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Geoffrey Yeo investigates the relationships between information, data and records

Book cover: Records, Information and Data
In July 2018, Facet Publishing announced the release of Records, Information and Data: Exploring the Role of Record-Keeping in an Information Culture by Geoffrey Yeo (Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Information Studies at University College London).

 

In a society that increasingly emphasizes digital information and data, questions arise about the place of longer-established concepts such as records and archives. Records, Information and Data sets out to investigate the relationships between information (or data) and records, and to examine the place of record-making and record-keeping in today’s information culture.

The book starts with an exploration of the concepts of records and archives; setting today’s record-keeping and archival practices in their historical context whilst examining changing perceptions of how these concepts are understood. It asks whether and how far understandings derived from the fields of information management and data science/administration can enhance our knowledge of how records function. It argues that concepts of information and data cannot provide a fully adequate basis for reflective professional thinking about records and that record-keeping practices still have distinct and important roles to play in contemporary society.

Eric Ketelaar, Professor Emeritus of Archivistics at the University of Amsterdam, said “Yeo’s book argues that the prevalent discourse which equates records simply with information or data is wrong. His innovative analysis of the performativity of records results in a fascinating new conceptual and practical understanding of the roles of records and archives in social action. Professionals in handling records, information and data, as well as users of records and archives and everyone interested in ‘the archive’, will gain from this perceptive and highly readable book a new comprehension of past, present and future information cultures.”

Terry Eastwood, Professor Emeritus at The University of British Columbia, praised “Yeo's searching examination” and said that “everyone in the records field or aspiring to enter it should read this book and ponder its many cogent arguments.”

Geoffrey Yeo's previous work for Facet includes Managing Records: A Handbook of Principles and Practice (with Elizabeth Shepherd, 2003), and Managing Records in Global Financial Markets (with Lynn Coleman, Victoria Lemieux and Rod Stone, 2011).