Langemo (1995) describe records as the memory of the organization, the raw material for decision making, and the basic for legal defensibility. Meanwhile Gagnon (1987) defines records from the functional standpoint when he says all recorded information regardless of media or characteristic, made or received and maintained by an organization or institution in pursuance of its legal obligations or in the transaction of business.
However, Clubb (1991) admits that it was relatively easy to provide a definition of a record a generation ago. With advances in technology, the definition of the term needs to be reviewed. This is supported by Skupsky (1995) – with the widespread use of information management technology, it has become more difficult to determine exactly what record is.
Thus, in order to satisfies current situation which referring to technology advancement, more comprehensive definition has been made by The Australian Archives Act 1983 in which they define records as physical object - a document (including any written or printed material) or object (including sound recording, coded storage device, magnetic tape or disc, microform, photograph, film, map or graphic work) that is, or has been, kept by reason of any information or matter that is contains or can be obtained from it or by reason of its connection with any event, person, circumstance or thing.
O’Shea (1996) explains further that ‘traditionally and practically records have been viewed as physical objects such as paper files, tapes, disks etc. Such description presents a major problem with electronic records since in the electronic systems: records are neither purely documents nor objects. They are dependent on the medium on which they were originally or currently held. Individual records and their component part are not necessarily physically located in a logical sequence.
A more specific definition about electronic record is then given by International Records...