Electronic Records Research

Working Meeting

May 28-30, 1997

A Report from the Archives Community[1]

David Bearman and Jennifer Trant
Archives & Museum Informatics
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
{dbear, jtrant}@archimuse.com

D-Lib Magazine, July/August 1997

ISSN 1082-9873


Issues of digital preservation have caught attention of the Digital Libraries community in recent years, not in the least because of the work of the Task Force on Archiving of Digital Information.[2] However, concerns in the archives and records management communities about electronic record have been quite different from those expressed by the library and preservation communities. This divergence reflects a fundamental difference between the way the two communities think about records and deserves serious efforts by both to understand each others' the underlying paradigm. Collaboration between these communities is essential if we are going to design systems that ensure the long-term preservation of electronic records.

A decade ago, most archivists thought about electronic records issues much the way that librarians do today -- as a problem of documenting and preserving data files in specialized repositories. Since then networked computing has transformed the mechanisms of business communications and archivists have increasingly adopted the view that records, whether paper or electronic, are the carriers and documentation of the everyday transactions of business. As such, the fundamental issues regarding record capture and retention, whether in paper or electronic form are their identification, classification by provenance, and retention in context of use so they can be understood. Only when these challenges have been successfully met will questions of how or where to keep records or how to provide access to them arise. Thus the 'archives' as files in need of retention, and the 'archives' as repository, are issues only after what are currently the most difficult challenges of day-to-day recordkeeping have been satisfied.

Librarians and the preservation community still focus their attention on electronic objects prepared and published as coherent entities to reside in repositories. Thus they can generally ignore the very real problem of acquiring coherent records from disparate business information systems not designed to keep records and rife with undocumented software and hardware dependencies. Nor do they usually deal with objects whose content is frequently, if not usually, splattered with proprietary, personal, private, secret and commercially sensitive, decision-making supporting and legally troublesome otherwise non-public data. So, when archivists go to meetings of librarians and preservationists focused on keeping electronic "archives" they generally find the discussion overlooks the front end of the issue, where records "happen". Librarians and preservationists, meanwhile, find it hard to understand how archivists can seemingly shrug off the back-end, long-term retention issues, as not terribly interesting and dependent on technology developments very much out of the hands of either community.

This spring, a working meeting of international researchers and practitioners of the archival approach to electronic recordkeeping was organized in Pittsburgh by Archives & Museum Informatics. This meeting, without apology, did not include librarians and preservationists, and it focused primarily on the issues at the front end, before records can be brought together to become the problem of any repository. This report, however, is directed to the larger community, to advance the state of research on creating and acquiring electronic records and assist in explaining the view of the archival community to others. For these issues, of electronic record creation and capture, are shared by all those who have become dependent upon technological systems to support their business processes.


The 1997 meeting was modeled on similar sessions in 1994[3] and 1991[4] and was one of at least 20 meetings held in the past decade bringing parts of this community together. Although it tried to give sufficient definition to the state of the field to permit a few more years of work to take place before the next such meeting is required, it will not be the last! Participation in the meeting was by invitation; about 90 individuals representing almost 40 projects and the national archives of ten countries were approached, and in the event 55 participants from 40 projects attended. All participants played and active role at the meeting, either as presenters, chairs or breakout group leaders. More than half the participants came from outside the USA, and they included the highest levels of representation from many national archives and companies.

The purpose of the meeting's goal was to bring researchers familiar with work being done worldwide together not to review their conclusions, but to identify what they felt the most significant "open issues" were. We hoped to define a set of clearly articulated research questions that were the logical "next steps" for the field. Participants were treated to a healthy dose of background reading, to make it possible for presenters to assume familiarity with the state of ongoing projects world-wide.[5] Knowing that researchers are always thinking about their next problem, and that practitioners are always looking for answers, the organizers of the meeting hoped for a healthy synergy.

The meeting confirmed the degree to which common ground has been reached in past several years. It also became clear that much research has been focused on particular portions of the problem. However, many solutions which appear independent are actually closely related and interdependent. It also revealed some tension between practitioners who want to just get on with it, and researchers who seem to be peeling an onion. This may reveal a critical juncture in the development of solutions for electronic records management. After a long period of developing models, agreeing on terminology, and defining problems we seem ready to begin serious testing of solutions proposed.

