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The initial phase of your electronic records planning project involves collecting data about electronic record series and electronic records systems on campus.
Before you begin your inventory consider reviewing the following resources on inventorying records.
The Electronic Records Inventory and Electronic Records System Inventory are best completed using a database to collect and evaluate the inventory data. State Archives Staff will provide a sample inventory database upon request. Email email@example.com.
Before conducting your inventory consider how long you will need to use the inventory data. If you intended to retain the inventory data to inform records management and preservation decisions beyond the duration of your planning process you may need to adjust how the data is collected. For example, you may want to limit information about records creators to the unit or department level rather than an individual responsible for those records.
Electronic Records Inventory
In an electronic records inventory, as with any inventory, it is important to focus on aggregates of records rather than on individual records or files. The following data structure will allow you to collect information on series or collections of records in a fashion that will give you a means to evaluate your institution’s needs regarding electronic records management and archives. The inventory form includes data fields to complete for each electronic records series or collection followed by instructions for completing each field. If some fields are not applicable to the records you are inventorying, leave them blank.
Electronic Records System Inventory
Part of the inventory of electronic records on a college or university campus will be conducted at the information system level. An information system is any computer-based system that supports the acquisition, creation, storage, processing, management of, and/or access to information. A system may consist of a single records series, a set of closely related records series, or a set of disparate records series. An information system may be a database, a software application, a document management system, or even a file directory on a LAN.
Examples of information systems include
- A database of information about current and former employees
- Computer-aided design files for campus construction and planning
- A digital repository of photographs managed by the development office
- A time and attendance program (such as PeopleSoft)
This part of the inventory is usually applicable only to records maintained by your home institution, not to records you collect. In general, you will inventory only those records systems that contain multiple records series, since a single-series system can be inventoried at the series level alone. The System Inventory form includes data fields to complete for each information system followed by instructions for completing each field.
Upon completing your Electronic Records Inventory it is necessary to collect information about the overall Information Technology Infrastructure on your campus.