Welcome to my Weblog. This site is dedicated to my thoughts, views and understanding on anything that touches upon records management, archives management as well as information management in Malaysia. I believe in becoming a 'functional and meaningful' information professional, the term I refer to as person who can function in many ways possible for the betterment of this discipline. Interested parties, may reproduce or quote materials published with the condition that they are credited to Comments must be accompanied by names or pseudonyms. Anonymous postings and those containing profanities and obscenities will be rejected.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

When you need it!

Salam ukhuwwah and dear all!

Change is definitely slow to take off unless something drastic occurs. Organization tends to response slowly to change when the need, requirement, and direction is not coincided. The valuable staffs also slow to response if the leadership is unclear of where to bring records management in organization. On the other side, when leadership is ready, the staffs may also be slow to embrace the new directions and changes when understanding, misinformation occur, working culture and attitude do not change.

These are among the reasons why records management is not given due considerations in many agencies, be it government and private agencies. What do you think??

Suddenly, there are occasions when non records management professionals or anybody who are not well trained in records management becomes the person in charge of the records management affairs. It is not a problem for anybody to handle and manage records management program in organization but he or she must be well equipped with the knowledge and skills at the same time have the flair to manage records. Problem crops out when records management is handled in silo not in totality, while the approach is not integrated. This is where critical point arrive! When you need it, it is not there, when you don't need it, it is everywhere. This is not good records management practices.

It is high time that companies, organizations, agencies engage professionals in records management or employ staffs having background in records management to manage their records. And the so called professionals or people of records management background must be ready, well understand the know how and the technicalities of records management and other associated skills and knowledge, as well as the demand and expectations from industries!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Records Management: The inevitable changes!

Dear all,

Some organization have been in operation for quite sometimes, some are in fact just newly operated. The former organizations have ready in place the workflow, work processes, work culture and organizational culture. When it comes to records management, somehow or rather, someone realizes, something needs to be done. Records management may come like a 'tsunami' to the organization. It may be due to some glitches or problem or as a result of audit exercises taking place, the real problems now surfaced. One of the reasons may be due to improper record keeping practices. The operation is now suspended, some solutions need to be installed. Awareness begins to strike in.

Now, the management realizes that proper record keeping is needed direly. At that moment, a lot of sparks occur which resulted from the impact brought forward by the problem. The records are everywhere. The file room is full of records, accessing and searching the records has taken longer time than before. Staffs are not sure of anymore. Previously, everything seems all right. Now, it has become here wired. Mess and stack of files are all around. What to do?

The organization is facing more efforts to manage their files while keeping the operation back to normal. A lot of time is taken up just to manage the records. Business is beginning to slow down as operation cannot be expedited when information and records flows come to a glitch.

This is the scenario when early in the beginning records are not properly managed, workflow and work process that hamper records and filing of documents properly and then something happen that trigger the whole 'tsunami'. It could be legal summons that the organization is facing, unattended complaints by customers, late orders fulfillment, longer respond times, lost of stocks and failure of tracing delivery to customers and etc.

Now, in order to ensure operations back to normal, more time is wasted, more efforts are needed, more staffs are asked to manage the records and information in organization. This could have not happened if the records management and record keeping practices are set properly in the early stage of operation. The filing system is ready, the classification and numbering are properly arrange and from time to time, appraisal and disposal of records are done. And most importantly, the staff are well trained and well exposed to proper records keeping practices, understand very well of the principles and practices of records management.

Changes is here......! It is now time for is  now time to equipped the staffs with records management skills and practices! Embrace changes and go for records management training. Understand the training needs analysis (TNA) for records management!

Monday, October 29, 2012

From record management to ERMS....insight #2

Dear all...

It is just an insight into what is transpired currently....

Another obstacle when organization plans to implement electronic records management (ERM) and ERM system (ERMS) is; 

People perceive and I understand that many organizations tend to do it (implementing ERMS) without considering the changes and organizational restructuring it needs to do first. Should the process flow or the current workflow does not meet up and not in tandem with the changes that is going to take place once ERMS is in place. It will just become another flaws. Organization needs to understand and redesign the organizational workflow before embarking on ERMS. As a matter of fact, ERMS comes into the picture to efficiently expedite work processes, and the old ways must make way to ERMS. Otherwise, the presence of ERMS is just considered as another organizational effort to increase the burden of the staffs, while otherwise, it is not supposed to be. 