Synopsis of Discussions

A number of open issues were highlighted at the opening of the meeting, on which speakers were asked to present, and which Breakout Groups discussed in detail. These were:

  1. What makes an electronic record? How are records defined and what metadata ensures their "recordness"?
  2. Does policy adoption contribute to more effective electronic records management? If so, what policies can best ensure electronic accountability and integrity of records?
  3. What business events generate records? How are these events recognised?
  4. How can metadata about electronic records be captured? How can they best be stored and maintained in relation to records?
  5. How can records be maintained? What are the requirements for using them?

1. Definition of Records

The first session dealt with an issue that is crucial both to the law and the technology of electronic records - the definition of an electronic record. Archivists distinguish between records and information or data; not all information or data is a record. Records are that which was created in the conduct of business and communicated between parties to that business; some archivists believe records must be "set aside" in the course of business to be considered a record. In any case, the fact of being transacted in a particular business context is crucial to record, thus an adequate record will contain evidence of the context of its creation. The consensus, largely developed since 1990, is that:

  1. Records are evidence of transactions (relationships of acts), means of action and information about acts
  2. Records are known by their metadata - form manuals have long known this
  3. Ideal records metadata can be defined from societal understanding of recordness
  4. Any given record will be a better/worse (more/less risky) record for having complete/incomplete metadata
  5. The metadata is about content, context and structure[6]

Research into this issue has been focused around the activities of two major groups of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh[7] and the University of British Columbia (UBC).[8] Both were asked to present their findings about what makes a record a record. Presentations by Luciana Duranti, Maria Guercio, Richard Cox and Wendy Duff focused on the source of authority for, and universality of, records metadata requirements. Driven by pragmatism, the University of Pittsburgh team looked for "warrant" in the sources considered authoritative by the practitioners of ancillary professions on whom archivists rely - lawyers, auditors, information technology (IT) personnel etc.[9] In the European tradition, the UBC team examined the authority of diplomatics, a discipline grounded in the "juridical systems" of early modern Europe.[10] To many, their differences on sources of authority (a more philosophical issue about the nature of truth) were overshadowed by their apparent agreement on basic characteristics and most concrete metadata requirements.

Subsequent breakout discussions demonstrated that neither definition is adequate for those responsible for managing electronic records, or provides necessary algorithmic specificity for systems to recognize records when they are created by business events. There was an agreement that a record is comprised of content, context and structure (these together comprise what the UBC Project calls the "archival bond"), and that it provided evidence of a business transaction,[11] but this was supplemented by calls for an architecture to express these relationships.

A need was felt to synthesize the definitions put forward to date and to identify the common core elements of an electronic record: a high-level definition useful across systems and communities. This could be supplemented by variable sets of metadata drawn from the warrant of different juridical, business, organizational, and procedural contexts. In combination with the architecture mentioned above, a core definition would provide a model that maps the differing concepts and languages of the research projects. This common semantic would enable collaboration across the discipline, and would provide a means of communication with record creators, users, and researchers in other disciplines.

More research is needed into the relationship between warrants in different countries, for different sectors and for different purposes. Does the common core definition of an electronic record exist across societies? What needs do specific user communities have for regulatory compliance or risk avoidance? Models of business processes are required to understand the roles of electronic records within them.

Many difficult questions were raised regarding the relative costs of implementing different definitions of an electronic record, or accepting minimal requirements for records metadata. The ways in which standards could carry metadata attributes and the relative importance of different requirements need to be assess vis à vis risk and cost factors, to provide an understanding of the costs and benefits of particular strategies for electronic records management. We need to understand the risks that organizations take in creating records without particular kinds of attributes, in order to make practical decisions about implementation.

A tension was inherent in the discussion of definitions of electronic records. While a more generalized framework was seen as necessary to bridge the philosophical differences of the researchers, this would not serve the needs of those who are building systems. There, concrete expressions of both the semantics and the syntax of electronic records and their associated metadata are required urgently. The utility of the definition is the basic issue.

2. Policy

The second session dealt with electronic record policy formulation at an institutional, national and international level. Presenters included Luisa Moscato of the Records Management Office of New South Wales,[12] and Greg O'Shea of the Australian Archives[13], who presented the process by which they formulated a coordinated Australian professional policy, policies at the state and national archives, and the cross-sectoral Australian Records Management Standard, AS4390.[14] Peter Horsman of the Dutch National Archives has worked within Dutch civil service functions to formulate policies in the Netherlands.[15] Both efforts in policy formulation have served as a major vehicle for clarifying the roles and values of archival organizations, an unanticipated benefit, regardless of whether the policies themselves result in better recordkeeping.

