Electronic Records @ SLAC
Format -- General Comments
The SLAC AHRO has received notification through DOE Records Management that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will phase out acceptance of paper format records beginning 1/1/2023.
NARA will continue to service existing paper records retired to the FRC before 1/1/2023, but ALL records retirements after that date will be required to be in digital rather than paper format.
Note: This format change requirement will not have any effect on the required retention periods for records created by SLAC: the existing retention requirements will remain the same as they are now, unless changed via separate agreement between NARA and the DOE.
DOE Records Management intends to implement an Electronic Records & Information Management System (ERIMS) solution by December 31, 2022 that may be made available for use by DOE contractors like SLAC. In addition, NARA has mounted the FERMI Initiative (Federal Electronic Records Management Initiative) to assist agencies in making the transition to entirely digital records management practices.
SLAC offices which still retire inactive paper records have been notified of this pending change.
Note: Some links on this page open pdf files, which require the free Acrobat Reader.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has implemented the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Capstone Approach to Email records scheduling and disposition.
Under Capstone, all email at SLAC is considered non-record, and can be disposed of when no longer needed for current business, UNLESS staff have been notified that there is a legal hold on certain categories of emails.
At the present time, no such hold is in force.
The SLAC AHRO archived the first U.S. website as a special collection. See the Early Web Exhibit.
AHRO actively archives Communications Office news posted on intranet websites as weekly digests (per DOE Administrative Records Schedule 14 Informational Services Records and Schedule 21 Audiovisual Records), and SLAC websites are harvested by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Web sites of SLAC's DOE Level I experimental programs have been harvested locally on an annual basis.
In general, web-related records management-related responsibilities are diffused throughout the laboratory to the programs that create web content or other offices managing the website, per NARA policy.
Storage Issues for Electronic/Digital Records
Longevity of stored electronic/digital data is necessarily dependent upon three factors:
- software longevity
- hardware longevity
- storage medium longevity
The life-span of any stored electronic information is only as long as the life-span of the shortest-lived of its three constituent components. Research projects like the one in which the SLAC AHRO previously participated have working to address and mitigate the problems caused by software, hardware and storage medium obsolescence.
Migration of data and information from obsolete software, hardware or storage media is never a trivial undertaking. Ideally, plans for the continuing preservation of historically imortant electronic/digital data and information should be made, in consultation with the Archives (x5376) as soon as the data or information has been identified as having archival or historic value
- NARA Electronic Records Management Guidance (ERM) on the Web
- NARA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Selecting Sustainable Formats for Electronic Records
- NARA TookKit for Managing Electronic Records
- NPS Conserv O Gram: Preservation of Magnetic Media
- NPS Conserv O Gram: Care of Archival Compact Discs
- NPS Conserv O Gram: Care of Archival Digital and Magnetic Media
- NAGARA Crossroads Newsletter: Developments in electronic records management and information technology. (National Association of Government Archivists and Records Administrators)