National Archives Resources

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has released a bulletin for federal agencies on managing records of collaboration platforms, such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.  Collaboration platforms can include a wide range of tools, such as chat, email, and file sharing and project management features that may have records management and retention implications.   The bulletin shares the records management considerations that agencies should keep in mind when using such a platform.  More information is available at

Another resource offered by NARA is its Electronic Records Accessioning Support Tools.  These tools can assist in preparing records for transfer and include Junk File Finder to identify empty folders and backup files and the Funny Filename Finder, a recently added tool which can identify filenames with invalid characters.  These tools are available at

Thinking about digitizing your records?  In October NARA released its Digitization Quality Management Guide to assist agencies with their quality control of digitization projects.  The guide is available at  If considering a digitization project also don’t forget about the OhioERC’s document imaging guidance!

“Hey Siri, manage my records:” the records management implications of emerging cognitive technologies

Human decision-making is being supported or replaced by several emerging cognitive technologies, including Internet of Things, Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Recently, the National Archives and Records Administration issued a white paper that provides a review and analysis of these cognitive technologies and their potential impact on records management.

The white paper focuses on the following emerging cognitive technologies:

Internet of Things: The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. Devices like Alexa and Siri can be used to operate lights, lock doors, add calendar items, answer questions, and more. In 2016, the City of San Diego approved a plant to retrofit streetlights with processors and data storage to gather data and analytics to improve parking, traffic and safety.

Robotic Process Automation: Robotic Process Automation is a technology platform that enables a software robot (“bot”) to interact with applications. The white paper offers an example of a bot that assists members of the public asking for information about a topic. The bot opens a chat, scans the content, opens the agency’s reference request system, populates the requester’s contact information, makes a best guess at the purpose of the request, and provides resources to help the requester find the information they seek.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: Machine learning refers to a software programming technique that uses algorithms to autonomously improve decisions through analysis. Artificial intelligence is described as teaching machines to learn and solve problems so they can make yes or no decisions. The white paper discusses the use of these tools by governmental entities to classify emails to allow the public to search and more easily access certain government officials’ emails.

In addition to exploring the cultural and societal considerations associated with the use of cognitive technologies, the white paper explores the records management implications associated with their use and reminds readers of the following:

  • While the volume of data created by these technologies can be staggering, the data must be managed by agencies within a records management framework.
  • The length of retention continues to be driven by business needs and legal requirements.
  • These technologies may impact existing policies and standards, such as ensuring records management controls requirements for electronic information systems, and ensuring they adequately maintain the authenticity and integrity of records.

Although the white paper focuses primarily on federal records, it highlights the need for forethought from any public entity interested in incorporating these technologies into their business practices.

OhioERC Free November Webinar

The OhioERC is proud to offer a free webinar presentation Shifting to a Remote Workplace: Records Management Best Practices and Lessons Learned While Working from Home on Friday, November 4th. Records management and educating your offices about record retention requirements is more important than ever when considering the management of organizational records in a remote work setting. Learn about records management program implications and lessons learned while working from home for some ideas to carry forward to better support a remote work environment for public agencies. Topics include perspectives from several public work environments and includes discussion on the management of records on online conferencing platforms that need to be managed.

There will be a morning and afternoon session; both having the same content. To register, please use the following links:

10:00-11:30 AM EST:

1:30-3:00 PM EST:

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at [email protected].