Missouri Electronic Records Education and Training Initiative
GLOSSARY OF ELECTRONIC RECORDS TERMS
Office of the Secretary of State
State of Missouri
Records Services Division
This glossary provides definitions of terms used in the management of electronic records. Many of the terms come from the disciplines of records management or archives management. The remaining terms primarily originate from information technology. In most cases, the origination of the term will be evident.
Certain words related to electronic records, however, have different interpretations and uses among people, depending on the context of their profession. These usage differences can sometimes obstruct clear communication and hinder collaboration among people working on electronic records projects or addressing electronic records issues.
To help overcome these problems, we have provided multiple definitions for some terms, based on different contextual usages. These contexts are identified as follows:
|Arch||Archives – Preservation and reference to collections of permanent, historically significant documents, records, and (sometimes) artifacts|
|RM||Records Management – Management principles and practices applied to the creation, maintenance and use, and disposition of records in an organization|
|IT||Information Technology – Design and operation of computer, communications, and related systems|
n. (RM) Permission and means to use records, in accordance with all applicable access restrictions. (IT) Permission to create, change, consult, or delete electronic records or data. There can be several degrees of access privilege for users of a networked computer system or enterprise data base.
v. (IT) To intercept, instruct, communicate with, store data in, retrieve from, or otherwise make use of any resources of a computer, network, or data.
n. (RM) A collection of one or more boxes of records stored in the State Records Center. All records in the accession must fall under the same records series description and have the same disposition date. (Arch) A collection of records of permanent historical value transferred from the creating agency to the State Archives.
v. To follow the procedures for transferring records to the State Records Center for storage or to the State Archives for permanent retention.
Those types of records created by most agencies in performing common facilitative functions that help the agency to operate and support the agency’s mission activities, but do not directly document the performance of mission functions. Administrative records relate to activities such as budget and finance, human resources, equipment and supplies, facilities, public and legislative relations, and contracting. See also Program records, Records.
In records appraisal, the value of records based on their usefulness for carrying out the agency’s current business. Administrative value typically derives from the information contained in the record.
(1) Software designed to perform a particular task: word processing or spreadsheet, for example. (2) A work process accomplished by a combination of various application software programs, such as using word processing, data base, and spreadsheet programs to merge address and statistical chart data into letters to be mailed to customers.
The analytical process of determining the value of a record, and thereby its retention and disposition. Appraisal examines the administrative, fiscal, legal, and historical values of a record, by considering the record’s content, context, and structure. Under the Missouri Records Appraisal and Scheduling Standard for State Agencies, records may be appraised to be either temporary (to be destroyed after an appropriate usage and retention period) or permanent (containing sufficient historical or other value to warrant continued preservation in the Missouri State Archives).
See Historical value.
v. (IT) Create a backup copy of an electronic file for non-current, but not permanent, storage. (Arch) Capture an electronic record for permanent retention. Usually requires additional indexing or relocating of records to be maintained for future reference. (RM - slang) Sometimes used inappropriately to refer to moving inactive records to off-site storage, e.g. “We archived last year’s records down to the basement storeroom.”
n. (1) A collectiFon of non-current records of an organization or institution preserved because of their continuing historical value; also referred to as archival materials or archival holdings. (2) The organization or agency responsible for selecting, accessioning, preserving, and making available records determined to have permanent or continuing value. (3) The building or portion of a building in which an archival institution is located.
The process and results of organizing records in accordance with accepted principles.
(1) (IT) In a communication system, a process used to verify the integrity of transmitted data, especially a message. (2) The process of confirming the asserted identity of a person with a specified or understood level of confidence. The mechanism can be based on something the user knows, such as a password, something the user possesses, such as a ‘smart card,’ something intrinsic to the person, such as a fingerprint, or a combination of two or more of these. Authentication is distinct from authorization; authentication merely ensures that the person is who he or she claims to be, but says nothing about the access rights or permissions of the individual. (3) (RM) In legal proceedings, the act of proving that a record is true or genuine, especially so that it may be admitted as evidence; the condition of being so proved.
(1) (IT) The granting to individuals, based on their duties and responsibilities, specific levels of access rights and permissions to systems. (2) (RM) In the life cycle of records, approval to take actions on records, such as transferring inactive records to records center storage, transferring ownership and custody of permanent records to an archives, or destroying records at the end of their scheduled retention period.
The process of identifying, indexing, coding, and/or inputting a large volume or backlog of documents into a newly designed recordkeeping system. Often associated with the scanning of paper documents into a digital imaging system. See also File conversion.
