Consulting records management oracles: a Delphi in practice

Julie McLeod, Sue Childs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This article critically analyses the views of a group of international experts on ISO 15489, the international records management standard, during the final phase of a project assessing its impact in the UK. It provides an overview of the entire research project and then focusses on the use of a modified Delphi study in gathering the views of experts. The Delphi technique is a research method not commonly used in records management and archival science research; relevant background to the technique is provided though the purpose of the article is not to provide a comprehensive review of it as a research method. A modified electronic version of the technique was used which was qualitative rather than quantitative and not focussed on the more usual consensus building. The article concludes that a Delphi study is a practical technique for conducting research which seeks to gather views from geographically dispersed participants in a timely, time-effective and convenient manner for all those involved. The use of a modified Delphi study proved to be extremely valuable in facilitating discussions of complex emergent issues about the role, value and nature of standards for records management, in particular ISO 15489, and about the future of ISO 15489, at a higher level of abstraction. The article makes a contribution in two areas: first in terms of the views of a group of leading international records management experts on the first international standard in records management; and second, in terms of the use of a research method which has previously been little used in the records management discipline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-166
JournalArchival Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2007


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