Records Management, Document Management and Content Management.
Records and Documents
Records are different from documents. Records cannot be modified or deleted
except in controlled circumstances, they have retention controls and they are
arranged in a structure.
Document management applies specifically to the management of discreet documents
and images throughout their lifecycle; typical functionality includes
acquisition, organisation, versioning, access control, and archiving.
Content management focuses on the management of the data within a document,
typically a web document.
A Record is defined as a document or other data
that is regarded as complete and unchangeable. It may exist as paper, as a
scanned image or electronically.
A Document is defined as information, stored on paper,
as a scanned image, or electronically, that may be subject to revision.
The impact of information technology and electronic
records has compelled records managers and archivists to analyse the scope of
A working definition of Records Management that
reflects most records managers experiences and practices has been defined by
the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) as
"There are many, though similar, definitions of records management.
One common one is "the field of management responsible for the systematic
control of the creation, maintenance, use, and disposition of records."
it is the planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promoting, and
other managerial activities involved in records creation, maintenance and use,
and disposition in order to achieve adequate and proper documentation of the
policies and transactions of the (organization) and effective and economical
management of operations.
ISO 15489 (BS ISO 15489-1:2001) is the international
standard on records management.
Records management addresses the life cycle of records, i.e., the period
of time that records are in the custody of the organisation. The life cycle
usually consists of three stages:
Creation or receipt
Maintenance and use
Tools for maintaining and using records include file plans, indexes,
controlled vocabularies, taxonomies, data dictionaries, and access and security
Archive & Records Management software using barcode or RFiD labels to
track physical files.
Document Management enables organisations to
manage their documents in an electronic format.
Typically a large number of documents are stored for subsequent retrieval.
Document Management systems can be characterised as follows:
- focused on managing digital documents (like Word, Excel, etc files)
- each document is fairly large, and self-contained
- there are few (if any) links between documents
- provides limited integration with repository (check-in, check-out, etc)
- focused primarily on storage and archiving
- targeted at storing and presenting documents as scanned images, or in their
Management includes the ability to restrict access
to certain documents or group of documents to only authorised users. Along with
security controls, these technologies enable users to be granted different
levels of access.
For example, the author of a document might only grant
read access to all users outside of a specific department while granting
"check-in/out" control to others who are working on updating the
document. As the other users prepare to update the document, they would
"check" the document out of the library, update the information, and
then "check" the document back in.
Document Management systems ensure that any other user
attempting to check the document out would firstly not be allowed to check it
out, and secondly they would be notified that someone already has a copy being
updated. Upon completion of the update cycle, the system automatically updates
the version number of the document and makes it available to all authorised
Management systems often incorporate Document Imaging.
Imager is a Document Management system.
Even in todays world, many organisations still
function almost entirely in a paper-driven environment. This environment
is a direct result of the need to maintain information on all aspects of the
As the organisation expands and the volume of work
increases, the amount of documentation grows at an enormous rate. This growth
forces organisations to either dispose of documents not considered essential or
increase the storage areas used for the filing of these documents. The problems
that may occur are significant and could have an adverse impact on the overall
client service provided by the organisation.
To alleviate these problems, many organisations began
using microfiche and microfilm technologies as well as establishing complex
manual procedures to support organisational demands. When document management
technologies are used to replace or augment manual paper management systems,
organisations face another issue: how to successfully implement the desired
technologies without adversely affecting the day-to-day operations. When
addressing this issue, organisations need to determine which technologies are
appropriate to address identified business and technical needs. It should be
recognized that when implementing these technologies, organisations will need to
review existing day-to-day operations to identify where the technologies would
be of value to prevent redundant processing.
There are four basic components to document imaging
The input components
typically consist document scanners (or other input devices such as facsimile).
The scanning stations are used to
convert hard copy documents into a digital format for subsequent storage and
management in the document imaging system.
The indexing stations
allow users to identify (or index) incoming documents allowing them to be
retrieved at a later date.
Often this is a manual operation (that is the keying in of data), but more
automated systems such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or Barcode
Recognition can be used.
The storage portion
of the system consists of various storage components which are connected to the
document management, records management or workflow server. The storage
sub-system is accessed by the appropriate server to retrieve and store
information managed by the system.
The retrieval portion
of the system consists of the user issuing a request for information that is
then processed by the server. These requests are processed and the information
is retrieved from the appropriate storage media connected to the server.
fifth component may be archival, the ability to move documents into
longer term storage.
