My comments on the RiC conceptual model for archival description from ICA
There's an interesting array of views emerging about the conceptual model for Records in Context, the basis for the ICA's proposed new standard on archival description. Thought I'd share the (brief!) comments I sent in, FWIW.
Comments on Records in Contexts: A Conceptual Model for Archival Description
Consultation Draft v0.1 September 2016
1. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the conceptual model and congratulations on such an impressive piece of work. It’s clear that a huge amount of analysis and effort has gone into it to date.
2. Overall I am in favour of the model proposed, in particular the move from hierarchical to multi-dimensional, and the desire to align the descriptive practices of all types of recordkeeping professionals. I was also really pleased at ICA2016 to hear about plans for an RDF & OWL expressible version of the finished standard.
3. I’d like to see something more in the model to cope with digitization copies (such as scanned paper records) and rendition copies (such as versions of born digital records made for preservation or access purposes) of records. Possibly this is meant to be done using the ‘Is associated with’ Record-Record relationship, but I feel like more explicit relationships; ‘Is copy of’ and ‘Is rendition of’, for example, would be helpful.
4. Also on the issue of copies and renditions, the ability to record reasons for making these and the details of who, under what mandate, and when would be desirable. Copies and renditions would have their own metadata as per the Record entity.
5. I would like to see relationships supporting the management of the records (recordkeeping business), in support of the need for alignment of recordkeeping practices across domains and timeframes. An existing and suitable name scheme for recordkeeping events can be found in a reference set for recordkeeping metadata produced by Standards Australia; Table A3.3 Recordkeeping event relationship name scheme, in AS/NZS 5478:2015 Recordkeeping metadata property reference set (RMPRS).
6. The reference set above conforms with the principles and concepts of the International Standard on metadata for records, ISO 23081, and would be a useful document to review as work on the more detailed / technical version of RiC proceeds, in addition to ISO 23081:1 and ISO 23081:2.
7. I would prefer to see fewer entities, more in line with the International Standards noted above. In particular, I think the following should not be entities, but rather Properties of one or more of the core entities (Record, Agent, Function, Mandate):
• Documentary Form
Thanks again, and all the best for the next steps!
November 15, 2016