The growing significance of electronic records makes it especially important that archivists be aware of the description data required to document their holdings. Archivists will have to become involved in the development of description standards in order to obtain the documentation required to describe electronic records. The paper proposes a matrix depicting description standards as a way of addressing the practical issues associated with their development and promotion. The author notes the effort required to develop standards, suggests criteria for evaluating standards proposals, and calls for the working group to help archivists understand the need for standards as a necessary basis for subsequent debate and eventual endorsement of specific standards.

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