Archive | ACM Digital Archive Policy | Data Retention For History Committee Records | Data Retention For Institutional Records
Guidelines for Data Retention of ACM History Committees Records

Approved May 23, 2005

Retaining good records of committees and boards is important for several reasons. First, such records allow new members and chairs to come up to speed quickly on the past actions and discussion of the unit. Second, these records allow policies and actions to be documented, so that they can be carried out properly. Third, the records make the unit more efficient, as the past actions can be quickly consulted when questioned. And finally, these records will form useful source material for later analysis by historians of science and of organizations, to better understand ACM's history and the role that ACM played in the advancement of computing.

Given these advantages, it is an important responsibility of units to maintain this information as it becomes available. Later retrospective collection is error prone and generally incomplete. If a consistent structure is initially set up, maintenance becomes much easier.

Initially, these guidelines just apply to the ACM History Committee. Later, once we gain experience with them, we will take them to other Committees and Boards within ACM. It will be useful in that effort to specify the minimum set of information to be kept by those units.

These guidelines should be consistent with a broader retention policy, to be developed later. We declare our intention to interface both with this policy, and with the paper archival retention policy that Beth Kaplan will start.

It is useful for records to be stored on the web, as a committee intra-net. The records should be stored on acm.org, to make them easily available to interested parties. This web site store the following information, in an appropriate structure.

It is useful for each unit to designate an individual as unit webmaster.

  Unit web site (accessible to everyone)
     +--- unit-only (accessible only to current committee, ACM Council)
     |        |
     |        +--- annual approved budgets, with dates
     |        |
     |        +--- Listserv archiving of all email correspondence
     |        |
     |        +--- Conference calls
     |        |       |
     |        |       +--- agenda
     |        |       +--- backup
     |        |       +--- full minutes, including times, where, who
     |        |       +--- assigned action items
     |        |
     |        +--- face to face meetings
     |                |
     |                +--- everything as with conference calls
     |                +--- digital picture of participants, with names
     |                |           associated with faces 
     |                +--- mention of any social events (e.g., dinner) with
     |                            list of participants 
     +--- unit charter, description, goals
     +--- composition (all past and present members, with terms and positions
     |        (e.g., liaison) indicated)
     +--- meetings (when and where, possibly with terse public minutes)
     +--- public documents (annual reports, strategic plans, other public
     |         documents), with date, authorship (if appropriate),
     |         distribution
     +--- policies,each including adoption date and pointer(s) to
     |         related policies
     +--- useful links to other web pages, both within the acm.org domain
               and outside of that domain

All public information must be written with the audience in mind.

For material beyond what is listed above, the unit should make an explicit decision when relevant as to whether that material should be public or unit-only.

Unit-only material will be made available to historians on a need basis and only after approval by Council, on recommendation by the current unit. (The visibility of each web page should be clear, either by explicit statement or via the structure.) It is expected that unit-only material will be made publicly available starting 25 years after the creation of the material, but then again only after approval by Council, on recommendation by the current unit.