For some years BBRC has been developing new strategies for records assessment, anticipating the impact of technology on the way observers want to submit records. This affects record management at a county as well as a national level, and many counties are already further down this road than BBRC. The last two or three years have been difficult as we have been managing the transition with a mixed system but the time has come to take the final step.

From 1st January 2007 we are moving to an (almost) paperless future and would like all records to be submitted electronically. This will allow written descriptions and images to be emailed directly or via county recorders. As almost all records are now word processed and images electronic, this should be much more straightforward than printing and posting. Field notes are still a cornerstone of good observation, particularly where there is no image. Fortunately most county recorders should be in a position to scan these where necessary. We will try to make the process as comfortable as possible for those submitting records but ask observers for patience and forbearance whilst we make this step.

Such a revolution means we need to fundamentally alter the way we structure our work. Mike Rogers, who has been the lynchpin of the records system for a generation, will take on a key editorial role in managing the report, but will continue to handle any paper records we receive. An electronic submissions secretary will prepare the electronic records for assessment. Records should be submitted electronically via county recorders or directly to [email protected]