Competency E Collection

MARA Competency E

Understand the system of standards and structures endorsed and utilized by the recordkeeping professions, particularly in the areas of electronic records and digital assets management

“One must possess both technical skills, e.g., understanding file formats, management systems, XML, database administration, as well as, ontologies, thesauri, and controlled vocabularies. and theoretical and practical archival knowledge (e.g., appraisal, processing, description, ethics, copyright laws, metadata, and administrative capacities of management systems/services).”

Wilczek & Glick, 2006

What do you understand this competency to mean?

Healy’s ISO 15489 Records Management: its development and significance (2010) to be more appropriate to the idea of a paradigm shift in computing/digital born world. Since we have one foot firmly planted in the past but we will most likely hold jobs after graduation that do not even exist today. This source was a required reading in unit 2. The changing face of technology has all of us wondering about authenticity – how can a record be a record if there is more than one? Can a record exist in two places at the same time? Will this digital record be considered valid if called into question by a regulatory body? Healy thinks that ISO 15489 “presents a workable compromise” by defining what characterizes a record (and a record system – e.g. a SaaS provided by a data center). She states that authoritative records possess “authenticity, reliability, integrity, and usability,” further, records systems that support authoritative records possess “complementary characteristics of reliability, integrity, compliance, comprehensiveness and [are] systematic” (Healy, 2010, p. 100).

Using controlled vocabularies makes finding aids/databases easier to search. Less guessing and more description. You need to find the balance between vague description and precise description. The former will return on almost any search, the latter will be returned less often and possibly will not return a useful result in a search. Many online databases ignore common words like ‘the’, ‘a’, and ‘this’. The most important thing about digital asset description is Who, What, Where, How, Why, and When of the digital object. If you can describe the context, then you will have gone a long way towards making the asset retrievable.

What course assignments or other work products are you submitting as evidence of your mastery of this competency?

I have chosen several works that present my views about system of standards and structures endorsed and utilized by the recordkeeping professions, particularly in the areas of electronic records and digital assets management. My first item of evidence is a research paper focusing on the key aspects of digital asset management systems: preservation strategies, metadata standards, and access privileges. My second piece of evidence is a paper comparing the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) to the Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives and Museums (LODLAM). The OAI mandates the use of the Dublin Core metadata element set, whereas other initiatives, e.g., LODLAM, recommend well-formed XML that follows strict grammatical rules, that enables widespread resource sharing on the web. Finally, my third piece of evidence is an analysis of tags generated by my cohort using Delicious, a bookmark generator. I will explain how the tags were analyzed and fixed into a controlled vocabulary. The analysis discusses how controlled vocabularies help to describe content, which is beneficial to organizations wishing to either find their own content or for organizations providing content to an outside audience.

Why did you select these particular work products as evidence for your mastery of this competency?

From MARA 211
Digital Asset Managment
A DAM system “provides preservation, organization, and dissemination services” (Han, 2004) allowing an organization to reuse, and revise content. The key areas of all digital content management systems are preservation, metadata, and access. A DAM system can provide a cohesive approach to storage and control of access to digital content. DAM, sometimes referred to as Asset Management [AM] or Media Asset Management [MAM], is especially useful in organizations that require their digital assets be managed separately in order to maintain control of the asset lifecycle (use, reuse, digital rights, disposition to archives, etc.). A DAM must be scalable and portable in order to function long term. This is evidence of my understanding of the “system of standards and structures endorsed and utilized by the recordkeeping professions, particularly in the areas of electronic records and digital asset management.”

MARA 204
Has the Open Archives Initiative Run its Course?
This paper is a comparative study of how different information communities, digital libraries in particular, view the opportunities, challenges and failures of the mission of Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) to promote interoperability standards to make it easy to disseminate content through networked information on the web. There are differing opinions about how successful the OAI-PMH approach has been in its efforts to make scholarly content available for discovery by search engines. Many sources from within information management are coming to recognize that although OAI-PMH has been successful, it is time to move towards Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives and Museums (LODLAM) another international open digital resource sharing community standard. This is evidence of my understanding of the “system of standards and structures endorsed and utilized by the recordkeeping professions, particularly in the areas of electronic records and digital asset management.”

