ID: 75

ANDERSON, Karen; ENGVALL, Tove; KLETT, Elisabeth  


KAREN ANDERSON, PhD, is the Foundation Professor of Archives and Information Science at Mid Sweden University since 2008 and Professor II at Oslo University College. She is a member of the research team in the Centre for Digital Information Management (CEDIF) at Mid Sweden University. Research interests include implementation of standards-based digital recordkeeping systems, benchmarking information management practice and development of professional standards for sustainable long-term management of records. A particular interest is fostering a scholarly approach to professional education for archivists and records managers.
She is an Editor-in-Chief for Archival Science and a member of the Swedish Institute of Standards TK546 Committee for Records Management Standards. She was President of the ICA SAE 2004-2008 and Vice President in 2004-2012 and served the Swedish Archives Association 2011-2014. In 2006 she was made a Fellow of the Australian Society of Archivists.


Tove Engvall is a Master by Research student and teaching assistant at Mid Sweden University. Before this, Tove worked as an archivist, and has been involved in national projects concerning the development of e-archives. She was a project group member in the SALAR (Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions) framework procurement project. She worked as the leading writer in the group developing guidelines for users in the E-archive and E-diarium (eARD) project, run by the National Archives of Sweden as part of the National e-Government development. Tove’s research interests involve issues concerning trust and accessibility of records in the wider digital environment from a democratic point of view.


Elisabeth Klett is a Senior Archivist with extensive experience from various roles in records and archives management in both state and municipal governments in Sweden. Since 2007 she has specialized in digital information management and preservation. She is now active as the Strategic Developer at Stockholm City Archive, focusing on digital information quality, improvement in the provision of records and archives information and managing Open Data from a democratic point of view. She is also active as an international expert in ISO TC 46 SC11 Records Management and President of the Swedish Standardization Committee (SIS) TK 546 Management Systems for Records.


Open Data Through the Archive: A New Role for Archivists

Brief summary:

The role of the archivist in exploiting and accessing open data as public records in an open government environment is explored.  The possible role, responsibilities and mandate of an archivist in this new public sector context are examined. Necessary knowledge, skills and competence are identified


Expectations of a more proactive release of public records and technical developments that support new ways of publishing and reusing digital information, for example as open data on the internet, create new challenges and change the way public records are managed and made accessible to citizens, which will also involve new professions in the management of records. Fundamentally this raises questions of how, in this new management environment, the trustworthiness of the records could be maintained and how the archives and records management profession could contribute to this, related to other professionals involved in these processes.

In Sweden there is a long tradition of openness and citizens´ right to access public records. But with the implementation of e-government follows a new perception of what openness means and “open government” is a concept that seems to go further and be more proactive. A part of this study will be to analyze and define what is meant by ‘open government’ and ‘open data’ as they are used in Sweden, i.e. how ‘open data’ differs from ‘public records’ for example. In Sweden there is no formal records manager profession, but the archivist often does the corresponding work. That is why this project also includes the archivists´ role in the open government environment.

This study will reflect upon the archivists´ role in this process and what is needed to ensure a trusted proactive release of public records. To identify what skills, guidelines, knowledge and mandate are needed. The study will focus on Stockholm City’s work on open data, which is an important part of the open government agenda, through the perspective of Stockholm City Archives.

Scientific contribution:

Case study methods are used to examine the role of the archivist in the domain of access to public records in an open government and open data environment. The study examines what role an archivist in the public sector currently has, and what knowledge, skills and competence are needed for these new challenges.

Interpretation of existing work and the perception of the situation by practicing archivists in this changing environment provide valuable data. The case study is based on the City of Stockholm because it is quite progressive in its work on open data. It is now running an open data project, in which the Stockholm City Archive plays an active role. The role of the archivist in practice, experiences and possible needs and missing factors will be explored. Data will be collected by interviews and text analysis. Needed strategies and guidelines will be identified.


Open Data; Stockholm City Archives; Archivists; Professional roles; Public records