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From Life Cycle to Continuum: Assuring Research Use of Records and Archives

Presenter 1
Marjo Rita Valtonen
University of Tampere, Department of Information Studies

Life cycle thinking has spread to every field in society; products, services and healthcare have life cycle. In the digital working environment the life cycle of data, information, documents, records and archives have to carefully design in advance. To be able to use them as long as needed in operational tasks and later on in research needs holistic multidisciplinary approaches. In the meaning "from the cradle to grave" the life cycle concept misrepresents the case. Records as evidences of social realities and building blocks of social memory are preserved long time or permanently. This means continuous attending of accessibility, usability and availability of digital records and archives. Specialised scholarly and professional knowledge is needed in appraising, managing, selection and preservation of digital records and archives - all this even before "the cradle stage", and with future visions reaching over hundred years. Standardised recordkeeping in organisational context supports current and future research with creating researcher satisfied metadata. Question is not about a linear and ending life cycle but a continuum, a kind of "information processing rhythm", which assures that information can not die.

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