AERI 2016 at Kent State

In 2013, I was fortunate to attend my first Archival Education and Research Institute conference in Austin, Texas.  It was a fantastic experience, and after discussing grand challenges to archival education and research, we were encouraged to consider collaborating with peers to tackle some of these challenges.  The contacts I had made then would become frequent participants in discussions (online), while we tried to figure out what we were going to focus on in a collaborative project.

Earlier this year, Christopher Colwell, a Doctoral Candidate at the School of Communication, from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology of Syndey.  We presented our paper today at the 2016 AERI conferene at Kent State University, in Ohio.  Our paper addresses perceptions of the continuum model, through the lens of National (Canada and Australia) Recordkeeping Frameworks, and the implications for recordkeeping culture within government.  We received good feedback – all positive – and even better, suggestions to move the project forward.

In terms of panels I was fortunate to attend, one panel stands out.  The three speakers spoke on topics of social justice, specifically on the Black Lives Matter movement.  I count myself as an ally to this movement, and I am thrilled to see my colleagues engaged in the discussion.

AERI 2017 will take place in Toronto, Ontario, and I can’t wait.  The AERI community is filled with researchers who engage in inspiring research, and invigorating discussions on grand challenges to critical archival research.  After this short respite from writing, I now head back into drafting my final chapters, with thoughts of postdoctoral program applications on the back burner for now.

Data Analysis Challenges

Thank goodness for Youtube! My intention is to use Atlas.ti to complete the data analysis for my dissertation project.  I began by taking a look at the online guidelines and handbooks – which were a significant volume of pages.  There is a really useful practice guide, using sample data, too.  However, I still found it challenging taking it to my own data sets.  Finally, I was inspired to – just in case – check out Youtube, and voila, I found

There is a whole series of videos, short and long, that helped to guide me through inputting my data sets, and conducting the analysis.  I have some very interesting observations as a result of the analysis now, and so on to writing my final chapters.

Data Collection Complete!

After a great deal of effort to optimize participation in the study’s online questionnaire, I have reached sufficient data points to begin the analysis phase of the project. I was pleased to complete the interview phase of data collection before January 2016, and surprised to find such challenges in promoting participation in the questionnaire.  This experience will be included in the discussion of the final dissertation.

Now on to inputting the data into Atlas.ti and checking out where the data takes this project.

Phase 2 of Data Collection Nearly There

While Phase 1 – data collection using an online questionnaire – continues to develop, Phase 2 – interviews with records and systems professionals is nearly complete.  There is still a great deal to complete before I can begin drafting the final three chapters of the dissertation, but I am pleased with my recent progress.

Check out the tab Participate Now if you want to find out more about my current research projects!

Association of Canadian Archivists Conference in Regina

Regina, Saskatcherwan on June 8-10, 2015

Iaca 2015 love conferences, the networking, the presentations, getting to see old friends, meeting new friends – all of us, colleagues in the profession of managing information.  It was particularly lovely to enjoy meeting up with Tania Aldred at the dinner/dance.  We had a great time seeing Regina, and discovering the downtown lake, which was absolutely stunning.

I presented on the second day in a session called New takes on the old lifecycle concept of archives and records management.  The  paper was related to my doctoral research,  The Impact of Information Culture on Implementing Document Management Technology.  This session also included Dana Turgeon, from the City of Regina Archives, who presented Knocking Down the Prairie Silos: A Case Study in Integrating Historical Preservation within Corporate Culture at the City of Regina; as well as Kate Guay and Karen Pollock, of the Northwest Territories Archives, presenting On the outside looking in: Accessibility of Government Records at the NWT Archives.

This conference also represented a shift in my experience, from student to teacher.  Three of my former students from the McGill University, School of Information Studies presented papers and two of them gave me a shout-out.  I can’t express how proud I am of my former students in their continuing interest in information studies research.  An inquisitive mind is invaluable, and I’m pleased that i’ve been part of their journey.

Now, who’s looking forward to the ACA conference in Montreal,  2-4 June 2016?


More Data Needed

Research has been slow during a brief hiatus while my family moved.  However, after months of collecting and putting together visualizations of the survey data, I have come to the conclusion – that I cannot reach a conclusion without more data.

I’ve already reached out to one of the target populations listservs, after exhausting all of the direct contact information for the initial data collection attempt.  I have already revised the initial chapters, and I’m now on hold until I can gain the additional data.

Once more, surgite!

Getting on with Data Collection



So, as you may be aware, I have plunged into the data collection phase of my research project.  This involves conducting an online survey, one-on-one interviews, and content analysis.  More than a month in, and the response rate on the survey was pretty abysmal.   Enter, a senior member of the target population group – who invited me to conduct the survey at a meeting of senior members of the population.  A quick check with my adviser, and (ta-da) my survey runneth more effectively.  I didn’t capture as many ‘numbers’ within the population, but I did capture the more experienced members with a stronger response rate.  Now, onto the analysis.

I’ve conducted one of the interviews and it went really well.  I pilot-tested the interview questions with three acquaintances who are in the field involved, but not in the target population.  Abit of fine tuning was needed after the pilot tests, and some re-ordering of the questions.  Now, to coax a few more participants from the target population.

Meanwhile, my work as a Records Officer has kept me pretty busy.  I work for a local district school board, and we had quite a number of schools close last June.  This resulted in

Assessing all the records

over 300 cubic feet of records sent to me for assessment.  Much of it is past the retention period, and some of it is (such as attendance registers) is explicitly deemed archival by the Education Act of Ontario.  However, all but one school used printer-paper boxes, or 2-cubic foot boxes, to package their records.  I’ve already used over 70 of the right bankers boxes to rebox the records for the storage of the 50 or so boxes I’ll need to incorporate into the records storage areas in the central facility for the Board offices.  In the picture, you see one of two rooms filled with boxes of records, archival documents, textbooks, yearbooks, and realia (like the mascot you see behind me here).  I have to admit that I’m enjoying the work of starting up a brand new records and archives program!