Evidence-as-a-service: state recordkeeping in the cloud Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Richards, Lorraine L.
    • Affiliation: School of Information and Library Science
  • The White House has engaged in recent years in efforts to ensure greater citizen access to government information and greater efficiency and effectiveness in managing that information. The Open Data policy and recent directives requiring that federal agencies create capacity to share scientific data have fallen on the heels of the Federal Government's Cloud First policy, an initiative requiring Federal agencies to consider using cloud computing before making IT investments. Still, much of the information accessed by the public resides in the hands of state and local records creators. Thus, this exploratory study sought to examine how cloud computing actually affects public information recordkeeping stewards. Specifically, it investigated whether recordkeeping stewards' concerns about cloud computing risks are similar to published risks in newly implemented cloud computing environments, it examined their perceptions of how cross-occupational relationships affect their ability to perform recordkeeping responsibilities in the Cloud, and it compared how recordkeeping roles and responsibilities are distributed within their organizations. The distribution was compared to published reports of recordkeeping roles and responsibilities in archives and records management journals published over the past 42 years. The study used an interpretive, constant comparative approach to data collection and an analytical framework from Structuration Theory. Findings were drawn from 29 interviews and their associated transcripts and from 682 published articles from six archives and records management journals dating from 1970 onwards. It was found that the actual work environments reported by interview participants most resembled the recordkeeping environments published by archival continuum theorists. In addition, records managers reported greater worry about status and a lack of clearly demarcated lines of responsibility in their work than did the archivists. Records managers also reported less impact from the new technology as physical artifact than from political and inter-occupational power adjustments that altered their status after the cloud implementations. It was also found that current cloud computing environments exhibit a variety of disincentives for accurate and complete recordkeeping, some of which are primarily due to political changes and others from the distributed nature of information storage in the Cloud.
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  • In Copyright
  • Lee, Christopher
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2014

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