RECORDS MANAGEMENT GLOSSARY
Accession – a shipment of records received into a records center or archives for storage and retrieval
Accessioning – the conveyance or transfer of the legal and physical custody or archival records from their offices of creation to an archival repository; also the creation of records documenting receipt and acceptance of the records into the
Access time – the interval between the time records are called for or requested and delivery.
Active records - Records which are required for ongoing operational purposes and are referred to more than once per month per linear foot.
Administrative records - Records which document the support or “housekeeping” functions of the office, such as human resources, finance,
equipment and supplies, buildings and properties and general administrative matters.
Administrative value - The usefulness of records to originating offices for the conduct of day-to-day business.
ARMA – Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA International) – a professional association representing records manager and records management interests worldwide.
Arrangement – the physical sequence of records or groups of records within a series
Audit – examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification; consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning; 1)check of financial accounts: a formal examination, correction, and official endorsing of financial accounts, especially those of a business, undertaken annually by an accountant 2)efficiency check: a systematic check or assessment, especially of the efficiency or effectiveness of an organization or a process, typically carried out by an independent assessor 3) check financial accounts: to carry out an audit of the financial accounts of a business, department, or organization to establish accuracy or efficiency
Backup copy – a copy of a record created specifically for vital records protection or disaster recovery
Bar Code – a type of coding used in automatic identification to systems consisting of lines or bars and space to create an optical code field which can be converted into computer-processible data. In Records management applications
they provide an enhanced level of item tracking and inventory control over a collection of stored records
Breaking files – the practice of subdividing a records series chronologically to simplify the identification of records eligible for retention actions
Business Impact Assessment (BIA) - An impact analysis results in the differentiation between critical (urgent) and non-critical (non-urgent) organization functions/ activities. A function may be considered critical if the implications for stakeholders of damage to the organization resulting are regarded as unacceptable. Perceptions of the acceptability of disruption may be modified by the cost of establishing and maintaining appropriate business or technical recovery solutions. A function may also be considered critical if dictated by law
Central files - a collection of records consolidated for storage in a single location where authorized persons can access them. The files of several organizational units physically and /or functionally controlled and managed under a centralized service
Certificate of Destruction – a record that documents the disposal of specific records in conformity with an organization’s formally established retention policies and schedules
Color coding – the use of color to identify file folders or records with specific Attributes
Collection - Refers to two or more electronic documents containing related information that have been grouped together to facilitate retrieval
Copyright - The right to copy. An incorporeal right granted by statute to the creators of literary works and artistic productions whereby the creators are invested for a specified period with sole and exclusive privilege of multiplyingcopies or authorising performance of the same and publishing, communicating and profiting from the sale of them
Correspondence - Interoffice memoranda, letters, postal cards, printed information slips, etc.
Cubic foot (of records) – a measure of the quantity of records or the contents of the quantity of records. The contents of a records container with interior dimensions of 10 inches high by 12 inches by 15 inches deep is 1.2 cubic feet
Data Archiving – offline storage of inactive information usually on magnetic tape and other removable media
Data migration – the process of periodically converting electronic records to new file formats and/or new storage media to satisfy long retention requirements.
Direct access filing - A system that permits access to files without reference to an index
Disaster – a sudden, unplanned calamitous event that creates an inability of the part of an organization ot perform critical business functions for some period of time
Disaster recovery plan – A plan consisting of information about structures, occupants and hazardous materials as well a procedures to safeguard records
Disaster recovery planning-the advanced planning and preparations necessary to minimize loss and ensure continuity of the critical business functions of an organization in the event of a disaster
Disposition - The final action to be taken on records at the end of their retention periods. This could include destruction or permanent retention at Records Management
Document - Recorded information that is made or received in the course of a practical activity. 2) Document is a broadly used term that refers to wordprocessing files, e-mail messages, spreadsheets, database tables, faxes, business forms, images, or any other collection of organized data. Documents are also referred to as 'records.'
