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Research capsule

The complexities of archiving business records

Records produced in the performance of business processes are of considerable value, and yet archival methods are often poorly integrated into working methods and computer systems.

Dominique Maurel, a researcher in the School of Library and Information Science at Université de Montréal, took a close look at the dynamics of record production and archival in a business context.

It could include better strategies for the automatic classification of Email records.

What types of records are produced? What value do employees attach to these records? What documentary practices are put in place? The findings are clear: employees play an active role in the creation of documentary solutions, and there is a fine balance between individual practices and the practices desired by the company. The articulation of personal and collective information practices is generally something that must be negotiated.

Maurel's work has provided a better understanding of the confrontation between individual practices and information governance within companies. It clarifies archivists' political and strategic positioning in relation to the other actors involved in information governance within the organization, which will help them to develop strategies to better promote integrated records governance.

From a technological standpoint, the results encourage a more efficient and systematic integration of documentary practices in employees' day-to-day working methods and information practices, in order to improve productivity while ensuring the preservation and security of information. For example, these could include better strategies for the automatic classification of Email records, the automated capture of records in a virtual repository, etc.

This research has been the subject of a number of academic articles published in Québec and France, book chapters, and conferences in Québec, Europe and Australia.