Electronic Document Management
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Topic outline


Electronic Document Management

By Tom Worthington FACS HLM

Module 2 of Systems Approach to the Management of Government Information, ANU, 2007

The Electronic Document Management course introduces two topics: metadata and data management (digital library, electronic document management). The use of web technology for practical e-commerce and e-publishing applications is emphasized using case studies drawing on the lecturer's experience.

Identifying steps that can be taken to accelerate the uptake of electronic documents by government, in conjunction with small and medium-sized enterprises, this course enables the participant to learn practical skills for incorporating e-commerce into their organization.

This course is based on Tom Worthington's ANU lectures on Metadata and Electronic Document Management for IT in e-Commerce (COMP3410/COMP6341) 2007. He chaired an Australian Government's committee on electronic document management and in 1999 was elected a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society for his contribution to the development of public Internet policy in Australia.

Structure: The course is 12 hours in total spread over 3 days with 4 teaching hours per day. The course consists of 6 hours of lectures, 2 hours of practical classes, 2 hours of tutorials and 2 hours of assessment exercises.

Teaching Method: The course is made up of 12 one hour units, each consisting of a mini-lecture of about 20 minutes, plus discussion and exercises. The lecture notes and slides are provided online, with an interactive system for completion of exercises. This course is designed for face-to-face classroom delivery in a flexible learning center. Enrolled students have access to complete the online exercises in the learning centre and via the Internet at home. Those who are not enrolled are welcome to read the course notes and exercises.

Introduction: Legal and administrative requirements

The same technical standards used for the World Wide Web are now being used to build interconnected computer systems to run non-profit organisations, companies and governments. The information in these systems needs to be managed for social, business and legal purposes. In a very real sense, the aim is to provide the same types of services for locating, accessing and navigating these organisation information sources in the same way as on the web.

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Electronic Document Management Overview

Electronic Document Management allows legally recognised documents used in e-commerce transactions to be created, transmitted and stored. Without electronic document management, fast and efficient e-commerce transactions would be buried under mounds of paper documenting the transactions, or be tied up in litigation over the authenticity of the electronic originals.
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Basic Web technologies

Technologies, such as HTML, XHTML, CSS and XML are the foundations of the World Wide Web. These are also used for electronic document storage in organizations and for encoding information about the documents.
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Classification, Metadata and Search Engines

Electronic documents need to be cataloged like books in a library, in order to be found. Classification schemes provide a systematic way to catalog records. Metadata provides the information about the records. Search engines, such as those used for web search can look for text, but can also improve their results by using and by creating metadata. Electronic discovery ("e-discovery") is the process of finding documents related to a court case.

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Digital Preservation Tools and Standards

The Victorian Electronic Recordkeeping Strategy (VERS) and the National Archives XML Electronic Normalising of Archives (XENA) and Digital Preservation Recorder (DPR) provide standards for electronic formats and metadata.
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Digital Library and E-Publishing

Document Management is normally thought of in terms of internal documents of an organization. However, due to web technology, the tools and techniques are converging with those for electronic publishing and digital libraries of public data.

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Storage and maintenance of records

XML technology allows automated capture and distribution of records and metadata. This allows for the distribution of copies of records in a controlled way forVital Records, to help with Business Continuation Planing, Disaster Response, Recovery Plan and Risk Management.
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Access to records

Government agencies are required to consider Security, Privacy, FOI, Access determinations, Appraisal and Disposal. Web based commercial advertising services face similar challenges and have created some innovative approaches which could be applied in government.
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Web publishing

Document Formats, RSS, Podcasting, Wikis.
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Advanced Web technologies

XSLT, Web Services
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eGovernment and eCommerce

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Advanced applications

EDM for mobile and emergency applications