Document Imaging - the process by which print and film documents are fed into a scanner and converted into electronic documents. During the scanning process documents can be OCRed and indexed to insure quick retrieval at a later date
Document Management - An application or middleware that performs data management tasks tailored for typical unstructured documents (including compound documents). It may also manage the flow of documents through their life cycles
Document Management Systems - enable you to store documents electronically. This facilitates the process of retrieving, sharing, tracking, revising, and distributing documents and the information they contain. A complete Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) provides you with all the software and hardware required to insure that you maintain control over all your documents, both scanned images, and files that were created on a computer-like spreadsheets, word processing documents and graphics. A complete EDMS includes document imaging, OCR, text retrieval, workflow, and Computer Output to Laser Disk capabilities
Document Retrieval - the process by which you can search and 'retrieve' an archived document from a database. This is done by entering information in a database query screen
EDMS - an acronym for Electronic Document Management System
Electronic Documents - documents that are stored on a computer. The documents may have been created on a computer, as with word-processing filesand spreadsheets, or they may have been converted into digital documents by means of document imaging. Electronic documents are also referred to as digital documents
Evidential value - The value of a record that documents the policy and decision-making activities of an organization
File - The smallest conceptual unit of aggregated documents. Files typically relate to one subject or one sub-activity
File Integrity – Accuracy and completeness of the records
File plan - A classification scheme for the physical arrangement, storage, and retrieval of files
Filing - The process of arranging and sorting records so that they may be retrieved rapidly when needed
Filing unit - Each word, abbreviation, or initial used to file information.
Final disposition - See Disposition
Finding aid - A descriptive document created to allow retrieval. Types of finding aids include file lists, inventories and guides
Fiscal value - The usefulness of records for financial purposes, such as to confirm moneys paid, taxes owing, monetary worth, or outstanding debts
Hosted vital records - when a third party is responsible for the protection of vital records
Important Records- Essential but can be recreated or replaced. A cost analysis will determine time and materials necessary to reconstruct these records compared to the cost of protection
Inactive records - Records that are no longer required to carry out the administrative or operational functions for which they were created and which are referred to less than once per year per 5 linear feet
In-house – performing a function within the organizational structure, rather than through at outside source. Opposite of Out-sourcing
Indexing - Determining the name by which a document is to be filed or referenced
Indirect access filing - Filing where the code under which the material is filed must be referenced before the file can be identified.
Informational value - The value of a record that provides unique and permanent information for purposes of research
Inspection – a process of checking records to be sure that they are released for filing
Inventory, records –an identification , description and qualification of all the records possessed by an organization
Legal value - The value of a record for legal purposes, such as protecting the rights of an organization and of individuals associated with the organization.
Legal retention criteria – retentions criteria based on recordkeeping requirements specified in law and regulations or on the need to keep records for possible use in legal proceedings
Life continuum. - The unified pattern of a record’s life comprised of four integrated stages: creation or receipt; classification; scheduling and its implementation; maintenance and use
Life cycle - The life span of a record comprised of eight sequential stages; creation or receipt; classification; maintenance and use; disposition through destruction or transfer to an archives; description in archival finding aids; preservation; reference and use. (2) Life Cycle refers to the period of time between when a document is created and when it is destroyed
Life expectancy (LE) designation – a prediction of the minimum life expectancy, in years, for a given medium
Litigation Hold – temporary suspension of destruction for records believed relevant for litigation or government investigations
Manual – a published control device under which an organization operates
Non records – information-bearing objects that are excluded from the scope and authority of an organization’s records management program. Items that are not usually included within the scope of the official records e.g., convenience files day files, reference material, drafts etc.