Preliminary investigation and organizational preparedness to implement ERMS must be done first. Awareness of the staff must be instilled. Updated skills and know how in record keeping practices must be exposed to staffs and top management. The initiatives to make informed of what is ERMS, how it is going to change the way things are done and the introduction to the new way organization is operating must be done and made clear to all staffs. This requires clear direction of what organization or top management want to go about in implementing ERMS. This is normally done through change management program, which includes trainings and workshops. Top management must spearhead the initiatives as this will change and affect the whole organizational structure and the way it operates.

To think that it is just simply installing ERMS software, is totally a wrong perception and way of doing proper things. The preliminary investigation is critical to understand the current status of record keeping practices, the loop holes and gap in records management currently in operation and understanding what needs to be corrected first before ERMS come into the picture. The file plan structure, the classification, naming conventions used, the functions of each and every department, the relationship between departments are all critical information for the redesign process of a new workflow.

Think about it!

to be continued.... 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

From records management to ERMS...insight #1

Dear all!

Embarking on electronic records management (ERM) is not simply buying on shelf software from the market and install it, then here you are, an electronic records management in your organization! Many organizations have failed to do so because their current practices of record keeping is nowhere to any standard. The vision is high on ERM but their manual record keeping practices are not up to the requirement and standard. The life cycle of record is not properly managed, the focus is heavily on their current records and yet their current records remains a mess. There are a lot of factors associated with these, among them are:

1. Improper record keeping practices due to lack of knowledge and skills in record management and record keeping practices.
2. Incorrect file plan structure and records classification
3. Standard and requirement are not followed
4. Change is hard due to lack of top management support
5. Top management's lack of clear direction, mission and support on records keeping practices, "just make do attitude"
6. Proper training in record keeping practices is very much lacking.
7. Inherited legacy of improper record keeping practices, new staffs just follow the existing practices-attitude issue and easily staffs are easily adapted to current culture which is backward.

Moreover, new staffs who are normally energetic, aggressive and willing to take up new challenges and willing to embark on improving the way organization are managed and implementing proper records keeping practices once they are exposed to it are put to freeze by the current culture of 'ignorance', unwilling to change, and unsupported top management attitude. This further exaggerated the problem in making records management the key to organizational effectiveness and efficiency in operations.

Monday, October 22, 2012

To start off an ERM

Another...just sharing!

The starting off of an ERM initiative requires one to look into a feasibility study. One need to do a study of his/her own agency in order to know and compile relevant information on the status of records management. The assessment being made will shed directions of where ERM should go and where it should start off. Otherwise, it will just another blunder! Some good tips are:

The records or ERM Task team will gather information from key stakeholders in each of separate business units. Leveraging that knowledge, the team analyzes each of the operating units needs and delivers a Findings and Recommendations Report that identifies gaps in best practices, a roadmap for execution and estimated timeline for completion. Recommendations address areas such as: legal and regulatory requirements, governance and program sustainability, technology options, business process improvements, cost reduction and risk mitigation priorities.

Developing RIM (records information management) Programs
The assessment create understanding of current records management practices, then build a program foundation and take agency all the way through adoption. A program foundation is critical to successful compliance and includes policies, retention schedules, guidelines and procedures that outline physical and eRecords best practices. Policies should address the latest technology and communication practices such as social media and information in the cloud.

This foundation is critical to ensure a successful implementation of an agency's records management program:
Communications and formal training (live and computer-based)
Taxonomy and file plans
Records and electronic information cleanup
Software evaluation (ECM, EDRM, RMS)
Offsite storage vendor negotiation
Staffing and support

Merging/Simplifying Records Retention Schedules

Without a clear path, compliance by internal staffers is impossible. A current Records Retention Schedule is a critical component of any records management program. The primary objective of Records Retention Schedule Development Methodology is to support simplified records retention practices, so that employees can easily use, and management can easily administer, the schedule. The ERM Task team experts can quickly assess and align schedules to streamline business processes and improve compliance.

Legal Research into Records Retention and Privacy Law
The agency's Records Retention Schedule can be updated based on best practices in risk mitigation, and legal and regulatory retention requirements.

