ESARBICA Journal: Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives

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How does library and information science perceive records management? A trend and core/periphery model analysis

Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha, Koketso Mokwatlo


It has been observed that the scope of records management (RM) and the concept’s definition is still unclear. The problem is compounded by the emergence of new formats of “records” – a situation that calls for a re-examination of the definition of RM. This article offers an informetric perspective of understanding the concept through an analysis of the subject headings which are used to describe RM in the published literature that represent RM research. By using various analytical technologies to analyse the data extracted from the Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts (LISTA) database, the study found that RM is increasingly becoming synonymous with information resources management (IRM), which features prominently in the RM literature as a subject heading. The core subject terms that are commonly used to describe RM include “management”, “records”, “information”, “resources”, “electronic”, “systems”, “archives”, “documents”, “services” and “computer”. Based on the findings of this study, we conclude that RM is related to IRM and is practiced in places such as archives, libraries and business enterprises by librarians, archivists, information professionals and records managers who use different enablers – such as computer software and systems to manage (e.g. process, plan, control and/or coordinate) various types of information resources (e.g. electronic documents, records, manuscripts, etc.). Further areas of research are recommended.

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