Off site protection – the protection of vital record by storage of the original or a copy of the records in a facility remote from the organization place of business
Office of Record – the program unit that maintains the official copy for retention Purposes
Official records - Records or sets of records that must maintain for legal, fiscal or archival purposes. All non-official records are considered to be duplicates or convenience copies
Operational records - Records that document the specific mandate or activities of the office and are unique to the office as indicated by the mandate of that office
Original order - The order and organization in which records were created and / or stored by the creator or office of origin
Out-guide – a guide to indicate what material has been taken from the file and by whom
Out-sourcing – the practice of a business contracting or buying support service, supplies or parts from outside sources rather than performing the services or manufacturing the parts themselves within their organization and with their own employees
Packing density – the amount of data or images that can be recorded in a given area of a medium. Also known as a real density
Permanent record - Records considered so valuable or unique in documenting the history of an office that they are preserved in the archives.
Personal information bank - A collection of personal information that is organized and capable of being retrieved by an individual's name, an identifyingnumber, symbol or other particular assigned to an individual.
Personal records - Records related to the teaching and research functions of faculty members. These can include research and study notes, teach materials, manuscripts, publications, and personal communications of individual faculty members, staff and students that are not created in the context of College work.
Personnel records- Document an individual’s employment history from appointment to retirement or termination. The records may be organized asindividual case files in paper or electronic format. They may include correspondence, memoranda, letters of application, job advertisements, CVs, letters of reference, recommendations, letters of appointment and acceptance, as well as information on leaves, immigration status, position number, contract and salary changes, release or relief time, and awards
Program unit – a division, department, section, or other administrative unit that maintains recorded information
Record - Recorded information, regardless of physical form orcharacteristics. Includes documents and other material created by institutions, organizations, businesses, etc., in the course of their daily activities
Recorded information – any and all information created, received, maintained or used by an organization regardless of media
Records inventory - An identification and quantification of all of the records possessed by an organization
Records management - The systematic control of all records, regardless of media format, from initial creation to final disposition.
Records retention - Holding documents for further use
Records retrieval - Locating documents and delivering them for use
Records schedule - A timetable that identifies the length of time a record must be retained in active and inactive status before final disposition. Also called records retention and disposition schedule.
Records series - A group of identical or related records that are normally used and filed as a unit and that permit evaluation as a unit for retention scheduling purposes.
Records survey Complete and accurate listing of file contents showing individual or groups of records.
Reference activity – the frequency with which a given records series is consulted for business or other purposes
Retention period - The period of time during which records must be kept before final disposition. (2) the length of time documents must be stored and maintained to satisfy business or legal requirements
Respect for original order - The principle that original documents should be maintained in the same order or arrangement given to it by the creator so that the relationship among its components and the evidential significance are preserved.
Semi-active records - Records that are not required constantly for current use and are referred to less than once per linear foot per month.
Service Bureau – a business that performs one or more records management services to customer specification using the customer own documents, computerdata or other source material
Spoliation of evidence – destruction of evidence, including records that an organization knows or reasonable should know are relevant to impending or ongoing litigation or government investigations
Stability – the extent to which a given storage medium retain physical characteristics and chemical properties appropriate to its intended purpose. The period of time that a given medium will remain useful for it’s intended purpose.
The ability of materials to resist decomposition
Staging area – an area used for intermediate or temporary storage of records
awaiting accessioning or disposal processing
Stakeholder - a party that can affect or be affected by the actions of the business as a whole; People who will be affected by an endeavor and can influence it but who are not directly involved with doing the work; Any organization, governmental entity, or individual that has a stake in or may be impacted by a given approach
True copy – a copy that accurately reproduces an original document
Useful records- loss would be inconvenient so some might warrant special protections. A cost analysis will determine time and materials necessary to reconstruct these records compared to the cost of protection.
Vital records - records that are essential to resume or continue an organization; those necessary to recreate the company's legal and financial position; and /or those necessary to preserve the rights of the organization, its employees, and others associated with the organization
Vital records inventory - a systematic appraisal of records to determine their status as vital records
Vital Records Program - identifies an organizations critical records, provides for their protection, prescribes other preventative measures to minimize the risk of loss from disaster, provides for their restoration so they may be returned to normal business use, implement restoration
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