Cleanup of Inactive Records

Documents and data have a way of accumulating. It is important to clean out the obsolete information, but need to do it in a compliant manner. There is a need to identify and destroy as many eligible records as possible, based on a risk and retention policy. Destruction strategies that comply with relevant Acts are critical to quickly reduce risk associated with growing stockpile of physical “records” and the digital wasteland of electronic content and email.

Operational Integration of RIM Policy and Procedures

Strong programs are effective when they align with real-world business practices—great RIM programs do not operate in a vacuum but rather in each and every work station. Each department has their own business processes; and these must be aligned with RIM policies. By carefully developing protocols that keep the end-user in mind, the ERM software easily become a seamless part of daily operations, assuring compliance and delivering increased efficiencies for the organization.

Review and Audit Programs

Keep your programs strong with review and audit programs. Annual Records Policy Reviews should be made--a survey of existing business units conducted to solicit changes, additions, or deletions from the existing Records Retention Schedule and RIM policy. These change will then become input into the Records Retention Schedule and update the legal citations and retention, based on any new legal or regulatory requirements.

Additionally, an enterprise-wide RIM audit compliance review makes departments aware of the importance of following the RIM Policy and Procedures. Comprehensive or random office inspections, analyze the results, summarize the findings, recommend steps toward compliance, develop future audit focus point areas, must be employed and these can support training and cleanup activities.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Records Management is slow to take off!

Dear all...

Why records management is so slow to take off in your organization?
Why it is alienated all the times?
Why it is considered not primary undertakings?
Why it is ignored by other staffs in your organization?
Why you feel like having a solo journey in the records world?


suddenly, out of nowhere, when things cropped up, you receive the limelight, all the attention needed all these feel a huge joy but that is not the end of the road for you....

Suddenly you have huge tasks, huge responsibility and everybody hope and relies on you, your immediate colleagues, office mates, your superiors, your bosses, and your top management board...all are eyeing on you! Just because one single case cropped out of nowhere and now you are the center of everything. Your skills and expertise in deploying proper records management in your organization is highly sought after!....

Now you are....about to take off, which previously was hardly to do so!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Survey on records system!

When doing a survey of existing records system, one normally would find some of these. As such, in organizations where no structured records management programme has been in place, surveys often reveal a variety of problems. Typically a survey may find that:

·        paper records systems are congested, and in some cases have been used to store information products and other materials which are not records
·        paper records are poorly organized and difficult to retrieve, and their arrangement does not fully reflect the processes and activities which led to their creation
·        parts of some record series appear to be missing from the paper systems, but some of the missing records are believed to be held in electronic form on personal computers
·        computer storage is not organized to match the paper system, but each worker follows their own system: most store records alongside work in progress, and many use random and seemingly meaningless file titles, so that correlating electronic and paper documentation is impossible
·        records stored on personal computers are inaccessible when the worker is absent
·        further records which are needed appear to have been lost or destroyed, but no-one knows exactly what exists or where
·        when employees leave or change jobs, computing staff clear the contents of their hard disk or personal account: everything is deleted regardless of any continuing value it may have for the organization
·        older paper records, together with some unlabelled computer tapes or floppy disks, are in unmarked cabinets and boxes in a basement.

Surveys do not always find the existing situation as dire as this. Sometimes a survey discovers that fairly adequate systems are in place.

ERMS challenges...points to share

Some points to share...

The ability to find, organize, use, share, appropriately dispose of, and save records—the essence of records management—is vital for the effective functioning of the federal government. In the wake of the transition from paper-based to electronic processes, records are increasingly electronic, and the volumes of electronic records produced by federal agencies are vast and rapidly growing, providing challenges to Arkib Negara Malaysia as the nation’s recordkeeper and archivist.

Besides sheer volume, other factors contributing to the challenge of electronic records include their complexity and their dependence on software and hardware. Electronic records come in many forms: text documents, e-mails, Web pages, digital images, videotapes, maps, spreadsheets, presentations, audio files, charts, drawings, databases, satellite imagery, geographic information systems, and more. They may be complex digital objects that contain embedded images (still and moving), drawings, sounds, hyperlinks, or spreadsheets with computational formulas....