(1) The process of making duplicate copies of electronic data, typically for security reasons. Not the same as the process of archiving a record. Backups of electronic information are made in case of equipment failure, etc. to ensure the availability of active records for ongoing administrative purposes. (2) A substitute or alternative. May refer to a disk or tape that contains a copy of data, or to a person authorized to act in the absence of another person.
The smallest unit of information (normally either a 0 or a 1) recognizable by a computer. A contraction of “binary digit”.
A grouping of data stored as a unit on an external storage medium and dealt with as a unit by the computer for input or output.
A file type containing material related to a specific action, event, person, place, project, or other subject. Sometimes referred to as a dossier or project file. Usually has a unique identifier (title, name, case number, etc.), which is placed on each item in the file. See for contrast Subject file.
(1) A file unit or series containing documents on which action has been completed and to which more documents are not likely to be added. See also Cutoff. (2) A file unit or series to which access is limited or denied, such as classified information.
n. (1) Numbers or symbols used to abbreviate lengthy text strings or file titles. In records management, also referred to as file code. (2) A set of rules to convert data to a form that computers can process. Also called a computer code. Examples include ASCII and EBCDIC. (3) A computer program. (4) A systematically arranged collection of laws or regulations, such as the United States Code,Missouri Revised Statutes, or Missouri Code of State Regulations.
v. To write file codes from the file plan onto documents before sorting and filing them. See also File (v.).
Compact disk (CD)
A small optical disk on which text, data, sounds, visual images, and the like can be recorded digitally and then read by a laser beam, decoded, and transmitted to a computer, television, or playback device.
Compression (Data compression)
A process that reduces computer data or images so that they occupy less storage space and can thus be transmitted faster and easier. Data compression is encountered in computer, audio, and video systems. See related terms Lossless, Lossy, and Decompression.
An electronic device designed to accept data (input), perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed (processing), and supply the results of these operations (output). A digital computer processes data as numbers and includes mainframe computers, minicomputers, and microcomputers. In contrast, an analog computer represents data by measurable quantities, such as voltages.
The organizational, functional, and operational circumstances in which documentary material is created and/or received and used. In appraisal, considered along with content and structure to determine the value of a record.
Unofficial copies of correspondence, completed forms, and other documents kept solely for ease of access and reference. In Missouri, RSMo 109.210(5) defines convenience copies to be nonrecord materials.
n. A reproduction of the contents of an original document, prepared either simultaneously or separately, and usually identified by function or by method of creation. Copies identified by function include record copy, action copy, information copy, or stock copy. Copies identified by method of creation include photocopy, carbon copy, electrostatic copy, or ribbon copy.
v. (1) In word processing, duplicating a portion of a document and placing it in a buffer. (2) In electronic records management, making a duplicate of a file while leaving the source data unchanged. (3) In email applications, sending an open (cc:) or blind (bcc:) copy of an email message to recipients in addition to the primary recipient(s).
Breaking, or ending, files at regular intervals, usually at the close of a fiscal or calendar year, to permit their disposal or transfer in complete blocks and, for correspondence files, to permit the establishment of new files. The cutoff date marks the beginning of the records retention period. Case files are generally cut off at the end of the year in which the case is closed. Cutoff may be abbreviated as COFF, and is also called file cutoff or file break.
Symbols or representations of facts or ideas that can be communicated, interpreted or processed by manual or automated means. Often associated with electronic data or with statistics or measurements. Data provide the building blocks of information.
A set of data, consisting of at least one file or of a group of integrated files, usually stored in one location and made available to several users at the same time for various applications.
Data base management system (DBMS)
A software system used to access and retrieve data stored in an electronic data base.
List of all the data elements stored in a data base, with descriptions, definitions, relationships, and information about which reports or other application programs use the data .
In electronic recordkeeping, a combination of characters or bytes referring to one separate item of information such as name, address, or age.
A specific area of an electronic record allocated for a particular category of data, usually one data element, such as name.
(1) An organized collection of related data, usually arranged into logical records that are stored together and treated as a unit by a computer. Used interchangeably with data set. (2) Related numeric, textual, or graphic information that is organized in a strictly prescribed form and format, in contrast to a text file.
The preservation of access to electronic data over time by copying it from one medium or format to another, preserving its content and relationships.
A group of related electronic records that are organized and treated as a unit. Also used interchangeably with data file.
(1) (RM) In inventorying records and developing records schedules, the process of giving a written account of the contents and characteristics of a record series or system. (2) (Arch) The process of preparing finding aids for records collections.
