The basic principles of good records management apply to all records, whatever their format. In practice, however, some records are easier to manage than others. A growing number of the records created as part of the daily business of the University are generated and used electronically. Compared with multiple paper copies of letters, memoranda and other documents, the different copies of electronic files on disparate hard drives present new challenges, in spite of the filing 'meta-data' (dates, times, size, author, etc.) that can help to distinguish them.
Electronic records must be captured, managed and preserved, like their manual counterparts, in an organised and systematic way. Devising and implementing methods for ensuring that this happens throughout the institution is part of the Steering Group's remit, both with regard to specific types of records (e.g., SAMIS, departmental databases, HESA returns etc.) and, more generally, in relation to its work in providing guidance on good record-keeping practice.
Some initial, investigative and exploratory work on developing a 'virtual' central respository for electronic records is underway. In the meantime, the Steering Group will attempt to include electronic student-related record series in rounds of material for consultation. This will help to highlight some of the special problems associated with managing electronically generated information and thereby contribute to the formulation of practicable strategies for University-wide implementation.
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The Steering Group has also undertaken to produce general guidelines on all relevant aspects of records management. General guidance documents will be prepared, submitted to the Registrar for approval and published as and when the need is identified. For more information or advice please contact the University Archivist/Records Manager.