The presenters agreed that broad frameworks directing people and organizations to keep electronic records need to be accompanied by specific performance standards, monitoring/reporting mechanisms, rewards and penalties. The policy frameworks presented reinforced the view that records result from business processes and are the responsibility of process managers.

Policy is a strategic, and not fundamentally a technological, issue. While electronic recordkeeping policies are not at odds with traditional (paper) recordkeeping policies, they might require new legislation. They most certainly require new guidance and training for their implementation. However, given that the issue was seen as strategic, the presenters acknowledged that as yet they know little about the acceptance or adherence to their policies, the costs of implementing (or even developing) them, or the appropriate level of granularity in implementation.

Much of the discussion also focussed on the implementation of new electronic records management policies. What resources are required to support policy changes and their implementation? How do we make convincing arguments for organisations to change existing practices? Does expressing electronic records management requirements in terms of standards such as ISO 9000, which has a recordkeeping component, make them more easily implementable. Are Freedom of Information legislation and Privacy requirements a more convincing impetus in public sector organisations? What about the regulatory environments of some industries? What is the most effective position of archival policy with broader context of information policy and government policies? What is the most effective methodology to develop electronic records policy?

Can we demonstrate positive impact of electronic records management policy? Case studies and outlines of "best practices" are needed to learn more about costs and benefits of different policy options. What is held in common across all strategic options? What are the generic lessons? How prescriptive or detailed do policies need to be in order to be most effective?

It was recognized that as well as being theoretically sound, electronic records management policies must be implementable. If much of the responsibility for the creation and retention of records is shifted to the desktop of individuals, how do we maintain the quality of records? What are viable strategies in terms of hardware and software implementation? Can we develop a generic set of specifications for tender? What role can professional "best practices" play?

Hand in hand with the need for good tools is the need for increased training. How can we ensure that training delivered is relevant and engaging for both the professional and the end user? What additional skills are required for records managers who now have to deal with electronic records? What basics do we need to communicate beyond the discipline? What happens when policy outpaces our knowledge and/or ability to act?

Changes in policy require changes in accountability structures as well. Can policies be enforced? Which mechanisms work to ensure compliance, and how can project managers, whose output is measured in other business terms, be held accountable for records management? What rewards and penalties are appropriate? It was recognised that some organisations respond more readily to policy changes than others. What strategies are available as alternatives in less formal working environments? What kinds of organisations respond best to policy? Which to design? Which to implementation? Which to standards? Are there identifiable and measurable differences between industries, and between the public and private sector?

Generally, the policies currently being articulated require a reinvention of archival roles. This raises the interesting question of whether they are intended consciously or sub-consciously to generate that outcome.

3. Recognizing Record Creating Events

The third session explored the questions: What business events generate records? and How are these events recognized? Outside the archival community, it is useful to understand that most archivists believe that few if any information systems existing in organizations create records, or at least create records which are adequate to serve as evidence of business transactions. Since organizations participate in far too many record-creating events in too distributed a fashion to assign the responsibility for making record-creating decisions to an office of recordkeepers, either individuals engaged in daily business, or systems communicating records must somehow make the decision to create records.

Groups presenting in this session included Artificial Intelligence Atlanta, a team engaged in research with the US Department of Defense (DoD),[16] and ASTRA (a Swedish pharmaceutical firm) and the Swedish National Archives, jointly involved in research to develop methods for electronic recordkeeping in the pharmaceutical industry (an industry well represented at this meeting because they are both heavily regulated and have huge long-term liabilities which can be defended only with their, now largely electronic, scientific records). Both teams are attempting to find methods to identify a record creating event, or a business transaction which requires a record to be created, based on understanding of and definition of the business transaction environment. At issue is how can a system recognize a 'trigger' event. The ASTRA team used STEP[17] to model the business process and identify such events (which they have termed "causa"), while the DoD team tried to develop a set-based logic to identify events and provide "automated decision support for classification" to a human records classifier. Both acknowledged that models of types of actions don't necessarily conform to actions as conducted; matching the process model to real events has proven difficult. Unfortunately, the archival rules to which the business model would relate, if it was success, are also not as formal as they need to be. Expressions in set theory proposed by AIA look highly algorithmic, but in fact are too vague in operation.