PDF/A: An ISO Standard
ISO 19005-1 is an International Standards Organisation (ISO) Standard that was published on October 1, 2005:
ISO 19005-1: Document Management - Electronic document file format for long term preservation - Part 1: Use of PDF 1.4 (PDF/A-1).
This ISO standard defines a standard format (PDF/A-1) for the long-term archiving of electronic documents and is based on the PDF Reference Version 1.4 from Adobe Systems Inc. (PDF 1.4 is largely equivalent to the functionality implemented in Adobe Acrobat 5).
Batch Scanning has been defined as "the sequential scanning of
multiple original documents"
Scanning is the scanning of large volumes of documents for subsequent indexing
into a Document Management or Records Management system.
As e-mails become more and more accepted as business
documents the need to manage and archive those documents in a similar manner to
electronic or scanned documents becomes important. e-mail archival allows
important e-mails to be selected and stored into a Document Management or
Records Management system.
Workflow computing is the automation of work
processes performed daily throughout any business. A workflow application
automates the sequence of actions, activities, or tasks used to run the process.
This includes tracking the status of each occurrence of the process and
providing tools to manage the process.
Document Routing and Approval is a variation of
Workflow used for sending documents to users for their approval. Documents may
be sent serially to one user after another or in parallel to several users
Print Capture & Archiving which is also known
as Enterprise Report Management (ERM) or Computer Output to Laser Disk (COLD),
is an integrated software and hardware solution that stores and indexes formatted
computer output (pages) on optical disk, magnetic disk, or magnetic tape as
an alternative to paper printouts or computer output microfilm (COM).
This formatted output consists of point-in-time daily,
weekly, and monthly reports, such as transaction listings of statements and
invoices. Once this page output is stored on the system, it can be
electronically retrieved, viewed, printed, faxed, and distributed to
workstations and host computer terminals within departments or throughout an
While there are many different data types in the
computing environment, the type of data which ERM technology is concerned with
is typically the result of transactions (data files and database records) being
formatted by the application into page-oriented form for printing on paper or
computer output microfiche (COM). The structure and format of this output is
known. This data is time-period focusedit is a snapshot of an internal system
at a given point in time. These reports are often the basis for analysis or
comparative reporting and they include the printed record received by members
such as a statement or invoice.
Correspondence Management ensures that incoming
correspondence is answered and that both incoming and outgoing correspondence
are stored. Typically incoming documents are scanned and outgoing documents are
created in Word Processing. Statistical information, such as average response
times, is also provided.
"... a term used to refer to a broad
collection of organisational practices and approaches related to generating,
capturing, disseminating know-how and other content relevant to the
Content management systems support the creation,
management, distribution, publishing, and discovery of corporate information.
Also known as ‘web content management’, these systems typically focus on
online content targeted at either a corporate website or intranet.
Content management is primarily designed to meet the
growing needs of the website and intranet markets . Typically, template-based
authoring allows business groups to easily create content on a large corporate
There are two approaches to Content Management, both of
which are valid:
1. The Library Approach - highly structured. Index
everything by adding labels, indices, properties,
meta data, keywords, and descriptions to every email, every
document, every piece of paper, every pdf file, every paragraph.
2. The Open Sharing approach - highly unstructured.
Recognise that structured data limits information flow, rather than broadening it. As soon as information changes faster than
it can be structured, the information flow will be cut off in order to
maintain the structure. Information can be gathered, altered, changed,
updated and distributed far faster than it can be structured, so why structure
An enterprise content management system consists of a
core web content management system, with additional capabilities to manage a
broader range of organisational information. This often consists of document
management, records management, digital asset management or collaboration
Content Management is typically Web Browser based.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems support the storage, retrieval and
re-use of digital objects within an organisation. DAM differs from document
management and content management in its focus on multimedia resources, such as
images, video and audio. DAM also typically provides rights management
Legal Admissibility of information stored on Electronic Document Management Systems
issue of Legal Admissibility is at the core of records management principles.
An organisation needs to be able to prove (to a court of law or some other
statutory body) that the contents of a particular document or data file created
or existing within an Electronic Document Management System have not changed
since the time of storage.
of Practice on Legal Admissibility of information stored on Electronic Document
Do you need to store e-mails ? See
here for details of e-mail archiving.
What are Records
Management Retention Schedules ?
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retention schedule, Kodak/Microsoft Imaging for Windows, scanning
documents, document-management and records-management.