Preserving ‘reliable electronic documents’ in the context of the Electronic Transaction Act: challenges facing records management in the digital environment. John A Aarons University Archivist The University of the West Indies Presented at the Summit by CITO on Knowledge Management
Preserving ‘reliable electronic documents’ in the context of the Electronic Transaction Act: challenges facing records management in the digital environment
John A Aarons
The University of the West Indies
Presented at the Summit by CITO
on Knowledge Management
20 – 21 May 2009
which speaks of
forms of data, whether in analogue or digital form
The question is how do we ensure these records remain secure, authentic, and accessible throughout their entire lifespan ?
Reliable – one’s whose content can be trusted as a full and accurate representation of the transactions, activities, or facts to which it attests and can be depended upon in the course of subsequent transactions or activities
Authentic - records proven to be what they purport to be and were sent or created by the person who purports to have created and sent them
Integrity - refers to the complete and unaltered characteristic of a record. Another aspect of integrity is structural integrity. The structure of a record, that is its physical and logical format and the relationships between the data elements comprising the record, should remain physically and logically intact. Failure to do so may hinder the records' reliability and authenticity.
Usability - a record which can be located, retrieved, presented and interpreted
How can electronic records be considered reliable and authentic ?
they must capture and describe the transactions they represent
once created, they must not be capable of change without creating a new record
should preserve context as well as content
this is complicated by the fact that the preservation of electronic records always entails some form of transformation. Digital preservation requires the management of objects over time, and the techniques used may result in frequent and profound changes to the
technical representation of that record
transferring records to a digital storage repository is referred to as ‘ingest.’)
open source, standards-based format so that it can be used without having to rely on
the original, possibly proprietary, software system used to create it.
b) converts digital objects into open formats for
Stephen Mason PROOF OF THE AUTHENTICITY OF A