Management of social media records at the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe
Institutions of higher learning, including universities, are now actively using social media for business activities, which leads to the creation of records on these social media platforms. The study sought to investigate how the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Zimbabwe manages its social media-generated records given its presence on social media platforms and in view of the rapid accumulation of such records and the instability of these social media platforms. The study used a qualitative research methodology and employed a case study design. Data were gathered through face-to-face interviews, content analysis and document study. The findings indicate that the NUST recognises social media-generated records as official records; and it uses its communication policy as guidelines to regulate the posting of social media content. The NUST ICT Acceptable Use Policy was used as a guiding tool on passwords for social media platforms to ensure that the social media records are authentic and reliable. The study also established that the responsibility of posting and control of social media content lies with the Communication and Marketing Office. Although social media-generated records are recognised as official records at the NUST, the study established that the NUST Records Management Policy is silent about managing social media-generated records. The NUST mainly controls records that are created and posted on its social media platforms but does not follow best practices for the capturing and preservation social media records to ensure authenticity of its social media records. In view of the findings and conclusions, the study recommended that the NUST should come up with a social media records policy to guide the generation and control of social media records. The NUST can update its yet to be implemented current proposed records management policy to incorporate social media records management, and can introduce a viable records management unit that spearheads the management and appreciation of all records at the NUST, including social media records. This would lead to the adoption of best practices and standards for all records management activities at the NUST so that the organisation has reliable and authentic records all the time.