronic records for digital era Elements of records definition • physical entity • • • content context structure Major concerns in records management • records-centered, productdriven focus on records as tangible physical entities the physical existence of records themselves • • • purpose-centered, process- and customer-driven focus on the nature of the records, the recordkeeping process, the behaviours and relationships of records in certain environments time-based: records pass through stages time sequence: records processes take place in a given sequence • multi-dimensional: records exist in space/time not space and time simultaneity: records processes can happen at any point in the record’s existence. • • Records movement patterns • • • CNSA 2012 Conference
Model Aspect Life Cycle Continuum Recordkeeping perspectives • • • exclusive single purpose organizational or collective memory current or historical value • • • end of records movement • passive and reactive locked into custodial role and strategies Proactive post-custodians: •recordkeeping policy makers •standard setters •designers of recordkeeping systems and implementation strategies • Time of archival • appraisal Role of records professional • • • inclusive multiple purposes can be organizational and collective memory can have current, regulatory, and historical value from the time of creation simultaneously not sequentially from beginning to end CNSA 2012 Conference
CNSA 2012 Conference https://www.arma.org/bookstore/files/xiaomi_0703.pdf
Conclusions, 1 CNSA 2012 Conference
Conclusions, 2 CNSA 2012 Conference
Bibliography Atherton, J. ( 1985). From life cycle to continuum. Some thoughts on the records management- archives relationship. Archivaria, 21, 43-51. Flynn, S. J. A. (2001). The records continuum model in context and its Implications for archival practice. Journal of the Society of Archivists, 22 (1), 79-93. Government of South Australia. (2011). Records life cycle. Retrieved from http://www.decd.sa.gov.au/rmp/pages/cg0000941/lifecycle/?reFlag=1 International Standards Organization. (2001). ISO15489-1. Information and documentation and records management part 1: General. International Standards Organization, Geneva. McKemmish, S. (1997). Yesterday, today and tomorrow: A continuum of responsibility. Retrieved from http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/research/groups/rcrg/publications/recordscontinuum-smckp2.html#fig1 Northwest Territories. (2002). The life cycle of records. Records Management Bulletin, 6. Upward. F. (1996). Structuring the records continuum - part one: Postcustodial principles and properties. Retrieved from http://infotech.monash.edu/research/groups/rcrg/publications/recordscontinuum-fupp1.html CNSA 2012 Conference
The Records Continuum Model (RCM) was created in the 1990s by Monash University academic Frank Upward with input from colleagues Sue McKemmish and Livia ...
The records continuum model deemphasizes the time-bound stages of the life cycle model.
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This article provides an overview of evolving Australian records continuum theory and the records continuum model, which is interpreted as both a metaphor ...