MARA 202
Delicious Bookmark Aggregator
In this paper, I will first discuss the tags created by the class members of MARA 256 – 21st Century Archival Methods. I will explain how the tags were analyzed and fixed into a controlled vocabulary. Finally, I will discuss how controlled vocabularies help to describe content, which is beneficial to organizations wishing to either find their own content or for organizations providing content to an outside audience. It should also be mentioned that if mistakes are made tagging items, it can be very costly for organizations, and can lead to lost revenue, and time wasted while trying to find the needed materials. This is evidence of my understanding of the “system of standards and structures endorsed and utilized by the recordkeeping professions, particularly in the areas of electronic records and digital asset management.”

How do your selections show not simply learning but also application?

Over the last few decades, the need for organizations to actively manage their records and information assets has grown exponentially. It is no longer a matter of choice, for the sake of a competitive edge, or to solely minimize risk. The need for information governance has arisen out of a need for cross-functionality across business units; international trade, local, state, national, and international regulations; and the recognition that knowledge resides in the experience of the individuals that make up the organization. In order to successfully design information governance program within organizations, one must take a broad approach that includes financial control, strategic planning, resource management, and both structured and unstructured knowledge that resides within the organization (Grant, 2011).

A report issued by the National Science Foundation asserts that without systematic curation we, as a society, will lose the “raw ingredients for discovery and dissemination of knowledge” (Yakel, 2007, p. 336). After researching and describing hundreds of photographs, I am finally beginning to understand at the most basic level the need to do it right, do it fast.

What have you learned?

Through the examination of ARMA’s GARP, and Maturity Models, I gained the basic information necessary to begin my work as an information professional. I use the tools everyday in my internship, as I work with software developers to deliver a list of metadata fields that can be used to trigger disposition of records at the end of their legal, fiscal, or administrative life.

Learning the ISO 15489: Records management, Getty  Research Institute’s Art and Architecture Thesaurus, and the DublinCore Metadata Standards helped me obtain a professional project that led to my learning CONTENTdm database management administration. In turn, that experience helped me to obtain my internship, with a great understanding of database administration, records management principles, and the needs of software developers. I feel I am placed competitively in a field of growing opportunities.

There is a movement in the profession in the last decade to replace MARC 21 with Bibframe. This standard uses an XML and the Library of Congress along with international partners sees this as the future of bibliographic description. The unnecessary rift between archival and record keeping professions is starting to be addressed and new cooperation between archivists, librarians, and museums as seen in the Bibframe project. The split is characteristic of US archivist profession.

Cataloging is the one thing that the Ralston, collections manager at the MHS, says she doesn’t see emerging Library Science students being well-schooled in. Cataloging is so basic, and necessary to archival repositories.This new cooperative approach is a way for archives, libraries, and museums to adopt the same standards so that resources/collections can be shared. The Bibframe model reduces the need for duplication of parts of records of collections – because it is relational – the elements rely more on relationships between objects, and a controlled vocabulary.

References

ARMA International. (2013). Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles: Information Governance Maturity Model. Retrieved from http://www.arma.org/docs/bookstore/theprinciplesmaturitymodel.pdf

Grant, R.M. (2011). Reflections on knowledge-based approaches to the organization of production. Journal of Management and Governance, 17(3), 541-558. DOI: 10.1007/s10997-011-9195-0

Han, Y., (2004, Nov.). Digital content management: The search for a content management system. Library Hi Tech (22/4) pp. 355-365 DOI: 10.1108/07378830410570467

Yakel, E. (2007). Digital curation. International Digital Library Perspectives 23(4). 335-340. DOI: 10.1108/10650710831466

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