As part of ongoing research, this paper explores how practitioners in records and information management currently understand the construct of authenticity in their professional activities, by examining the concepts and language that they actually use when talking about authenticity. This paper provides brief descriptive statistics drawn from an Internet listserv survey conducted in May 1998, and then analysis related to proving authenticity; the difficulties of judging something authentic; and definitions of authenticity as used and understood in the context of respondents' professional activity. The analysis provides indications of how professionals actually understand and use the concept of authenticity in their professional work depending on the context; and how these professionals react differently to paper records and electronic records. The paper concludes with a discussion of how this preliminary analysis fits within the context of the outcomes of prior electronic records research.

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