Record DNA: reconceptualising digital records as the future evidence base

Julie McLeod, Elizabeth Lomas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


A major issue facing society is the extent to which the usability of the digital evidence base is at risk because, in the digital era, the concept of the record has been eroded. The nature and reality of a record are no longer agreed. Addressing the challenges that the digital presents for managing records and assuring their future usability is not one that records and archives scholars and professionals can tackle alone. This article argues that this is a ‘grand challenge’ which requires a broad range of perspectives and expertise and convergence research to resolve. It discusses findings from an international multidisciplinary research network established to critically explore, through a grounded theory approach, the nature of a digital record and the implications of the digital era for the usability and functionality of the future evidence base. A series of different visions of a digital record emerged alongside a wide-ranging set of research questions that form the basis of an agenda for future collaborative (convergence) research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-446
Number of pages36
JournalArchival science
Issue number3
Early online date12 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

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