The roll out of a software or an Electronic Records Managament Systems (ERMS) in an agency must at least consists 6 major components:

  • “Ingest” enables transfer of electronic records from federal agencies
  • “Managed Storage” enables stored records to be managed in a way that guarantees their integrity and availability
  • “Dissemination” enables users to search descriptions and business data about all types of records, and to search the content of electronic records and retrieve them
  • “Records Management” supports scheduling,5 appraisal,6 description, and requests to transfer custody (from agencies to the Archives) of all types of records, as well as ingesting and managing electronic records, including the capture of selected records data (such as origination date, format, and disposition)
  • “Preservation” enables secure and reliable storage of files in formats in which they were received, as well as creating backup copies for offsite storage
  • “Local Services and Control” regulates how the ERMS components communicate with each other, manages internal security, and enables telecommunications and system network management.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dimana rekod anda?

Dimana Rekod Anda? (artikel ini pernah terbit di Majalah Pendidik)

Salam ukhuwwah...saya kongsikan cetusan ini!

Kita sering menghadapi masalah dengan rekod. Dari masa ke semasa kita menggunakan dan merujuk rekod untuk berbagai tujuan. Namun, apabila rekod rekod tersebut perlu dirujuk, ia tiada, sukar dikesan atau data yang wujud telah luput ’obsolete’kerana data data baru yang dikemaskini. Pada waktu yang sama, usaha untuk mewujudkan data data baru sentiasa dilakukan namun apabila diperlukan, semua data tersebut sukar dicari, ada merata rata, terdapat berbagai salinan sehingga sukar ditentukan yang terkini. Semua permasalahan ini berlaku di kebanyakan agensi dan organisasi. Natijahnya, tugasan yang perlu dilaksanakan akan tertangguh, tidak dapat diselesaikan, mengambil masa yang cukup lama untuk diselesaikan, atau perlu melibatkan ramai tenaga dan msa untuk diselesaikan. Tekanan semakin meningkat dengan kata dua diberi oleh ketua jabatan mahupun pihak pengurusan atasan supaya diselesaikan secepat mungkin. Inilah senario yang biasa berlaku dalam kerja seharian di dalam organisasi. Tidak terkecuali juga dalam operasi pengurusan pejabat di sekolah.

Rekod disimpan untuk dirujuk semula. Ia diguna bagi meneruskan atau menjalankan sesuatu transaksi dan aktiviti mahupun menangani sesuatu permasalahan. Ia perlu ada ketika diperlukan. Tiada gunanya menyimpan rekod yang banyak jika apabila diperlukan ia sukar dicari, ia tiada ditempat yang sepatutnya atau ia perlu dirujuk kepada individu tertentu samada staf dan pegawai tertentu  yang mana individu tersebut telah tidak lagi bekerja di organisasi tersebut.


Alwi Mohd Yunus ialah seorang Pensyarah Kanan di Fakulti Pengurusan Maklumat, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Kampus Puncak Perdana, Shah Alam. Bidang pengkhususannya ialah Pengurusan Rekod, Pengurusan Rekod Elektronik dan Pengurusan Maklumat. Telah bertugas di UiTM sejak tahun 1999 dan kini sedang melanjutkan pengajian di peringkat Doktor Falsafah dalam bidang Pengurusan Arkib Data (Management of Data Archive).


Saturday, April 21, 2012


Dear all....

How and when can we start records management program in our organization? Where to start with? What to start with? When is the best time?

First of all, answer WHY do you need records management program in your organization? It is just for mere having it just because others are doing the same? or your boss ask you to do so? or it is just because out of nowhere, records management is another management 'hey day' for new development? or is it the brainchild of the new management? fact for whatever reason you have, one must understand the ultimate objectives of records management. What it brings, what benefits, directions of records management program in your organization. Having said so, one must embark on the preliminary investigation of it....other wise, one would only going into the wrong direction of records management program in his/her organization. The current state of affairs of organizational operations, functionality of each and every department must be fully and clearly understood.

One must understand what are required in the implementation of records management program. What skills and techniques must be acquired, what preparation must be made available before embarking records management. How it is going to be implemented. What about the management 'buy in' into it? What type of change management program, awareness and retraining of staffs need to be made before and even after the implementation of records management program.

to be continued......

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Paperwork just doesn't work today!