(RM) In the disposition of records, the action taken on temporary records which have met their prescribed retention period. In large records centers, destruction is usually accomplished through a recycling program. Also known as disposal.
Using a binary code (ones and zeros, black and white, on and off, etc.) to represent data, which can be read, recorded, stored, processed, transmitted, or otherwise manipulated by a computer or other digital device.
An electronic photograph scanned from an original document, made up of a set of picture elements ("pixels"). Each pixel is assigned a tonal value (black, white, a shade of gray, or color) and is represented digitally in binary code (zeros and ones). The term "image" does not imply solely visual materials as source material; rather, a digital image is simply a representation of whatever is being scanned, whether it be manuscripts, text, photographs, maps, drawings, blueprints, halftones, musical scores, 3-D objects, etc. Also called optical image. See also Scanning.
The process of converting printed or graphic materials on paper or film into digital electronic signals for reading by a computer; accomplished by scanning the document.
Direct access storage device
A storage device, such as a computer disk, that provides direct access for write and read heads to a particular data storage location, in contrast a serial- or sequential-access storage device, such as a magnetic tape.
An organizational structure of the files or electronic documents present on a computer, generally implemented as a hierarchical structure to make them easier to find. The root directory is the top directory in the hierarchy, from which all other directories branch out. A shared directory in a network environment is one to which more than one person has been granted access.
Disaster recovery plan
A written and approved plan of actions to take when disaster strikes, ensuring an organization’s ability to respond to an interruption in services by quickly restoring the critical business functions. Also referred to as a contingency plan. See also Vital records.
The actions taken regarding records no longer needed for current agency business operations. Disposition usually begins with records cutoff. These actions may include one or more of the following: transfer to agency storage facilities or records centers; retention for the period of time prescribed in the records schedule; destruction of temporary records which have met their retention; or transfer to an archives for permanent preservation and reference. Disposition is the third stage of the recordslife cycle.
v. To record actions, decisions, or events; to substantiate.
n. (RM, Arch) (1) Recorded information regardless of physical form or characteristics. Sometimes used interchangeably with record, although not all records are documents, and not all documents are records. (2) An individual record; a single file item (letter, form, memorandum, report, etc.) of one or more pages.
adj. (IT) Document file. A type of computer file containing primarily text and imbedded objects, produced by a word processing application or unformatted text writing program. Often denoted by a .doc, .wpd or .txt filename extension. See also Text file.
(1) The act or process of substantiating by recording actions and or decisions. (2) (IT) Records concerning a computer system that are required to plan, develop, operate, maintain, and use the system’s hardware and software. Included are systems specifications, file specifications, codebooks, record layouts, user guides, and output specifications.
DoD 5015.2-STD Design Criteria Standard for Electronic Records Management Software Applications
A functional design standard for software programs that manage electronic and other records. Issued by Department of Defense to apply to all DoD activities, and endorsed by the National Archives and Records Administration for use by all Federal agencies. The Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) tests in-house and commercial electronic records management applications (RMAs) for compliance to the standard, and certifies those that pass. Compliant products and other information about DoD 5015.2-STD are listed at http://jitc.fhu.disa.mil/recmgt/index.html.
(1) The process of copying recorded information from internal memory to an external storage medium, such as a magnetic tape or a printout, for backup, analysis, or some other purpose. (2) The process of transferring recorded information from one storage device to another, such as from a disk to a tape.
Electronic documents (electronic files)
Recorded information that is recorded in a form that requires a computer or other machine to process it. Includes word processing documents; electronic mail messages; documents transmitted via Electronic Data Interchange; internet and intranet postings; numerical and textual spreadsheets and data bases; digital images; software; and information systems.
Electronic mail (Email or E-mail)
An application that enables users to compose, transmit, receive, and manage electronic messages and attachments across networks and through gateways connecting to other local area networks throughout the world.
(1) (RM) Any information that is recorded in a form that only a computer can process and that satisfies the operative definition of “record”. In Missouri, this is RSMo 109.210(5). See also Record and Nonrecord. (2) (IT) Often used generally to describe electronic files in a computer system, regardless of their record or nonrecord status.
Using a computer program to collect, organize, and categorize records to facilitate their preservation, retrieval, use, and disposition.
To make information irretrievable by overwriting.
