Showing posts from July, 2011

Improving the Search Results Apart From Using the Boolean Operators

Etiwel Mutero Since the main purpose of an information retrieval system is essentially to capture wanted items and filter out the unwanted ones, it is therefore necessary for an information seeker to know how to improve the search results. In this paper, the author is going to discuss how an online information searcher can improve the quality of search results apart from using the Boolean operators.
According to Harter[1986] an online information retrieval is a computer associated hardware terminals, communication lines and links, modems and disk drives as well as software packages that carry out storage and retrieval functions on databases. It can also be defined as the process of searching remote databases for information using information and communication technologies, or the searching of computerized databases instead of printed indexes.
Apart from using Boolean operators, an online information searcher can use the SocialSimRank Bao et al[2007:501-510]. Bao et al proposed this f…

Evaluating the appraisal process of public sector records in Zimbabwe

An often quoted estimate is, less than five percent of government records are of enduring value and therefore need to be preserved permanently. It is neither practical nor desirable to preserve all records created by every agency. Records must be removed, and records must be destroyed. In this paper the author is going to critically evaluate the appraisal process of public sector records in Zimbabwe and comment whether the process is effective and make recommendations for improvement.
Appraisal is ‘the process of determining the value of records for further use, for whatever purpose ,and the length of time for which that value will continue, also known as evaluation, review or selection’. Griffin [1999:5].Appraisal involves determining what the records are, who creates them and how they relate to the agency’s function and other records, how they are used, when and by whom. It is the aim of appraisal and disposal to ensure that records are either destroyed or transferred to an archiva…

Archival Finding Aids

Parker [1977:161] says 'finding aids are the signposts which lead the archivists and the researcher to the information they are seeking about or from archives.' In this paper, the author is going to identify and explain the key finding aids used in accessing materials in an archival institution.
Finding aids can be defined as descriptions of the holding of the archival institution so as to establish intellectual control. Intellectual control is necessary because archivists need to know what they have [records], what it contains, and where it is. Researchers need to know what exist in the archival institution, what materials it has on specific topics, and what is in each collection.

Finding aids encompass a range of descriptive media such as registers,lists, guides, inventories and indexes. Parker [1977:159] says finding aids '...establish physical and intellectual control over holdings of an archive and make it possible to retrieve particular records or infor…

Establishing A New Records Management Program

In many developing countries, Zimbabwe included records management systems are not followed or that they had crumbled. Records are in- accessible or that obsolete records had filled a large part of office space, necessitating the implementation of effective new records management systems in many organizations. In this paper the author is going to examine the principles involved in establishing the infrastructure or frame work for a new records management system in an organization.
According to the association of records managers and administrators (ARMA),"Records management is the systematic control of records from their creation or receipt through their processing, distribution, organization and retrieval, to their ultimate disposal." A system is defined by Arn (1991:6) as 'a group of components that function together to achieve certain objectives. The components or parts of a system are subsystems. Records management is subsystem of any information system…

Five Basic Activities That Define the Archivist's Function

I fully agree that an archivist is a professional who is responsible for the management of important records. Atherton 1995; 43 say "the archivist serves the needs of the scholar, the historian, and posterity..." In this paper the author is going to discuss five basic activities that define an archivist's function.
An archivist according to Willipedia definition is a professional who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, maintains control over, and provides access to information determined to have long term value. Atherton (1985; 35) say an "archivist is basically a historian". However I think a comprehensive definition of an archivist is, a person who manages non-current records of any organization.

The first duty of an archivist is acquisition of archival materials. It is the responsibility of an archivist to select and archival records fit for long term preservation. However, selection and appraisal of records are interviewed. Appraisal, is …

Professionalism and Professional Activities in the Cataloguing Department

Accessibility of information when needed is important, in particular in libraries where thousands of books are stocked. In this paper the author is going to discuss professionalism and the professional activities in the cataloguing department
A catalogue according to Ranganathan (2004:33) is to "show what the library has by a given author, on a given subject and in a given kind of a literature" Kumar (1975:1) defines a catalogue as a "work in which contents are arranged in a reasonable way, according to a set plan, or merely word by word" Cataloguing defined by Taylor (1992:3) as "the skill or ant... of organizing knowledge (information) for retrieval" usually cataloguing is done in the cataloguing department by professional cataloguers.