Traditional research questions raised in the breakout discussions surrounded how to distinguish creator vs. organizational requirements. A tension was recognized between the creation of functional and efficient business systems and the implementation of full electronic records capture functionality.

For those in the group who felt that one of the primary characteristics of an electronic record was that it was "set aside", classification became a key moment in the process.[18] Much work has focused on how to classify documents consistently. Work-flow systems that positioned the creation of a record within a function, and linked that function to a pre-defined classification were seen as promising. Another tack would be to identify functions assigned to personnel classifying a recording order to narrow the possibilities available to them, and improve accuracy. Both of these approaches suggest the creation of a structured electronic workspace; work is done within functional areas to aid in the record capture process. This makes possible for systems implementation methodologies that can test for rigorous adherence.

This reliance upon an understanding of the business processes carried out by an organization raised questions regarding modeling of workflow itself. What data is required about the function being performed, and how is location in workflow related to a captured record. Clear models for functional requirements specification are needed. Methodologies to analyze business transactions and process are required in order to represent the position of electronic records within these processes and to reflect their business value. While both the Pittsburgh Projects Business Acceptable Communications model and the UBC project present partial models, we remain without a generic, reusable representation of common business processes.

We need to develop significantly rigorous models of business processes which can be applied in similar environments. This will make re-use possible and leverage the significant investment made in development. But are there generic methodologies for modeling events and activities that are flexible and reusable? What are the minimal requirements for record capture? How can these be extended within local contexts? Is it possible to embed a generic process-level activity model in a local implementation? Do we capture a fixed record with functionality associated with record keeping, or additional functionality associated with the native record? How do we reconcile use and maintenance functions?

The dependence on business process analysis, however raised questions regarding the role of the archivist within an interdisciplinary team that is creating new systems to support electronic work. The major challenge becomes the communication of recordkeeping requirements to systems designers and implementors. This would be aided by a consistent and unambiguous model of events and activities, which establishes a synthesis between the various models proposed and the business processes and functions identified.

Any model would need to have a dynamic component in order to accommodate change through time and a documentation method that supported future understanding of the meaning of such changes. Flexibility is also essential to enable variations in local practice, and to reconcile distinctions in resource availability and organizational size.

How does this theoretical approach find practical expression in different contexts? Can we build a practical application, for example within the pharmaceutical or financial sector, that will help alleviate the skepticism encountered during this transition? What is the link between policy and systems design? We need to explore methods such as user-centered design and rapid prototyping in order to raise awareness of records-based activities within user communities. This will also help increase our understanding of what goes on "behind the screen" and what should be actions required of the user.

4. Capturing Records

The fourth session took up where the prior ones had left off and continued the exploration of the relationship between business processes, business transactions, record creation, record capture and record keeping systems. If the record creating event and the requirements of 'recordness' are both known, focus shifts to capturing the metadata and binding it to the record contents. The National Archives of Canada team, represented by John McDonald, has been looking at how interfaces in the work environment can be constructed to enable the capture of electronic records.[19] David Bearman of Archives & Museum Informatics has been building models of how the metadata captured in the record creation can best be structured for the uses which it needs to support and how to ensure its inviolability, and its readability, over time.[20] He is exploring reference models which might provide a generic record metadata structure and is examining how these models relate to other metadata standardization activities, such as the Dublin Core.[21] If a record is comprised of both its metadata and its content, how can these two facets be bound together?

McDonald reported on a vision developed at the National Archives of Canada where recordkeeping is transparent, incorporated into an overall IT strategy and integrated into tools and technology. But what does ìtransparentî mean, and what does this world look like? How do we articulate the relationships between programs, work processes and activities, within organization? What is required in order to specify built in capture and retention rules (to enable automated disposition)?

Again the discussion returned to the need to develop consistent ways of describing business process -- in this case, a vocabulary to describe functions. If we model processes within an organization, not simply for keeping records, but in order to support the business communications, then we may be able to define a process language that enables recordkeeping. It was felt that many of the same processes are employed across organizations (such as hiring and interviewing). Generic models may be possible.

Often, when organizations re-examine workflow in the context of automation they are focused on improving their business processes. Strategies for integrating a recordkeeping function at this point need to be investigated. Within the context of systems design, we need to investigate ordinary user/creator behavior with aim of improving interfaces designed to support the creation and capture of electronic records. By turning the focus from the archivist to the user, we will be able to asses what is feasible, rather than desirable. Such a study would need to assess what the user tolerate in a record-keeping system, and relate this to stated requirements for recordkeeping and organizational tolerances for risks.