The usefulness of records in documenting the organization, functions, and activities of the agency creating or receiving them. Considered in appraising records for permanent retention. Compare to Informational value.
n. (1) (RM) An accumulation of related or similar records arranged according to a plan. (2) A unit, such as a folder, microform, or electronic medium, containing such records. (3) Storage equipment, such as a filing cabinet. (4) (IT) A named set of records stored or processed as a unit electronically.
v. To place individual documents or file items into the appropriate file unit according to the file plan so that they are grouped with similar or related items and can be easily retrieved.
The process of changing records from one filing system to another, from one medium to another, or from one software program or version to another. See also Backfile conversion and Migration.
A document containing the identifying number, title or description, arrangement pattern, and disposition authority of files held in an office. A guide and aid to filing and retrieval of files.
A mass storage device that can be accessed by several computers, usually through a local area network (LAN); a computer dedicated to processing and storing data and for sharing software in a network computing environment.
A descriptive tool, published or unpublished, manual or electronic, produced by the originator of the records, an archival repository, or records center to establish physical and/or intellectual control over records and other holdings. Basic finding aids include guides (general, repository, subject), inventories, accession registers, catalogs, calendars, card catalogs, special lists, shelf and box lists, indexes, descriptive data bases, and for electronic records, software documentation.
In records appraisal, the usefulness of records in documenting an agency's financial transactions and obligations.
To suspend normal disposition activity on those records and other materials needed for legal or regulatory actions or other extraordinary circumstances.
The division of records into categories and subcategories to reflect the programs, activities, and transactions carried out by the organization accumulating the records.
A description of an organization's computer processing needs to carry out its programs and satisfy its mission.
(1) Recorded information copied from a computer onto paper or some other durable surface, such as microfilm. To be distinguished from a temporary image on a display screen and from the electronic information on a magnetic tape or disk(ette) or in the computer's main memory. (2) Recorded information copied from microfilm onto paper and made readable without a special device. (3) A paper document that may later be filmed or digitized.
Hierarchical classification system
(RM) Any filing classification system in which records are arranged under primary (first-level) categories and then, as necessary, under secondary (second-level) and further subdivisions.
Hierarchical storage management (HSM)
(IT) A data storage management strategy in which special software is used to separate actively-used and inactive computer data by moving files between primary (on-line), secondary (near-line), and sometimes tertiary (off-line) storage media.
In records appraisal, the value records have to warrant their permanent retention beyond the time they are needed for their normal administrative, fiscal, or legal purposes. Historical value is usually based on the evidentialand/or informational value of the records.
A record not in immediate use that does not have to be readily available, but which must be retained for legal, fiscal, or historical purposes. See also Active record, Semiactive record .
n. (1) A separate collection of cards, extra copies of documents, cross-reference sheets, or other forms arranged differently from the related record series to make it easier to locate relevant documents. (2) A manual or automated listing arranged differently from a related record series or system to speed retrieval of relevant information, e.g., a database application which locates and retrieves digital images from among a collection of images. See also Finding aid.
v. (1) To create an index for a collection of records. (2) To add new records into an existing index.
The usefulness of records in documenting the substance of persons, places, things, or matters dealt with by an agency. The utility of the data contained in records, such as aerial photographs, engineering drawings, scientific observation data, navigation charts, etc. Informational value is considered in appraising records for permanent retention. Compare to Evidential value.
Data entered into a computer for processing.
Nonelectronic documents designed and used to create, update, or modify records in an electronic medium; or electronic records containing data used to update a separate computer file. Sometimes called source records or source documents.
(1) Combining various pieces of hardware and software, often acquired from different vendors, into a unified system. (2) Combining computer programs into a unified software package so that all programs can share common data.
A worldwide network of computers that allows public access to send, store, and receive electronic information over public networks. It is a network of networks.
A private internet network set up within an organization behind a security firewall for use, depending on access clearance, by the organization’s employees, business partners, customers, or general internet users.
(1) A survey of agency records and nonrecord materials that is conducted primarily to develop records schedules and also to identify various records management problems, such as improper applications of recordkeeping technology. (2) The results of such a survey. (3) (Arch) A type of finding aid for accessioned permanent records.
A storage device that holds optical disks or tapes and has one or more drives that provide automatic online access to the information contained therein.
In records appraisal, the usefulness of records in documenting legally enforceable rights or obligations, both those of a government agency or other organization and those of persons directly affected by the agency's activities.
Life cycle of records
(1) (RM) The management concept that records pass through three stages: creation or receipt, maintenance and use, and disposition. (2) (IT) The transition of documents or data from active to inactive status, which is generally coincident with the movement of the information from primary to secondary storage media. Subsequently, records or data are purged or permanently preserved as electronic archives.
