Research Agenda & Proposal Guidelines


The Foundation gives preference to research projects in the following categories. Each category contains a list of topics (in order of priority) that the research committee has identified as important areas to explore in information management.

The agenda is reviewed regularly, and topics (as well as their order of priority) may be added or removed.

The Research Committee is always open for suggestions of similar topics within the categories to be considered other than those listed below.

Areas of Research Interest

Risk Management and Mitigation

Research projects that examine various information-related risks and ways to manage and mitigate them, including, but not limited to:

i. Risk mitigation/business continuity strategies for records in the private sector.
ii. Managing records in the Business Continuity Plan.
iii. Evaluating the practice of defensible disposition of legacy data.
iv. Developing the business continuity plan with IT as a partner.
v. New risks with COVID records in the future.
vi. Compliance in the workplace: how is it doing with all those e-records?

Litigation Readiness and Discovery

Research projects that address various aspects of litigation readiness, including, but not limited to:

i. Analyzing litigation readiness program elements as practiced by different organizations/industries.
ii. Electronic disaster recovery with no readiness plan.
iii. Predictive coding.
iv. Current trends in implementing and managing legal holds.


Research projects that examine various aspects of privacy and/or information security, including:

  • Protecting personally identifiable information with the “right to be forgotten,” comparing global views of privacy to the U.S. perspective
  • Examining the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and its requirements as they pertain to metadata
  • Regulatory updates – US and non-US (including the European Union’s pending GDPR requirements)

Information Security

Research projects that address the deficiencies in current means of information security, including, but not limited to:

i. Measuring the use of encryption and the extent of its impact on managing information.
ii. Electronic signatures as it gains commonplace use.
iii. Hacking – Implementing a multi-layer security system to prevent intrusion (technology and record creator/holder participation and compliance).
iv. Losing information through security breaches – how to recover and prevent recurrence.
v. Cybersecurity best practices – technology updates, how to prepare, etc.

Technology/Emerging Trends

Research projects that examine popular technology use from the perspective of sharing new insights and pointing out potential risks and benefits and/or what new technology might be on the horizon, including but not limited to:

i. Bitcoin: who has the records?
ii. The capture of business records & information when personal technology is the primary source, capture & storage.
iii. Storage needs for managing business records in the “cloud”.
iv. Defining, working with, and analyzing Big Data-the role of RIM.
v. Achieving returns on AI projects.
vi. Current challenges and implications of managing information created, shared, and used specifically via social media. What records should be retained to respond to product liability lawsuits based on product performance claims made using social media, websites, and other digital display methods?
vii. How to establish and control record retention policies in organizations that have adopted cloud-based enterprise-wide document creation and management programs such as Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365 and others?

Standards and Best Practices

Research projects that examine the relevant standards and best practices that are developed and used by information governance practitioners, including, but not limited to:

i. US and non-US information governance standards: comparison and implications.
ii. Determining information governance best practice.
iii. Productivity and ROI.
iv. Using standards and other measurements as IG program assessment tools.

Research Guidelines

AIEF uses the following guidelines to assist with the selection of quality projects. Please keep them in mind as you complete your project proposal form.

  • The subject matter must be in alignment with the AIEF Foundation’s mission and goals and the current research agenda.
  • The research should promote fresh thinking and new perspectives. It may also focus on new products and tools, but it must be objective, not intended for the promotion of specific products or vendors.
  • Address the challenges the information management profession and individual professionals face, particularly when dealing with the impact and implications of information technology.
  • Have a realistic timeline, measurable milestones, and the means to achieve these milestones.
  • Be relevant to at least two of AIEF’s audiences (listed below).
  • Demonstrate unbiased, credible, and ethical research practices.
  • Comply with professional ethical standards for data collection, management, and analysis (e.g., not capture e-mail addresses or other personally identifiable information without the express permission of the participants, anonymize the data, etc.).
  • Ensure that all research data is maintained in secured and locked areas and, when appropriate, password protect all devices with access to the raw data.
  • Ensure that, upon the completion of the project, that the aggregate research data will be made available for media releases, articles, and/or other editorial or promotional purposes.


  • Archivists
  • Certification Bodies in Information Management
  • Compliance Professionals
  • Consultants
  • Disaster Preparedness/Business Continuity Communities
  • Educators
  • Executive Managers
  • Government Agencies & Associations
  • Heavily Regulated/Litigious Organizations
  • Information Governance Professionals
  • Information Management Professionals (Established)
  • Information Management Professionals (New)
  • Information Technology Businesses
  • Information Technology Professionals
  • Lawyers
  • Librarians
  • Privacy Professionals
  • Government Employees
  • Risk Professionals
  • Security Professionals
  • Students

Research Proposal Information

AIEF is always interested to consider new topics that might be developed into funded research projects. Even if you do not have the time or interest in fully developing the topic into a research project, please consider submitting your idea. If you have an idea for a topic that you would like to the Research Committee to consider, please contact us.

Please note:

  • You may be contacted to clarify the details about this research topic.
  • AIEF reserves the right to fully develop, fund or reject any topic ideas submitted.
  • If the topic is developed into a research project, funded, and contracted by AIEF, you may be credited with the topic idea, however, AIEF will retain copyright of the final product.
  • A “Call for Researchers” will be posted for all developed topics to procure the most qualified researcher.

Research Proposal

If you have an idea for a topic that you would like to the Research Committee to consider, please contact us.