Integrated Management and Services for Urban Development Records, Archives and Information: A Research Agenda


Michael Cook

Michael Cook
Xiaomi An

Xiaomi An



Xiaomi An, Archives College, Renmin University of China, Beijing

Michael Cook, University of Liverpool Center for Archive Studies



This paper introduces a research agenda on ‘integrated management and services for urban development records, archives and information’, a national research project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. It discusses seven aspects of the agenda, they are the research background, research aims, research objectives and questions, focuses and hypothesis of the project, analytical framework and methodology of the project, research plans, and the expected outcomes for the study


Key words

Urban development records; urban development archives; urban development information; integrated management and services; information age and knowledge economy; research agenda.


 See also "Research in Integrated Management and Services for Urban Development Records, Archives and Information," Xiaomi An and Shuzhen Wang, Editors

Figure 2- Research Framework

Urgent Research Needs

Research Objectives



Indicators for IMS best practice



Outcomes of IMS


IMS quality system for accuracy, authenticity, reliability, integrity of electronic and digital archives

·         IMS techniques & standards

·         New techniques & standards for IMS towards best practice

·         Realizing IMS.

Integrated product-control to quality system and assurance

·         Accuracy

·         Authenticity

·         Reliability

·         Integrity

Consistent and persistent quality assurance

throughout life of built environment and of a record 

Best value

IMS digitizing framework for UDA repository

·         IMS theory

·         Do we need IMS?

·         What are new ways of thinking for IMS?

Integrated service-control

to evidence, information, memory and knowledge

·         Availability

·         Accessibil -ity

·         Usability

·         Timely access

Public awareness of social demands for collaboration, coordination for comprehensive & sustainable service.



IMS best practice guidelines for UD organization and projects

·         IMS models and methods

·         New models and methods for IMS

·         Universal principles & functional requirements for IMS best practice?

Integrated process-control

to business work flow, recordkeeping and archiving patterns, and information flow

·         Economy

·         Effective -ness

·         Efficiency


Flexibility and


to professional accountability, unity

and commitment




Figure 3- Task Forces of Sub-Projects




Title and Contents of Sub-project

Expected Output


Theories, Models and Methods for IMS in the digitizing and networking UD environment

Theoretical framework of IMS for UDR, UDA and UDI


Cross-disciplinary and international best practice and standards for IMS

Review and recommendations of IMS standards for UDR, UDA and UDI


IMS and the relationships with OA systems and e-government systems

Elements, requirements and standards of IMS in OA systems and e-government


IMS and the relationships with UD professional business and services systems

Elements, requirements and standards of IMS in UD professional business and services systems


IMS and the relationships with UD professional information resources systems

Elements, requirements and standards of IMS in UD professional information resources systems


IMS and the relationships with public archives systems

Elements, requirements and standards of IMS in public archives systems


IMS and the relationships with library, intelligence and museums systems

Elements, requirements and standards of IMS in library, intelligence and museums systems


Terms, standards, rules, regulations, policies and laws for IMS

Quality system and assurance of IMS for UDR, UDA and UDI


Description and metadata standards, IT tools and applied schemes for IMS

Metadata standards and KM schemes of IMS for UDR, UDA and UDI



 Figure 4- Research Operational Plan



Proposed timetable for Task Forces to be completed

Data generating & collecting method

Data source

Data analyzing method






Descriptive and analytical research

Literature review;

International conference in China (October)

Critical analysis and deduction of theories, methodologies and standards for IMS by cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural analysis

ways of thinking for “why IMS”



Sub-project 3

Sub-project 4


Sub-project 6

Sub-project 7

Exploratory and analytical research

Selected sites investigation;

semi-structured interview; questionnaire survey;


ICA congress in Austria

Examining and evaluating models and methods for IMS by representative and typical case studies & experiment.

Principles and requirements for “what IMS is”



Sub-project 8



Predictive and analytical research

Literature review;


case study;


Synthesizing and inducing IMS theories, models, techniques and standards.

Techniques and standards for “how IMS can be realized”


The Authors

Xiaomi An is an associate professor of Archives College at Renmin University of China where she has taught courses concerning science and technology records and archives management for more than fourteen years, specializing in architectural records and built environment records management. She earned her Ph.D. at University of Liverpool in 2001. She has published more than 80 academic papers and is editor-in-chief or author of seven books. In 2001, she lead the translation of the international records management standard ISO15489 into Mandarin Chinese. She is project director of the Integrated Management and Services of Urban Development Records, Archives and Information, a national project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Dr An may be contacted at:

Michael Cook is a long time member of the University of Liverpool faculty and now Honorary Senior Fellow in its School of History.  His career in archives spans almost 50 years, during which time he has been at the forefront of almost every field of development in archives and records management.  Correspondence to:  Michael Cook, 12 Grosvenor Avenue, West Kirby, Wirral CH48 7HA.  Tel: +44 (0)151 625 6512;  email: or




[1] The Ministry of Construction, Regulations on Urban Development Archives Management. No.61 Order, December 1997. Revised version, No.90, Order, July, 2001.

[2] Xiaomi An, Towards A Best Practice Framework for Managing Urban Development Archives: Case Studies from the UK and China, Beijing: China Architecture and Building Press, 2002:34-35

[3] A literature searching of the key word ‘integrated management’ ‘ integrated service’, integrated management and service’ from the database of Chinese journals in 5 fields e.g. library, archives and museums; computer science, social science, economy, politics and law; news and publications (1994 to 2002), and database of OCLCF, ECO, WilsonSelectPlus show that much research achievements have been made in ideal of integrated management, more are more research are involved in integrated services, few research has been done in ideal of integrated management and service. A cross-cultural study of IMS in literature searching indicate that integrated management and services is the future direction for all types of management systems in new digital and networking environment, information age and knowledge economy society including the management of UDR, UDA and UDI. However, little research has been done on IMS in the field of records and archives management. (Xiaomi, An, “A Review of IMS in Literature”, research report, January, 2003)

[4] The project was awarded and issued on 18th, September 2002, the Project number is: 70273055.

[5] Research needs were identified by Xiaomi An’s Ph.D. Study, see “ Suggestions of topics for inclusion in the tenth five-year Chinese UDA research plan”, Op. Cit, No.2, pp.253-256. The urgent needs were analyzed from results of a typical survey of 7 representative UDA repositories on “ Urgent need and problems of UDA at present” conducted by the Chinese Urban Development Archives and Information Professional Committee of China Urban Science Society in December, 2002. The 7 UDA repositories are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming, Shengyang, Suzhou and Wuxi.

[6] Cit. No.2

[7] ibid.

[8] ibid.

[9] The typical example is “ A guide to the Archival Care of Architectural Records: 19th-20th Centuries”, written by Architectural Records Section of International Council on Archives, published by ICA, 2000