A compression process that reduces the storage space needed for an image file without loss of data. If an image has undergone lossless compression, when decompressed it will be identical to the image before it was compressed. See related terms Lossy, Compression, and Decompression.
A compression process that reduces the storage space needed for an image file, but which discards some information that is "redundant" and not perceptible to the human eye. If an image that has undergone lossy compression is decompressed, it will differ from the image before it was compressed, even though the difference may be difficult for the human eye to detect. See related terms Lossless, Compression, and Decompression.
The extent to which a given recordkeeping medium retains its original physical or chemical properties; the ability of various records media to retain their information content in usable form over a given period of time.
Data about the data; the description of the data resources, its characteristics, location, usage, and so on. Metadata is used to identify, describe, and define user data.
An individual part of a metadata structure.
A group of computers and related devices connected to each other by communications lines to share information and resources. A local area network (LAN) connects computers and resources in a limited geographical area, such as a floor, a building, a cluster of buildings, or a city. A wide area network (WAN) connects two or more local area networks through high-speed data communication lines, or connects computers and resources located more than one mile apart.
See Temporary record.
Any documentary material or information which does not meet the definition of record. RSMo 109.210(5) specifically defines “Library and museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibit purposes, extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference, and stocks of publications and processed documents” to be nonrecord materials.
(1) Significant, vital, or important records of continuing value to be protected, managed, and retained according to established records schedules. Often, but not necessarily an original. (2) In law, an official record has the legally recognized and judicially enforceable quality of establishing some fact. See also Office of record and Record copy.
Not under the direct control of a computer. Refers to data on a medium, such as a magnetic tape, not directly accessible for immediate processing by a computer.
Under the direct control of a computer. Refers to data on a medium, usually a disk, directly accessible for immediate processing by a computer.
Software controlling and directing a computer's operation.
A high-density platter-shaped storage medium on which digital information is recorded by altering the light reflectance properties of selected areas. Data is written and read by laser beams, and is randomly accessible. Optical disks are available in erasable and non-erasable formats. See also Compact disk.
Information transmitted from internal to external units of a computer, or to an outside medium. The machine-readable or human-readable data produced by a computer.
Records appraised as having sufficient historical or other value to warrant continued preservation beyond the time they are needed for administrative, legal, or fiscal purposes. Sometimes called archival records. See also Appraisal, Historical value; contrast to Temporary records.
Documentary materials belonging to an individual that are not used to conduct agency business. Related solely to an individual's own affairs or used exclusively for that individual's convenience. Must be clearly designated as such and kept separate from the agency's records. Also called personal files or personal records.
From PICture ELement. The smallest unit of a digitized picture or video display. Also referred to as dots, and measured in terms of dots per inch (DPI). The greater the number of pixels in a square inch of a displayed image, the greater is the resolution or sharpness of the image to the human eye. Higher resolution image files are larger and take considerably more storage space than lower resolution image files.
(1) The provision of adequate facilities to protect, care for, or maintain records. (2) Specific measures, individual and collective, undertaken to maintain, repair, restore, or protect records.
n. (1) (RM) The collective set of functions and activities performed by a program unit within a government agency or other organization that contributes to performance of the agency’s overall mission; a recognizable segment of the agency mission, usually under the direction of a program manager. See alsoProgram records. (2) (IT) An ordered set of coded instructions or statements which can be executed by a computer and cause the computer to take a sequence of steps and perform particular tasks. See also Software.
v. To write and provide instructions to a computer to carry out particular functions.
Those records created by each state or local government agency in performing the unique functions and activities that stem from the distinctive mission of the agency. The agency's mission is defined in authorizing statute and further delineated in formal regulations.
A division, department, section, or other administrative unit of a corporation, government agency, or other organization, responsible for carrying out one or more program.
All records that pertain to a project, as designated by the organization, and therefore filed together as a set under the project identifier instead of individually. Large, complex, and long-term project files may include several subsets of various types of records related to the project, which may have varying retention periods depending on their significance through the life of the project. See also Case file.
(Referring to a computer file format) Owned and controlled by a single company and therefore usually only readable in a certain software and hardware environment, and not necessarily exportable to another environment.
Any document, book, paper, photograph, map, sound recording or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or in connection with the transaction of official business (RSMo 109.210.5).
(1) The official copy of a record that is retained for administrative, legal, fiscal, or historical purposes, sometimes the original. Duplicates of a document or multi-part form distributed to several locations may have multiple record copies, based on the purpose for which the document or form is used in each location. (2) The copy of a record that is captured and maintained in a recordkeeping system. See also Office of record and Official record.