Dear all....

What an interesting article by The Star:

Among the statement from the article:

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said on Saturday that these requirements needed to be done away with as they did not portray correctly the modern image of the civil service.

Technology has linked up the various agencies to allow cross-checking to be done in an efficient manner. For example, the officer at the Public Services Department scholarship division can easily assess the results of the candidates through the Malaysian Examinations Council database.

A certified copy of the results becomes only an extra piece of paper to be filed away and disappear into the deep recesses of Putrajaya.

and I like it very much towards the end of the article....the statement says:

In this well-connected world, let us not be handicapped by old systems where we have personnel dealing with paperwork that can be handled electronically.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Love records!

Dear all..

It comes across in my late discussion with my colleague with regard to the current trend and issues of records management Malaysia with Mr. Irwan Abd Kadir that a good record officer or archivist, in whatever level they are; managerial, operational, executive level, must have some sense of or love for history as this would really help them in their thinking and thought which would shape their perception and opinion on the value of records they are holding or managing in their organization.

A good historical background or love for history at whatever level commands a good sense of judging the value of records, keeping interest alive on the records and value of records to organization. It also helps in the culmination of job satisfaction at high level towards records related jobs. Otherwise, one feels demotivated in dealing with records after sometimes. This is one of the factor that ties up oneself with his current job in records related scope.

Similarly, the same goes to teaching, if one teaches just for the sake of getting a job or securing a job, getting monthly the long run one would not last longer as compared to one who loves teaching and coaching others in the dissemination of knowledge. One who have 'flair' of teaching would have an added advantage in which he or she would be able to deliver the subject matter efficiently and effectively to his/her students....the same case also can be referred to the records related jobs. If there is no interest, no deep interest in the heart and love for records, one surely would not last longer in the job! Employer must be able to seek and identify such talents in their prospective employees before employing their candidates to records related jobs.

Best of luck records professionals! Love what your are doing would surely be better later!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Records Managers typical work

Typical work activities of Records Managers/Officers

Tasks typically involve:
§  storing, arranging, indexing and classifying records;
§  facilitating the development of filing systems, and maintaining these to meet administrative, legal, and financial requirements;
§  devising and ensuring the implementation of retention and disposal schedules;
§  overseeing the management of electronic and/or paper-based information;
§  setting up, maintaining, reviewing, and documenting records systems;
§  identifying the most appropriate records management resources;
§  advising on and implementing new records management policies and classification systems;
§  providing a policy framework to guide staff in the management of their records and use of the employer's records system;
§  ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and regulations;
§  standardising information sources throughout an organisation or group of organisations;
§  managing the changeover from paper to electronic records management systems;
§  preserving corporate memory and heritage;
§  resolving problems with information management by effective use of software and other information management resources;
§  enabling appropriate access to information;
§  responding to internal and/or external information enquiries;
§  advising on highly complex legal and regulatory issues, often involving difficult judgments in controversial areas such as the Freedom of Information Act, and other national or regional legislation;
§  managing and monitoring budgets and resources;
§  training and supervising records staff;
§  advising staff in other departments on the management of their records and information.

The records management practices in capturing organizational memory

The records management practices in capturing organizational memory

By : Alwi Mohd Yunus

Faculty of Information Management
Universiti Teknologi MARA
Shah Alam
Selangor, Malaysia

