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Metadata Interoperability for Electronic Records Management Workshop

From: Jim Whitehead <ejw@cse.ucsc.edu>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 11:45:47 -0700
To: "WebDAV" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
I'm organzing the following workshop on the topic of how best to achieve
interoperability of metadata among eletronic records management (ERM)
systems, especially government ERM systems.  Members of the WebDAV community
are welcome to attend.

I believe this topic is of crucial importance to enabling the freedom of
government records. If a standard mechanism for representing electronic
records management metadata in XML could be developed, it would allow WebDAV
properties to record this metadata. This, in turn, would allow government
agencies to use a DAV server to control the entire lifecycle of their
documents, from the initial point of authorship to its archiving and perhaps
destruction (according to a records disposition plan). While important for
government electronic records management, these capabilities are important
for a wide range of document management scenarios, and the existence of
interoperable ERM metadata will dramatically increase the value of WebDAV
servers in many document management scenarios.

An ERM schema increases the freedom of records by making it much easier for
government agencies to process public requests for their records. In the US,
a standard mechanism is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request -- this
metadata will make it much easier to process these requests. As well, it
opens the possibility that agencies could regularly open up a many of their
records for public review, since these processes could be increasingly
automated with better metadata support.

For background reading, the 5015.2 standard can be found here:

Details on the workshop follow:

Workshop on Metadata Interoperability for Electronic Records Management

Date: November 15, 2001, 1-5PM

Location: National Archives Building, College Park, Maryland, Lecture Room E
Directions: http://www.nara.gov/nara/dc/Archives2_directions.html.


As governments, businesses, and organizations around the world increasingly
convert their information flows from paper-based to digital, there is an
increasing need for electronic records management. In the United States, the
functionality standard, DoD 5015.2, "Design Criteria Standard for Electronic
Records Management Software Applications" provides a detailed specification
of the capabilities required of document management systems to meet
government electronic records management needs. DoD 5015.2 is used by the
DISA Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) to perform certification
testing to ensure that systems can meet the requirements stated in the

DoD 5015.2 lists numerous metadata items, covering such issues as content
disposition, bibliographic metadata, formatting, email-specific metadata,
and others. While 5015.2 provides a detailed description of the semantics of
each metadata item, it does not describe the format of their contents. As a
result, even if two document management systems both meet the 5015.2
standard, there is no guarantee that values from one system can be easily
transferred or compared with another. Since 5015.2 only specifies
functionality, it is not a solid foundation for interoperability among
electronic records management systems.

The purpose of this workshop is to begin efforts to create an
interoperability standard for electronic records management metadata. Topics
for discussion at the workshop include:

  * What is the scope of the effort?
    - Just 5015.2 metadata items, or is other standardization necessary?
    - What are the specific requirements?

  * Which standards development organization should host the effort?
    - OASIS, NARA, NIST, ANSI, AIIM :: what are pros/cons of each?

  * What technologies should be employed?
    - XML, RDF

  * How to coordinate with efforts in Australia, UK, and elsewhere?
    - Do we gain any traction by making this an international effort?

  * How does this effort interact with existing technologies?
    - GILS/Z39.50, WebDAV, DASL

  * Who will lead the effort? Who will participate?
    - Will this be an open or closed project?

If you are planning on attending, please send an email to Jim Whitehead
<ejw@cse.ucsc.edu>. There is no charge to attend this event.
Received on Friday, 26 October 2001 14:49:42 UTC

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