Recordkeeping metadata

The Australian Government Recordkeeping Metadata Standard version 2.2 (AGRkMS) describes information about records and the context in which they are captured and used.

The Australian Government Recordkeeping Metadata Standard Implementation Guidelines will assist your agency to implement AGRkMS. The guidelines cover the minimum requirements for compliance with the AGRkMS and provide advice on recordkeeping metadata requirements for different kinds of business systems.

A minimum metadata set has been developed to support the management, interoperability and transfer of, and access to, information in your agenc

Benefits of recordkeeping metadata

Capturing and maintaining recordkeeping metadata supports your agency’s records management program by:

  • protecting records as evidence and ensuring their accessibility and usability
  • ensuring the authenticity, reliability and integrity of digital records
  • enabling the efficient retrieval of digital records
  • providing logical links between records and the context of their creation, and maintaining the links in a structured and reliable way
  • allowing timely destruction of temporary value records when business use has ceased; and
  • providing information about technical dependencies, to help ensure their long-term preservation and usability.

When should recordkeeping metadata be captured?

Recordkeeping metadata will generally be identified and created when records are captured into systems. This fixes the record in its context and enables its appropriate management over time.

Metadata collected at the point of capture of a record should document its content, structure and the context in which it was created.

Other metadata related to business and records management processes will be generated as time progresses. Examples include history of use, location, information about rights and permissions and disposal status. This metadata ensures the continued authenticity, security and integrity of the record.

How should recordkeeping metadata be captured?

Where possible the capture of metadata should be automated and system design should enable the greatest scope for automating the creation and capture of metadata.

Automation of metadata capture will mean less intrusion on staff time, consistent interpretation of metadata schemas and the capture of standardised metadata which facilitates retrieval.

However, in some systems it is likely that some metadata will be entered manually. In such cases simple procedures that assist users to create metadata will lead to greater consistency.

Metadata can be captured in several ways:

  • captured and managed within the recordkeeping or business information system in which the record is created or stored
  • captured into, and managed within, a separate metadata management system and linked to the relevant record
  • encapsulated with the record, and managed as an integral part of it.

How should recordkeeping metadata be managed?

Policies and practices should aim to standardise the use and application of metadata in the agency by ensuring that it is appropriately created and maintained. These policies form a part of the agency’s overall recordkeeping and information management policy.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2016