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close this book The impact of RAMP studies in the field of education
View the document Preface
View the document 1. Introduction
View the document 2. Methodology
View the document 3. Studies held in and referred to by vocational institutions (appendices 1 and 2)
View the document 4. RAMP study quality, relevance, and availability (appendices 3 and 4; Appendix 5, question 8).
View the document 5. RAMP study circulation and content dissemination (appendix 5, questions 6, 7 and 9).
View the document 6. Vocational applications of RAMP studies (appendix 5, questions 10 and 11; Appendix 6).
View the document 7. Studies of interest, outdated or incomplete (appendix 7 and 8).
View the document 8. Topics suggested for future RAMP studies
View the document 9. Comments and recommendations
View the document Notes
Open this folder and view contents Annexes
View the document Bibliography: RAMP studies surveyed

9. Comments and recommendations

Question 15 invited our participants to express any comment or recommendation pertaining to RAMP studies or to the RAMP programme in general. Several countries (Australia, Brazil, the United States [1], France, Nigeria and Switzerland) deem RAMP studies as very helpful basic material, providing archivists and records managers alike with excellent means to broaden and update technical and professional skills. RAMP studies therefore actively contribute to the development and dissemination of archival science worldwide. At the very least, the Swiss respondent feels, RAMP studies provide the reader with a topic overview and prepare for a more thorough investigation into the subject matter. Both France and Portugal emphasize the relevance of RAMP studies in archival training, both for professors and students. As for Australia, RAMP studies are very appealing in view of the high costs of standard archival textbooks and manuals published commercially in the Pacific region.

As our participant from Morocco points out, not all areas of study are equally developed in RAMP studies; there are many studies dealing with preservation and restoration, while other important topics (such as arrangement, appraisal, dissemination and communication) seem relatively neglected.

In order to broaden both the use and the circulation of RAMP studies, two measures seem necessary: a more refined format would be appreciated by Germany, France and Nigeria, while a revised distribution policy would be welcomed by Costa Rica, Spain, France, Nigeria and Russia. Distribution problems were noted by our Russian participant who, unlike the Archives Directorate in his country, has never had dealings with either UNESCO or the ICA, and of the few foreign archival science textbooks held at the Moscow Institute for History and Archives library, most were donated by visiting specialists. Moreover, requests addressed by our Spanish participant to UNESCO or to the Spanish distributor CIDOC were never answered, which provides an indication of how difficult the -process of obtaining RAMP studies can be. A possible solution is to distribute PGI documents to library and information science schools throughout Spain. Morocco would appreciate systematic distribution of RAMP studies, by UNESCO, to the National Libraries, National Archives Agencies and vocational training institutions located in his country.

Morocco also calls for systematic translation into French of all RAMP studies, as well as translation into Arabic of the most important ones. For Argentina, translation of all studies into Spanish would be in order, considering the large number of Spanish-language vocational schools and the large student enrolment. Language is also mentioned by Brazil, which has nevertheless made it a point to distribute RAMP studies to its students. Argentina pointed out ambiguities in terminology in some translations; for example, in the Spanish title of HULL's report (PGI-81/WS/26), the term «records» was rendered by «registros» rather than «documentos (de archivos)».

According to our French participant, technical reports are those consulted most frequently. On the other hand, reports dealing with policy and planning become quickly outdated, and the French and Swiss participants propose regular updates for relevant studies once they become outdated (for example, between 5 and 10 years, depending on the topic (France). Moreover, it is usual to find some studies more useful for vocational purposes than others, although very few studies can be deemed as completely irrelevant (U.S.A. [2]).

The international aspect of the studies contributes to their significance, but at times can contribute to their restrictiveness as well. The Moroccan participant believes that a certain number of studies should be carried out on a regional scale, with ICA regional authorities providing the required support. According to Australia, problems relating to archival development in Eastern and South Eastern Asia as well as in Oceania have been neglected by RAMP authorities. Costa Rica believes that the achievements in archival development in Latin America should be reported on a wider scale. This opinion is shared by the participant from Argentina, who maintains that archival material written in Spanish and Portuguese is basically ignored by RAMP, considering that A. TANODI is one the rare Spanish authors RAMP authorities call upon. Participants also point to the fact that authors are usually based in industrialized nations, while RAMP claims to cater to the needs of developing countries. Nigeria hopes that upcoming RAMP studies will deal with topics of interest to these countries. Furthermore, it was noted by Morocco that some authors have contributed more than once to RAMP endeavors. Perhaps the focus should be shifted towards interdisciplinary team work, as our Brazilian participant suggests.

Overall, the majority of the institutions contacted are acquainted with RAMP collections; only a few do not hold or use RAMP studies. Furthermore, studies are most often considered adapted to the institutional needs of those surveyed, although some of the exceptions point to ongoing disparities in the state of archival development in certain countries. In general, RAMP studies have been intergrated into vocational and research activities. Although the importance of RAMP studies to the development of archival science is generally accepted, their distribution is not yet adequate. The lack of availability of studies explains most of the gaps within RAMP holdings. Subject development and regular updates are also recommended, and developing countries hope that their particular needs will be addressed in upcoming RAMP endeavors.