Records management is an integral part of the organization work processes. Without records, organization faces the consequences of loosing their transactional evidences, proof of conducts, facing probable litigation, and historical memory of its conduct. Nit only limited to that, organization faces losing valuable information in the form of knowledge, best practices and lesson learnt from its daily conduct (explicit knowledge) and its human capital (tacit knowledge). Hence, it is important for organization to strive in managing its records and play critical role in identifying and capturing its knowledge into records and maintaining them accordingly, and by doing so safeguarding the organization’s intellectual assets, moving human capital into structural capital. Nonaka emphasizes that knowledge especially tacit knowledge is a main source for creating new knowledge and continuous innovation. The need for, and ability of, organizations to capture tacit knowledge remains a disputed academic issue. Considering Nonaka’s hierarchy of data, information and knowledge, the need for an effort to capture knowledge seems to be a fair and logical conclusion. Making the case for capturing tacit knowledge, this paper goes on to discuss some of the implications for records management and records managers. There are no easy solutions on offer for the successful capture and re-use of knowledge but questions are raised about the role of records managers. Developing relevant skills and taking responsibility for helping organizations with this strategic goal, thereby contributing to some core aspirations of employers, should be an exciting prospect and worthwhile activity. Since information and knowledge management is encompassing to every aspects of data, information and knowledge in organization, one has to look at the practices of records management and its relation to knowledge management holistically as a continuous efforts and processes of capturing critical knowledge be it tacit or explicit knowledge possessed or owned by organization. Within this context, the practices of records management and knowledge management varies from achieving better organizational administration to producing innovative products and better services. It is tantamount to say that records management play a critical role in the operation of administrative work of an organization. Records bring evidence in organizational transactions. And not only limited to that, records is the source of organizational information and knowledge. It is where the documented lesson learnt, best practices, expert documentation and past mistakes are referred to in learning organization. Whereby, within the context of knowledge management, records is prime resource for organizational improvements in operations, development of innovative products and services thus adding value to organizational knowledge asset. However, the practices of records management initiatives in organizational context, knowledge management initiatives and knowledge capturing specifically is yet to be determined. This is due to the fact that records management by itself is an ignored aspect in organization, and not focused on dollar and cents rather on intangible benefits to organization. Therefore, it requires in depth study with regard to the practices of records management in relation to knowledge capturing. The relationship between the practices of records management in the process of knowledge capturing in organizational context is due to be explored. This study looks into deeper understanding of the function of records management practices in knowledge capturing activity. It seeks to explore the neglected but critical functions played by records management in identifying explicit knowledge and turning tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge by way of documenting it and keeping it as corporate memory of an organization.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why Records Management is not properly in place?

Dear all...

There are a lot of questions to be answered? There are a lot of issues to be addressed when discussing why records management is not properly in place in Malaysian organizations be it government agencies or private institutions.

Please think one of the reason why? Think about your organization! Think about your office! Why records management aka proper record keeping practices are not well placed??

More benefits of having DATA ARCHIVE

Dear all....please read through!

The benefits to users of having access to The Data Archive are fairly obvious. They obtain expensive resources cheaply - often these are data which they could not have collected themselves such as census material or data which are by-products of administrative processes. High quality research is promoted as a result of this access. The re-analysis of data from a different perspective is encouraged. The access to data in electronic form permits a level and depth of analysis which cannot be undertaken with published material.
It is critical that data producers should be aware of the benefits to them of sharing data if we are to continue to persuade them to make their data available. These are discussed below.

There are strong reasons for depositing data so that secondary analysts have access to them. In this way the data producers can contribute to the development of knowledge by ensuring their data are exploited to their full potential. Secondary research facilitates multiple perspectives upon data which have often been collected to address a narrower range of questions. Similarly comparative research can be encouraged by the preservation of multiple data sets for access.

A further reason for providing access to data is that it assists in the training of empirical social researchers. Often data archives can be actively involved in teaching or in setting up teaching opportunities. For instance, a large number of the social science data archives run summer schools on empirical social research. The building and sharing of teaching materials can be carried out by data archives taking advantage of their links into many academic networks. The recent establishment of EU funded large scale facilities in the social sciences at the Central Archive (ZA) in Germany and the UK Data Archive will also help to promote the use of data in teaching.

The Data Archive assists in the promotion of data through catalogues often held electronically, links with other archives and data suppliers, by submitting material to relevant newsletters, and e-mail lists, and running data workshops and giving presentations at conferences. Assistance by user services staff helps to ensure that informed use is made of the data whilst data providers are cushioned from the demands of users who have queries on the data and how to use them. In this way The Data Archive acts as a buffer between users and producers of data. This is an especially useful role because many queries and problems are unrelated to the data. Many potential users of data have little experience of computing or statistical analysis and often have limited assistance at their own institutions. Supporting users is time consuming and requires an understanding of their needs. The Data Archive can draw on resources for funding support which may not be available to producers.

