Which way records management research?

a cluster analysis of the keywords in records management literature using Scopus data, 1971-2018

  • Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha University of South Africa
Keywords: records management; cluster analysis; content analysis; electronic records research publications


This paper evaluates the keywords and subject areas in records management (RM) publications, as indexed in the Scopus database, with a view to mapping RM research from 1971 to 2018 so as to determine the direction of research in the field. A total of 4 762 documents were obtained from the Scopus database using the term records management and searching within the title, abstract and keywords fields. The data was analysed using VOSviewer software. The findings reveal that interest in RM research has grown as the volume of publications has continued to increase. Whereas there was no dominant area of research in the 1980s, as far as RM research is concerned, the main focus in the 2010s was the management of electronic health records, thereby signalling a shift in RM research from being just an information management exercise to being used for the management of records in the medical and health sector. Other popular research areas in the 2010s were health care, electronic medical record/s, information management, medical computing, information systems, and electronic document exchange. A classification of the RM publications according to Scopus’s broad subject fields revealed that RM research is mainly conducted in computer science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. The study predicts a slow growth in the number of RM publications in the next ten years (2019-2028), greater focus on RM in the health sector, and continued dominance of computer-based systems and electronic records as topics of RM research.


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eISSN: 0376-4753