Records management framework for use of social media by government: Implications from the investigation of Chinese government

Wenhong Zhou


Social media are generally used by government agencies to conduct their business in China and pose social, technological and cultural challenges to records management. Also, effective use of social media must be supported by a solid records management framework to enhance awareness of the relationship between recordkeeping and use of social media and to suggest approaches for addressing recordkeeping issues that impact open government construction and social governance. Thus, this papers aims to investigate the recordkeeping implications from use of social media. The main research question that this paper aims to address is as follows: “What kinds of records created and what are the role of records in the context of use of social media by government agencies; what records management challenges, opportunities and strategies are related to social media content”? Based on online observation and survey of government agencies, the paper presents the status quo of management of records created by government agencies on platforms of social media and identify issues and strategies to address the recordkeeping challenges. With the above analysis, the paper proposes a records management framework for use of social media from perspective of the policy, governance and management, people, standards and practices, technology and awareness.


Wenhong Zhou, assistant professor, School of Public Administration, Sichuan University. Awarded PhD degree of archival science by Renmin University of China in 2016. Studied at University of British Columbia as part of his doctoral program from 2014 to 2015. Interested in recordkeeping in the platforms featured with Web 2.0 and social media, and is the principal investigator of the project Theoretical and Methodological Frameworks for Records Management in the Environment of Web 2.0, supported by the Renmin University. Participating in projects of various research focuses such as fundamentals of archival theories and social media archiving. Recipient of the National Scholarship for PhD students of China, and has so far published 20 more articles in Chinese.