Paper is one of the most traditional and popular methods to manage records. Since paper is the original, nothing can compare to it. Also known as a "hard copy," paper is easily handled because of its weight, which is next to nothing when singled out. It can also be easily reproduced, read, and bought in bulk. Paper can be found in the mediums of books and sheets, and it is obtained from vegetable fibers, usually wood. When the earth and the methods of obtaining this paper became a worry, convenient, recycled paper was then substituted. Most businesses now have two garbage pails, one for white paper and another for "other." Many companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, use paper companies that are "eco-friendly."
Even though it is popular, paper itself is subject to its downsides and abuses as well. Document care when concerned with paper is an important issue. If the paper is kept neat and pressed and correctly stored in a file folder, there will not be a problem retaining that record. If however the paper is abused, such as being subject to sunlight, which can cause fading and other accidents, like a spilled coffee cup, the longevity of that record is not going to be very long. Cost is also a concern with paper. Along with file folders and labels, file cabinets are also needed.
The many file cabinets come in many different shapes and sizes, from the traditional vertical and lateral file cabinets, to the more complex and expensive mobile aisle system (Read-Smith et.al. 97). The usage of paper will never become obsolete; it will always be around.
The digital electronic method offers easy access, but excellent transmission, distribution, and restoration. The focus is on improving the quality and access to the information. However, since the technology is relatively new and keeps on improving, standards are lacking in many areas of it.
For example, digital storage is not considered archival, which means it requires monitoring and an eventual rewrite and a digital image are considered unequal to the equivalent of the original paper document. Also, the drive systems will eventually become obsolete, making the retrieval of the information not only costly, but also lengthy (Brittanica). Since it also requires high-resolution, the grayscale requires even more storage space, making it costly to attempt.
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