Data producers are increasingly interested in forging links with users, in order to take advantage of users' expertise and to create a community of knowledgeable data users. The Data Archive assists with the establishment of this relationship which can be very useful to data providers. They might consult this 'expert group', get feedback on use especially relating to policy relevant research and have access to a community of supporters who will fight with them when their resources and therefore their data are under threat.
The supply of data for secondary analysis reduces the need to collect data afresh and thus reduces respondent burden. Compliance costs are a concern particularly when data are required from small populations such as surveys of businesses or elites.

The Data Archive improves the accessibility of data by employing demand led distribution systems and by integrating different datasets. Value is added to data directly by The Data Archive staff or by requiring users of the data to redeposit data to which they have added value. This might be by adding contextual information, improving or advising on documentation, reformatting data for delivery, extracting subsets of data and documentation, providing systems to permit data to be visualised, browsed and extracts selected. An important attraction of giving access to data for secondary analysis is that credit will accrue to the depositor. We try to ensure that this happens by specifying that acknowledgement must take place and advising on the wording of citations. The Data Archive periodically writes to journal editors to alert them to the requirement to cite data sources.

In order to persuade data providers to deposit data it is vital that we ensure that their conditions of access are carried out. In some situations this can involve implementing controls over use and occasionally charges for data must be collected. It is also important that we are sensitive to confidentiality issues.

Data Archive must build reputation on the fact that it can preserve the electronic information in a way which permits both data and documentation to be accessible over time. The data management and preservation system must ensure :
  • physical reliability of digital information
  • security of data and documentation from unauthorised use
  • on-going usability of data & documentation
  • integration of the data into information and delivery systems.
Management of data with very variable access regimes requires expertise, equipment and operational systems as well as trust and credibility. Since very few data providers have built the expertise and facilities needed to preserve data so that they can be read over time despite changes to hardware and software environments a major advantage is achieved by giving depositors priority access to their own data. 

Stumbling block for Records Management

Dear all,

Organizational culture and individual perceptions on records management are two main stumbling blocks for the spur of records management in Malaysia. If organization does not recognize records as key performance driver for the success of organizational operations and service delivery, an organization will always have problem in delivering utmost customer satisfaction while determining the root cause for such lackluster performance of their staffs are of constraint. No documentation are taken care off properly while slow response to attend to customer's complaints are among the main indicator. While customers expect their loyalty to the service offered by an organization is given due recognition, this is not prevail in today's most organization when their service records are no where in the organization due to failure of record keeping and filing system.

Individual perceptions add more injury to the acceptance of records management as a key driver for performance. This occur from top level management to low level management personnel. The accountability is mostly by the top management. Records management is considered secondary and this perception exists in most organization. Some data on this would be provided later!

Think about it!

It is a hope that records management graduates from the Faculty of Information Management would be able to promote proper record keeping in their organization they work for. In as much, the Faculty of Information Management of UiTM has produced many batches of graduates in records management, and many of them currently work for variety of organizations and government agencies in Malaysia. It is highly hope that, it is them who would be able to penetrate, giving awareness and explaining records management to others. They are the ambassador of records management in Malaysia!

Please respond to the call! O! Records management graduates!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Benefits from digital preservation of research data

Direct Benefits

-New research opportunities

-Scholarly communication/access to data

-Re-purposing and re-use of data

-Increasing research productivity

-Stimulating new networks/collaborations

-Knowledge transfer to industry

- Increasing skills base of researchers/students/staff

-Increasing productivity/economic growth

-Verification of research/research integrity

-Fulfilling mandate(s)

Indirect Benefits

-No re-creation of data

-No loss of future research opportunities

-Lower future preservation costs

-Re-purposing data for new audiences

-Re-purposing methodologies

-Use by new audiences

-Protecting returns on earlier investments

Near-Term Benefits

-Value to current researcher & students

-No data lost from Post Doc turnover

-Short-term re-use of well curated data

-Secure storage for data intensive research

-Availability of data underpinning journal articles

Long Term Benefits

-Secures value to future researchers & students

-Adds value over time as collection grows and develops critical mass

-Planned management from an early stage in the research lifecycle is ultimately more cost-effective than late intervention (providing proper selection of what to keep is done)

Private Benefits

-Benefits to sponsor/funder of research/archive

-Benefits to researcher

-Fulfil grant obligations

-Increased visibility/citation

-Commercialising research

Public Benefits

-Input for future research

-Motivating new research

-Catalysing new companies and high skills employment