We need to know more about the level of quality that can be expected from the desktop. The perception was that a large gap existed between what the users call records and what archivists define as records. Can user behavior be improved/changed? What intervention in business processes can or will the organization tolerate? Are there identifiable levels of investment, intervention and risk?

Such an approach would work in a structured formalized work environment, but how can systems be designed that support the relatively unstructured environment in the modern office, where work processes are complex, ad hoc and dynamic? Can recordkeeping be made invisible? or should those responsible for record creation be made aware of their actions?

Even if systems could be designed and implemented to automate the capture of electronic records, research is still needed into the required metadata. How do we model recordkeeping systems that enable records and their metadata to remain meaningful over time? What makes an envelope? How can we ensure the integrity of a record through time? Will metadata have to be "registered"? What metadata is required to support future re-use? How does metadata required for electronic records map to that identified by other groups - for discovery for example?

If an encapsulated object approach is taken, what are the characteristics of a good envelope? Are there existing technologies or standards that can be adapted or implemented? Are there standard syntaxes that are "good enough" for some situations? How can we assign value metrics around the capture, management, retention, and migration of electronic records? What are the costs versus the benefits of various strategies?

Test-bed projects are needed to benchmark and cost various approaches to the capture and retention of electronic records and their associated metadata. The semantics and syntax of a generic attribute set need to be designed and tested against the functionality required, The effectiveness of metadata in reducing software dependencies must be evaluated and tested in a variety of circumstances.

5. Maintaining Records over Time

The fifth session focused on the maintenance of electronic records over time. It built on the consensus that exact replication of digital objects is rarely feasible or cost effective, and that migration should replace technology refreshment as preservation strategy. Migration, however, is inherently imperfect: Implementation dependency choices have their costs downstream; and the gap between functional (semi-active) and non-functional (representations) is, from a practical migration perspective, absolute.

Researchers in this session included Margaret Hedstrom of the University of Michigan,[22] Anne Marie Makerenko from Babson College Archives,[23] and Alan Murdock, representing a team from Pfizer Ltd., a British pharmaceutical company.[24] Their research questions were eminently practical, and focused on the costs and mechanics of maintaining electronic archives. How can we model event driven records retention scheduling? What are migration cost elements? What risks arise from what loss under what circumstances? And can models be developed and/or partners be found in highly regulated industries where long-term retention of electronic records is a legislated mandate?

It is evident to the researchers that much remains to be determined before scalable solutions are available. Though practitioners keep asking for "core" definitions, and implementable procedures, it is not yet clear that "cores" are workable. The last mile is proving hard to travel because frameworks aren't good at the detailed semantics, because functional requirements are far from specifications, and because the real costs of migrations depend on so many local variables. Concrete implementations are necessary to build our understanding of these factors, but comparative analysis and detailed reporting on choices made and the rationales for them will be critical to building shared strategies.

As Margaret Hedstrom observed, we need to improve our knowledge of alternatives to exact replication. What strategies are appropriate to different types of records and different preservation goals? How much functionality must be maintained in an archival electronic record? What is acceptable information loss? Could we consider the preservation on surrogates? Can we reconstruct context and structure? We need criteria for the creation and evaluation of surrogates as preservation tools.

Hand-in-hand is the need to educate users in the interpretation of records in digital archives. In the past, we have assumed a level of "literacy" that transcended what a physical document said to interpret its meaning from its form and context as well as its content. We've never assumed that users would accept paper archives 'as is': How do we develop the same critical faculties in current users?

We also need to build a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of electronic records, including compound documents (and other highly software dependent objects) in order to apply migration strategies to records at a macro level. What protocols can we develop for document migration that take advantage of identified similarities between record types and exploit automated tools? How can we build migration strategies and tools oriented to future technologies rather than past ones? How do we validate such migration to ensure its accuracy? What is necessary to vouch for the integrity of a migrated record?

While we need to measure effectiveness, of migration strategies, we also need a more detailed understanding of the measurement of costs. We are without baseline data against which various strategies can be evaluated. Absolute cost estimates are also hard to come by. While it is apparent that different elements will be included and excluded in certain circumstances, and certain that there will always be local costs variables, we need concrete exposed actual costs from a variety of settings in order to make informed policy decisions.

