Web Site Review: Sites Every RIM Professional Should Know

Article excerpt

Two myths surround the Internet: "Everything that's any good is on the Internet" and "Everything on the Internet is good." Long-term users of the Internet realize that these notions are hardly realistic. Navigating millions of Web pages to determine which sites contain credible, usable, accurate, and up-to-date information is a daunting task. Below is a categorized listing of various sites that offer excellent resources for records and information management (RIM) professionals.

RIM Gateways

Records and Information Management Resource List, http//infomgmt.homestead.com/files/websites.htm

This site, developed and maintained by RIM practitioner Alan S. Zaben, is a virtual and electronic encyclopedia of the RIM domain with its inclusion of some 5,000 links in 315 categories. When Zaben finds - or has reported to him - what appears to be a useful Web page, he reviews, categorizes, and adds it to this site. Thousands of information-rich Web sites are cataloged, and it should be a beginning point for Web-based, RIM-related research. Included here are international opportunities in RIM education, electronic issues of every flavor, ethics, jobs, information technology law, knowledge management, and privacy. At this writing, there are 35 links to document imaging, 223 links to RIM-related magazines, and even a link to the archives of Tasmania.

The Archives of the Records Management Listserv, http://lists.ufl.edu/archives/ recmgmt-l.html

After Zaben's site, one of the most useful sites on the Internet is the searchable archives of the records management listserv. This site is the repository of the discussions of records managers worldwide on many topics dating back to March 2000. If a question has been posed or a topic explored, the answers are there - often offered by some of the most respected people in the business.

A real gem of this listserv is RIM practitioner Peter Kurilecz's "Records and Information in the News" (RAIN) postings. RAIN is a records management and archives news service with current RIM news items on a wide variety of issues. A set of links, often posted daily, give a short description of what the news stories are about, and this allows users to choose which stories they want to pursue in more detail. By itself, this feature makes subscribing to the records management listserv worthwhile.

This archive is great for allowing novices to explore the expertise of seasoned RIM veterans, but there are three caveats: 1 ) Many messages in the database are marginally RIM-related, so a bit of patience is needed when navigating the data; 2) opinions of posters are just that: personal experience and observations; and 3) links to RAIN articles are usually offered free at the time of the posting but may require a subscription to the originating site after the initial posting.

Legal and Regulatory Issues

Legal Information Institute, www.law.cornell.edu

The Legal Information Institute of the law school at Cornell University is recognized as a valuable resource for legal research and is useful to RIM managers as they increasingly have to research laws and regulations that affect their policies, procedures, and retention practices. It is a jumping-off point for finding state, federal, and international laws, and it is an access point for commercial laws, intellectual property, and federal and state rules of evidence. Quick access is supplied, for example, to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. State codes are searchable by subject. These features make this a one-stop research point for users whose organizations do business in multiple states and who therefore must research the statutes and regulations of each of those states.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html

One of the most-used resources for records retention schedule references is the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The CFR constitutes the regulations for the United States' federal agencies that are published on an annual basis. …