Individual document management techniques : an explorative study

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Individuals are generating, storing and accessing more information than ever before. The information comes from a variety of sources such as the World Wide Web, email and books. Storage media is becoming larger and cheaper. This makes accumulation of information easy. When information is kept in large volumes, retrieving it becomes a problem unless there is a system in place for managing this. This study examined the techniques that users have devised to make retrieval of their documents easy and timely. A survey of user document management techniques was done through interviews. The uncovered techniques were then used to build an expert system that provides assistance with document management decision-making. The system provides recommendations on file naming and organization, document backup and archiving as well as suitable storage media. The system poses a series of questions to the user and offers recommendations on the basis of the responses given. The system was evaluated by two categories of users: those who had been interviewed during data collection and those who had not been interviewed. Both categories of users found the recommendations made by the system to be reasonable and indicated that the system was easy to use. Some users thought the system could be of great benefit to people new to computers.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 65-68).