Again, implementation became a major theme. How can we devise migration programs without a detailed understanding of the costs and benefits of particular approaches to migration? How do we assess the risks involved in information loss? We are unable to ensure that particular methods will "work" in all situations; how do we support local decision-making to enable the best conclusions for a particular situation? What are the project management and quality assurance techniques that will be most effective throughout the process.

Finally, it remains unclear whether or how -- besides the need to maintain more explicit contextual metadata -- the requirements for long-term preservation of records are fundamentally different from the requirements for the preservation of other types of digital information? If so, how are they different? Where can we collaborate with the broader community, and where must specific "archival" solutions be developed?

Towards a Research Agenda

Outside of Australia, where strong community leadership is creating an environment (now standards and law driven) that requires action on electronic records, the archival community remains technically and economically ill prepared to step up to this formidable challenge. Archivists have not yet found a way to enlist others in an on-going fashion in solving problems that cannot be addressed by archivists alone. This articulation of open issues may aid in convincing others to join the research. But the practical focus many archivists have on managing their collections often makes the adoption of research results difficult. Many archivists are impatient that the answers are complex, the progress is slow, and the solutions require a significant investment in intellectual financial capital to implement. Archivists as a broad community often have difficulty understanding the need for research, formulating researchable questions, appreciating the importance of methodologies, or envisioning implementations which test hypotheses.

It seems likely that the archival electronic records community will continue to be divided by several internal divisions that are of little relevance to others, including the role of diplomatics and pure theory, the role of custody and the investment in repositories, and the value of informational databases in archives. In addition, the novelty of the World Wide Web (WWW) has distracted many archivists to perhaps futile exercises in documenting the Web or in useful, but unrelated, exercises of using the Internet to provide greater access to their holdings. Increasingly in the USA at least, it is evident that government archives will have little impact on electronic recordkeeping in the 1990's just as they had none in the 1980's or 70's. Lots of hand wringing aside, this probably matters very little since good government recordkeeping is the exception rather than the norm anyway.

A strong business case is still needed to justify the role of archivists in the creation of electronic records management systems. Next steps require broad, comparable implementations, not isolated funded studies. The problem will be to bring results from such projects back to the community either because they are proprietary or because practitioners are busy with next project. We need to provide measurable costs, effects and tactics on a large scale. This, of course, involves the need to collaborate with people outside the archives profession (and may hasten the realization that archiving is a multi-professional function in which many roles are played). The problem begins with the need to communicate better - including to communicate better about research agendas (as well as with user communities regarding the warrant for recordkeeping).

For the near term, the most promising areas for research seem to require greater specificity and granularity in their focus. In the definition of records, we need concrete risks associated with different definitions in different circumstances and executable specification of recordness.[25] In policy, we need to define the concrete costs and benefits of specific policies and their implementation through organizational, national and international mechanisms. At the creation phase, we need testable models of the kinds of records created by different business processes. In the arena of capturing records we need tests of registry mechanisms for software and hardware dependency metadata and for business context metadata, and we need to test proposed structures for the inviolable storage of metadata and records' content. For the maintenance of records over time, we need comparative migration data and measures of the effectiveness of different systems architectures, and strategic solutions for the universal retention of records (obviating the need for each institution to invest in its own migration of dependencies). Finally, we need very detailed and granular research into the needs of users and how they are articulated so that metadata on the content and context of records will support the research process.

None of these problems is going to be easy to solve, but the meeting this spring articulated a full set of open questions which will provide grist for researchers and practitioners for a long time to come. The archivists participating there looked forward to the inter-disciplinary collaboration necessary to move beyond 'open questions' to workable solutions.


1. The Proceedings of this meeting are published in Archives and Museum Informatics: the cultural heritage informatics quarterly, Vol. 11, no. 3, available from Kluwer Academic Publishers <http://kapis.www.wkap.nl>

2. Commission on Preservation and Access and the Research Libraries Group, Task Force on Archiving of Digital Information, Preserving Digital Information, Washington, DC: Commission on Preservation and Access, May 1, 1996.

3. Reported in Archives and Museum Informatics, Volume 8, no. 4, 1994.

4. Research Issues in Electronic Records: Report of the Working Meeting St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1991.

5. This material is being assembled on CD-ROM by Archives & Museum Informatics, under the title Electronic Records Research Resources, 1997.

6. See David Bearman, ìElectronic Records Research Issues: a decade of refining problem statementsî in Archives and Museum Informatics, 11:3, 1997 for a review of the state of electronic records research prior to the working meeting.

