Why is Records Management Important?

Ultimately, Records Management ensures that institutional records of vital historical, fiscal, and legal value are identified and preserved, and that non-essential records are discarded in a timely manner according to established guidelines and identified legislation.

Benefits of Records Management include more effective management of your current records (both paper and electronic); a reduced / eliminated level of record-keeping redundancies; reduced costs for records storage equipment and supplies; and increased usable office space through the elimination of unnecessary file storage. In addition, Records Management provides institutional accountability and timely access to information.

What is a record?

All information created, sent and received in the course of your job is potentially a record. Records provide evidence of your unit’s business activities and function. Whether something is a University record (as opposed to Faculty records pertaining to teaching / research or personal records) depends on the information it contains and the context of its creation. Records can be in paper, digital or other formats. Some examples include:

•    emails
•    reports
•    databases
•    samples and objects
•    letters
•    minutes
•    photographs
•    social media sites

•    faxes
•    spreadsheets
•    maps and plans
•    information in business systems
•    text messages
•    policy and briefing papers
•    research data

Five key points of good records management practice

1.    Helps you to do your job better: it supports ease and efficiency of working because you can find the information you need, when you need it.
2.    Protects you and the University: it provides evidence of people's rights and entitlements, and shows what the University did and why it did it.
3.    Saves you time by ensuring you can find the information you need easily
4.    Reduces costs, particularly space costs, by ensuring you don't keep any more records than you have to, and that you know when you can delete or destroy them
5.    Gives you records you can rely on, both by helping you to find the appropriate version and, by giving records a high value as evidence if they are needed in a court of law.

Source: University of Edinburgh. Records Management Five Key Points. June 27,2012.