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.


Both a records and information manager and an archivist is responsible for the managing and organization of records. The RIM professional is more likely to be involved in the creation of a record and is responsible for seeing it through to the end of its cycle—the end being disposition. The term disposition can mean destruction, but not always. If a record is deemed to have enduring value, it is retained permanently. This is often the period in which an archivist would receive the record. While their roles in the specific portion of the record’s lifecycle will vary, the fact remains that either profession must utilize standards and best practices in order to effectively perform their duties.

The list of standards or guidelines that can or should be utilized for each profession is quite lengthy, but there are a few that stand out as more commonly used or referenced. Additionally, while many of the available standards can be applicable to both the RIM professional and the archivist, there are a few that are more likely or only seen in one profession or the other.

The RIM professional will often refer to the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles or The Principles and Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) when developing or maintaining a records program. While The Principles are not standards by definition, they are a set of guidelines that can be quite useful to the records manager. Additionally, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) can be referred to. These standards, among many others, including International Organization for Standardization (ISO) are significant throughout the entire lifecycle of a record.

The archivist will often refer to the Society for American Archivists for standards as they often facilitate the development of standards. Organizations can submit developing standards to SAA for review after which SAA will add them to Standards Portal located on the website. Standards for archival actions such as the developing of an archival facility or the development of the archival process including preservation can be located through the SAA Standards Portal. Additionally, Archivists will use different metadata standards for description such as Dublin Core, PREMIS, Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), and Encoded Archival Description (EAD). These standards assist the archivist in describing objects, digital or otherwise, in a manner that will assist in the discovery of the object in a search. Many of the descriptors are made available for the public to view. Lastly, the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model is used to guide archivists and bring consistency to the field. While there are more standards that can and are utilized by archivist, these are the most common.

Digital asset management (DAM) is a term that can be used in both the records and information management and archival fields. It is important to note, as a digital asset manager will refer to the aforementioned standards from both fields as well as very specific ones. For example, the MPEG standards were created to specifically describe audiovisual objects and is a widely used format. To the RIM professional or archivist, this is a format in which a record can be created, stored, and disposed or preserved, but to a digital asset manager the MPEG represents an in-depth description standard that is vital in the replication of such digital object.

As evidenced by the previous discussions, standards and structures are numerous across the records management and archival fields. It is the duty of each professional to understand and utilize these available standards to efficiently and effective manage the objects that are entrusted to them.

Supporting Evidence

MARA 249 Final Paper – Amanda Stowell

A RIM professional in position managing electronic health records (EHR) must be proficient in the HIPPA standards that are mandated by the federal government. This work submitted explores the penalties for not implementing a sufficiently compliant EHR system, the complications in implementing HIPPA standards, and offers suggestions to make the HIPPA implementation process smoother.

MARA 284-11 Information Governance Program Final, Stowell, Amanda

This work submitted is the totality of my information governance assignments through the course of MARA 284-11. It contains the use of multiple standards and guidelines including The Principles, Risk Management ISO 31000:2009, Information Security Management ISO/IEC 27001:2013, and Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) and is a thorough representation of my working knowledge of the standards and structures utilized by RIM professionals.

MARA 284-10 Final Report, Group 7 – Amanda Stowell

This work submitted shows my understanding of Dublin Core Metadata Element Set standard in the organization of digital objects utilizing most of the fifteen descriptors. Additionally, this group project required the use of multiple applications—Preservica for organization of the digital assets and metadata, SharePoint for group collaboration, and WordPress for the public interface and interaction with the digital objects. The use of these three platforms increased my awareness and comfort with those frequently operated by RIM professionals and archivists.

INFO 282 Project #1 – Amanda Stowell

Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a term that can be used in both the records and information management and archival fields. In our current records environment, the understanding of DAM is necessary to effectively manage all records. Digital objects are increasingly created and utilized more than their non-digital counterparts. This work submitted asserts my grasp of DAM standards and the process necessary to intake, describe, and display for public access and research.


I consider the completion of my information governance (IG) program and plan through the duration of the MARA IG course to be a worthy application of all of my skills and knowledge acquired in the MARA program. In order to complete this particular project, I needed to have more than a working knowledge of records and information management standards—I needed to have functional understanding of all concepts to properly apply them throughout the IG development process. For this project I created a fictitious organization and provided it with an executive summary which included a mission and vision statement and organizational goals. Using this organization, I was able to replicate much of the same process that I would go through in the career world if I were tasked with leading or participating in the development of an IG program. The retention of my MARA knowledge was put to the test as I pulled from numerous resources and considered strategic planning and implementation, organizational roles and responsibilities, legal and regulatory requirements, standards and best practices, risk management strategies, assurance, and finally aligned the entire program with the technology utilized by the organization. The creation of this IG program and plan is application of my MARA skills and supports my understanding of the standards and structures utilized by RIM professionals.

From an archival standpoint, I have been able to apply my knowledge of records and information management and archival standards through my function as a museum archives intern. On a daily basis I catalog objects in a Dublin Core based field system and upload the entries into ContentDM. Additionally, I have been able to assist in decisions regarding collection types and subtypes and have been able to apply my knowledge of the standards by offering suggestions that increase the functionality of the collection.