7. "Functional Requirements for Evidence in Recordkeeping", a research project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), known as "The Pittsburgh Project". See <http://www.sis.pitt.edu/~nhprc>

8. "The Preservation of the Integrity of Electronic Records," University of British Columbia research project. See <http://www.slais.ubc.ca/users/duranti/>

9. Richard J. Cox and Wendy Duff, "Warrant and the Definition of Electronic Records: Questions Arising from the Pittsburgh Project," Archives and Museum Informatics, 11:3, 1997

10. Luciana Duranti, "The Archival Bond," Archives and Museum Informatics 11:3, 1997 and Maria Guercio, "Definitions of Electronic Records, the European Perspective," Archives and Museum Informatics 11:3, 1997

11. See David Bearman, "Electronic Records Management Guidelines: A Manual for Policy Development and Implementation", in United Nations Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Information Systems, Management of Electronic Records: Issues and Guidelines New York: UN ACCIS, 1990, 17-70.

12. Luisa Moscato, "Australian Approaches to Policy Development and Resulting Research Issues," Archives and Museum Informatics 11:3, 1997.

13. Greg O'Shea, "Research Issues in Australian Approaches to Policy Development", Archives and Museum Informatics 11:3, 1997.

14. Australian Records Management Standard, AS4390, Australian Standards Institute, Australian Council on Archives. Keeping Electronic Records: Policy for Electronic Recordkeeping in the Commonwealth Government <http://www.aa.gov.au/AA_WWW/AA_Issues/KER/KeepingER.html>, Corporate Memory in the Electronic Age. (Sydney: Australian Council of Archives, 23 October 1995). <http://www.aa.gov.au/AA_WWW/ProAssn/ACA/Corpmenw.htm >and Australian Archives, Managing Electronic Messages as Records, May 1997. <http://www.aa.gov.au/AA_WWW/AA_Issues/EMcontents.HTM>

15. Peter Horsman, "Digital Longevity: The Netherlands Policies on Electronic Records", Archives and Museum Informatics 11:3, 1997.

16. Bill Underwood, "Records Management Research Sponsored by the US Army and the Department of Defense", Archives and Musuem Informatics 11:3, 1997.

17. STEP - the Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data, is the familiar name for ISO 1030, developed by ISO TC184/SC4 (Industrial-Automation Systems and Integration/Industrial Design). See "STEP on a Page" <http://www.nist.gov/sc5/soap>

18. See, for example, the Activity Models for Applying IDEF Methodology to Represent Archival Science Concepts available at <http://www.slais.ubc.ca/users/duranti/>

19. John McDonald, "Towards Automated Record Keeping; Interfaces for the Capture of Records of Business Processes", Archives and Museum Informatics, 11:3, 1997. Further background on the National Archives of Canada work can be found in National Archives of Canada. "Guideline on the Management of Electronic Records in the Electronic Work Environment." (Ottawa: National Archives of Canada, 1996). The Guideline is an umbrella document that includes such materials as: Electronic Work Environment - Vision; Vision of Record Keeping in the EWEW; Record/Document/Information/Management System - Functional Requirements; Management of Shared Directories; Management of Electronic Records in the EWE - Initiatives; Management of Electronic Records in the EWE - Policies. Available at <http://www.archives.ca/www/english/mgr/order.html>

20. David Bearman, "Capturing Records' Metadata: Unresolved Questions and Proposals for Research", Archives and Musuem Informatics, 11:3, 1997.

21. Metadata Specifications Derived from the Functional Requirements: A Reference Model for Business Acceptable Communications available at http://www.lis.pitt.edu/~nhprc/meta96.html. Also, the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set Home Page <http://purl.oclc.org/metadata/dublin_core>

22. Margaret Hedstrom, "Research Issues in Migration and Long Term Preservation," Archives and Musuem Informatics, 11:3, 1997.

23. Anne Marie Makarenko, "Research Issues in Systems Implementation, Risks and Trade Offs", Archives and Musuem Informatics, 11:3, 1997.

24. S.E. Binns, D.V. Bowen and A. Murdock, Pfizer Ltd, "Migraion Strategies within an Electronic Archive: Practical Experience and Future Research", Archives and Musuem Informatics, 11:3, 1997.

25. One such proposed specification is the Production Rules Version of the Functional Requirements for Evidence, available at <http://www.lis.pitt.edu/~nhprc/IProdRule.html>

Copyright © 1997 David Bearman, Jennifer Trant

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