Cataloguers are trained professionals. Professionalism requires them to be honest in their work. There might arise problems during the process of cataloguing, a professional cataloguer does not conceal errors …

Causes of Archives and Records Deterioration and Their Methods of Control

There are many different reasons why records and archives deteriorate and the best most cost effective way to protect records and archives is to ensure the good and orderly physical and administrative management of the entire organization. In this paper, the author is going to explain with typical examples the causes of deterioration to records and archives and their methods of control.
Archives are defined by Roper (1999:4) as "Records, usually but not necessarily non-current records, of enduring value selected for permanent preservation. Archives will normally be preserved in an archival repository." He Roper (1999:19) further defines records as, "a document regardless of from or medium created, received, maintained and used by an organization (public or private) or an individual in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business of which it forms a part or provides evidence."

The most significant factor is the nature of archival mat…

Selection Aids and Internet Resource Aids

Since it is impossible and unreasoanable for the selection staff to read and review personally the large number of library materials being introduced each year,the selection staff must rely upon the assistance of professionally prepared selection aids.In this paper, the author is going to differentiate between selection aids and internet resource guides justifying their relevence to information science.
Selection aids are resources that assist a librarian in choosing,especially in the aquisition department,the appropriate collection in the library.Selection aids are usually in print form. The internet resource guides function the same as selection aids but these guides are in electronic form.

Selection aids consists of the following;professional library journals such as book lists,library journals,school library journals and publisher's weekly.Magazines of general interests such as Time,Newsweek,American Heritage etc.They include journals in specific fields for retro…

Managing Institutional Archives

 by Etiwel Mutero
'Management" and its synonym "administration" are familiar words to archivists, almost always referring to the application of the principles of archival and records management to particular collections or bodies of records. In this paper, the author is going to discuss with relevant examples the essential elements for managing institutional archives that are also common to the administration of all archives.
Institutional archives are archives that belong to a single body such as a University, hospital, army etcetera. As the author had indicated, the words management and administration are related .Administration according to the Random House Webster's College Dictionary is the management and direction of a government, business, institution, or the like. Management, by the same source, is "first the act or process of managing.'
The elements that are essential to the management not of institutional arch…

Records Control Measures

Records are an important element in the efficient and effective management of an organization, such that recordkeeping and record control systems must not be looked down upon. In this paper the author is going to discuss the concept of recordkeeping and clearly explain how one would control all the records generated in any organization. Recordkeeping are all the activities involving the reception or creation of records of an individual or organization, the use and storage of that document up until its disposal. The storage of that record should help an organization achieve its mission.The author is going to discuss three basic concepts of record- keeping or records management, that is the concept of lifecycle and the continuum concept
The principle of respect des fonds means respect the creator of records. This principle is broken down into two sub concepts namely, provenance and original order. Provenance means the organization or individual that created or received and…

The Role of Databases and Database Management Systems in information management

This article differentiates between a database and a database management system.It also gives type of databases used by organisations such as centralised and distributed databases.Hirachichal,relational and the network databases are also explained.The article further explaines the uses of a database management system.A full text of this article is 1024 words 5 pages long.
In managing information, organizations are moving from file management systems to a better and efficient database management system. In this paper the author is going to differentiate between a database and a database management system [DBMS] and fully explain the types of databases used in various organizations.

A database is a collection of organized data with easy access and preserved over a long period, or a collection of interrelated data. Turban[2003:131]defines a database as a ''collection of related files, and where those related files can greatly affect user accessibility, query response…

Benefits of Cross-Cultural Communication

his article defines cross-cultural communication and explaines the its benefits to organisations.A full text of this article is 1049 and 7 pages long.Formal organizations are becoming bigger and bigger. Organizations that used to trade in a single cultural society are now spreading their wings internationally thereby demanding that they study the science of cross-cultural communication. In this paper the author is going to discuss the importance of cross-cultural communication in formal organizations.

Cross-cultural communication by definition is "A form of communication between people from different culture; both an interactive process whereby we refer back to our culture when in contact with another, and a source of misunderstanding stemming from the different meanings given to a particular massage, be it verbal or non-verbal" According to cross-cultural communication " a field of study that looks at how people from d…