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Foundation Sponsored Research Projects

Instructions:  To download a free copy of  a research paper in PDF
format, click on the research project title.
 For selected publications,
research reports are also available in Epub and Mobi formats.

Social Networking, Big Buckets and E-Records

Social Media Systems Records and Information Governance ChallengesA study by John Phillips, CRM, FAI   Funded by the ARMA International Educational Foundation.


Various types of social media are now routinely used daily for business as well as personal, casual communication by hundreds of millions of people. By examining four major social media networking systems (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube) currently in use, this paper addresses an historical perspective of them as well as functionality, privacy, records capture, archiving and information governance issues and challenges. An extensive bibliography for additional information and future reference is provided.

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Information Governance and Public Engagement: How U.S. Federal Department Policies are Addressing Social Media RecordsA study by Chad Doran,PhD, CRM  Funded by the ARMA International Educational Foundation. 


Social media technologies serve important functions in support of government services in areas such as education, public relations, health and safety, and internal and external communication networks. This research project focuses on social media usage in federal departments and agencies and the gap between written best practices and practical application. It furnishes a review of policies and practices related to social media across federal executive branch departments. The research findings provide records and archives practitioners, researchers,technologists, government officials, and policymakers with insights into policy development in the U.S. federal government which addresses records generated by social media.

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Social Networks and their Impact on Records and Information Management—A study by Helen M. Streck   Funded by the ARMA International Educational Foundation.


Social Networks are used by hundreds of millions of people around the work and some of these communications are considered to be records.  This paper provides an overview of Social Networks, identifies the real or perceived issues that exist, identifies specific characteristics that impact the Records and Information Management profession or professional and lists some of the legal considerations perceived to be emerging from using Social Networks.

Legal Obstacles to E-Mail Message Destruction - English Version—A study by John C. Montana J.D. with assistance from John R. Kain,MA and Kathleen Nolan MD MLS  Funded by the ARMA International Educational Foundation.


 This project seeks to examine e-mail and the legal doctrines around it, to determine which approach to its retention is the sounder. More precisely it seeks to identify the legal and statutory obstacles which would prevent the adoption of an information management policy requiring the automatic and systematic deletion of all email messages, in all repositories, older than a predefined period." The short answer to this question is a simple one: e-mail cannot be destroyed en mass after an arbitrarily assigned period in any case where a legal duty requires otherwise. The devil is, however, in the details: Legal duties arise from a great variety of sources, and the duties themselves vary quite considerably. Each such duty creates in the data object upon which it is imposed some sort of legal status -- it is an evidentiary object, a regulatory compliance object, a government record, or whatever. The question then is what, if any, status does the law impose upon e-mail?

Identifying and Classifying E-Messages as Records A Study by Jessie Wilkins CRM,CDIA+, CDIA. Research conducted and donated to the profession by Mr. Wilkins.


Despite email’s having existed for more than 35 years, and despite the explosion in email volumes and attendant storage requirements, most of the guidance available to organizations today takes the form either of email policies or vendor white papers. Email policies provide a good starting point for email management, but many of them are limited to acceptable usage, privacy, and the occasional nod to litigation holds. And vendor white papers are often suspect because they tend to reflect the vendor’s strategies and approaches. Many of these white papers are written by, or in collaboration with, respected analyst firms but even these can raise more questions than they address because they are sponsored. This white paper is the result of research conducted to understand the current state of affairs with regards to email management today. While some conclusions can be drawn, much work remains to be done in order to identify effective and defensible practices for managing electronic messages effectively.

Big Buckets or Big Ideas? Classification vs. Innovation on the Enterprise 2.0 DesktopA Study by Patricia Galloway, PhD CDP funded by the ARMA International Educational Foundation with additional funds provided by the Mile High Denver Chapter of ARMA International..
The recent interest fostered by the U.S. National Archives in using so-called “big buckets”as a feature of their Flexible Scheduling scheme indicates some hope for a solution to classifying routinized work product not scheduled as permanent. Given that some records managers are looking toward adopting the practice for all records, however, it may prove to be in conflict with current research in information science on the work practices of knowledge workers, especially those whose work implicitly includes problem-solving and innovation. Conceived in another way, however, the “flexibility” provided by the concept may open the door to an application of “Enterprise 2.0” classificatory practices. This is of particular import since electronic record creation is already being supported by software systems designed to optimize flexibility for employee work practices.

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