Information Management: INFS 5106 Records Management

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The assignment

The purpose of the assessment is to discuss critically the issues and debates surrounding a topic of your choice, do not just rehash the assumed wisdom: actively summarise and analyse debates and differences of opinion. You must consult and critically analyse at least 12 sources that are not included in the course readings.

See the course outline for more details and the literature review guide to help you in the assignment writing process.

Brainstorm possible topics using the lecture content, tutorial content and any readings that have been provided. Use a mindmap, or a more linear style to set out your brainstormed ideas. See Planning your assignments using mindmaps as a guide.

Do a preliminary search on each of your brainstormed ideas to see whether there is information out there on the topic. You are making sure that there is enough information for you to research thoroughly moving from a descriptive to critical analysis of the topic. Make sure to choose an issue that is not too broad in scope.

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Some keywords

environmental steady temperature • humidity • dust free • control • preservation • records management • management • digital records • record keeping • the cloud • cloud computing digital servers Dropbox Microsoft OneDrive • Google Drive • digital books • e-book • ebooks • electronic books

Critical analysis

Critical thinking is an applicable skill in university and beyond. Thinking critically involves assessing arguments using reasoning and logic, identifying biases and making decisions about the validity of premises and conclusions. In order to critically analyse texts, it is essential to pose questions about the author and the content of their work, which will enable you to make an assessment of their argument. Mason (2008, p. 5) summarises critical thinking as:

  • The skill of assessing arguments and motivations
  • Being skeptical and asking questions
  • A thorough understanding of a subject, and thus the ability to evaluate it's facets

Asking questions is essential to understanding the argument, context, and biases of a text. Start by considering:

  • Who is the author? What institution or research body, if any, do they work for?
  • When was the text written, and how might this influence the style, content and language used?
  • What personal or professional biases may be present within the work?
  • What arguments is the author attempting to make?
  • Are there any gaps or errors in their arguments or reasoning?

These keywords will help you to navigate your critical analysis:

Premise: A reason for inferring a conclusion

Conclusion: The inference as supported by the premise

Logic: The study and application of validity based on relation between propositions

Argument: A proposition – statement or fact – in support of a conclusion

Fallacies: Arguments based on a mistaken assumption that are not valid or inductively forceful

Deductive argument: An argument that reaches a conclusion based on its premises

Inductive argument: An argument that is not deductively valid, but is considered likely to be true if the premises are true

References

Bowell, T, & Kemp, G 2014, Critical Thinking : A Concise Guide, Routledge, London. 

Mason, M 2008, Critical Thinking and Learning, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA.

Key databases

Some databases to start searching:

Multidisciplinary databases may also be useful:

Want to know if a journal is peer reviewed? Check Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.