Records Management Services
Even in the digital age, faculty and staff at JHMI generate large quantities of paper records and other hard copy formats, such as microfilm. In some cases it maybe more cost effective to store records in hard copy formats rather than digitally.
- Storage conditions for hardcopy records
- Packing Instructions
- Harvard University Archives’ Guidelines for Managing Faculty Files (.pdf)
Cost of not implementing best practices
- Compliance risk
- Data lose
- Lack of re-use or incompatibility with other data
Digital Records at JHMI
Record creation, use, and dissemination have dramatically changed with the advent of the personal computer in the office place. They are no longer being created, stored, and sent on paper, but instead exist as bits of meaningless information unless that information is read correctly by a computer. Digital Records of all types (word processing documents, spreadsheets, photographs, presentations, email, audio/video, and databases) introduce new challenges to long-term management and preservation. Creators of digital content can follow the current best practices to improve the chances that their records will be preserved, readable, and retrievable in the future.
Timing to Implement Standards and Best Practices
"Data archiving is a process, not an end state where data is simply turned over to a repository at the conclusion of a study. Rather, data archiving should begin early in a project and incorporate a schedule for depositing products over the course of a project's life cycle and the creation and preservation of accurate metadata, ensuring the usability of the research data itself. Such practices would incorporate archiving as part of the research method." An ideal situation would be for the researcher to plan for eventual archiving and dissemination of research data and information before they are even created.
The best practices for preserving digital content provided below have been gathered from many different groups—including the International Organization of Standards (ISO)—which can be used to preserve JHMIs collections.
Standards & Best Practices for Digital Information
- Society of American Archivists - Managing Electronic Records and Assets: A Working Bibliography
- Library of Congress - Standards
- Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) Standards Catalog
- International Organization of Standardization (ISO) Digital Standards
- Library of Congress Collections - Introduction to Digital Formats
"How to" Guides for Long-term Preservation of Information
- Harvard University Archives' Electronic Desktop Management Guidelines (.pdf)
- ICPSR's Digital Preservation Management: Implementing Short-term Strategies for Long-term Problems Tutorial
- Batch Conversion of documents to PDF/A
- Creation of PDF/As
 Jacobs, James A., and Charles Humphrey. "Preserving research data." Communications of the ACM. 47, 9 (2004): 27-29.