Statements in statutes, regulations, or agency directives providing general and specific guidance on particular records to be created and maintained by an agency. Since each agency is legally obligated to create and maintain adequate and proper documentation of its organization, functions, and activities, it needs to issue recordkeeping requirements for all activities, and to distinguish records from nonrecord materials and personal papers.
A manual or automated system in which records are collected, organized, and categorized to facilitate their preservation, retrieval, use, and disposition.
File units or documents arranged according to a filing system or kept together because they relate to a particular subject or function, result from the same activity, document a specific type of transaction, take a particular physical form, or have some other relationship arising out of their creation, receipt, or use. Also called series. Records schedules typically list and describe records at the record series level of aggregation.
A facility, sometimes especially designed and constructed, for the low-cost, secure, and efficient storage and furnishing of reference service on inactive records, pending their ultimate disposition. The Secretary of State operates the State Records Center in Jefferson City for storage of inactive records of Missouri state agencies.
Records control schedule
Records disposition schedule
See Records schedule.
The planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promoting, and other managerial activities related to the creation, maintenance and use, and disposition of records, to achieve adequate and proper documentation of state and local agency policies and transactions and effective and economical management of agency operations.
Records management application (RMA)
In DoD 5015.2-STD, the term used to describe a computer program designed to store and manage an organization’s records in electronic and other formats; an electronic recordkeeping system. The Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) conducts functional testing on RMA software programs for the purpose of determining and certifying if they comply with the DoD 5015.2 standard.
Records retention schedule
See Records schedule.
A listing and description of the record series maintained by all or part of an organization, prescribing the period of time that each series is to be maintained after no longer needed for current business, and when such series may be reviewed for disposition. A records schedule provides for the retention of state or local records of continuing value and for the prompt and orderly destruction of state or local records no longer possessing sufficient administrative, legal, fiscal or historical value to warrant their future keeping. Also called records control schedule, records disposition schedule, records retention schedule, records retention and disposition schedule, or schedule.
See Technical reference files.
To transfer digital data to new storage media at specified intervals to avoid the effects of media deterioration.
The length of time a record series is to be kept after no longer needed for current business. Normally expressed either as a time period (e.g., 4 years), an event or action (e.g., completion of audit), or a combination (e.g., 6 months after completion of audit). Retention period begins at record series cutoff unless otherwise specified.
A device that converts an image of a document or microform into digital form for electronic processing and storage.
v. To take the steps necessary to develop a records schedule for one or more series of records. Steps typically involve: Inventory of records; drafting of descriptions of records and proposed retentions; discussion and clearance of drafts with all concerned parties; approval by the authorized official; publication, distribution, and implementation within the organization. See also Appraisal.
n. See Records schedule.
A computer device that provides shared services to workstations over a computer network, e.g., file server, print server, email server, etc.
Record on which an original transaction was captured, from which parts or all information is entered into a work process or recordkeeping system; can be hard copy or electronic. See also Input records.
A file type in which documents are placed and collected because they generally relate to the subject or topic of the file folder. Office correspondence is typically maintained in subject files. Subject files should be cutoff annually so that stale information may be disposed of and new subject files for more current information may be set up. Contrast to Case file.
Technical reference files
Copies of directives, procedures, articles, periodicals, reports, studies, vendor catalogs, and similar materials that are needed for reference and information, but are not properly part of the office's records. Also called reference files. Reference materials may be disposed of when superceded or no longer useful. They should be maintained separately from subject files and case files, which are records, to facilitate disposition.
Records approved for destruction on a records schedule, either immediately or after a specified retention period. Also called disposable records or nonpermanent records. See also Appraisal; contrast to Permanent records.
A computer file that contains character-coded representations of letters of the alphabet, numeric digits, punctuation marks, and other symbols encountered in keyed documents. Text files may be created by word processing programs, electronic mail programs, or other computer software, and follow a loose format. See also Data file andDocument.
Documents of short-term interest which have no historical value. They lose their administrative value and are disposable once the information they contain has been conveyed or the event has occurred. Examples include: (1) Routine requests for information or publications. (2) Letters of transmittal that do not add information to the transmitted materials. (3) Quasi-official notices that do not act as the basis for official actions, such as notices of holidays, employee recognition notices, etc.
Records created or held by an agency which have not been appraised and for which a retention period has not been determined on a records schedule. Unscheduled records may not be disposed of.
Records essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an organization during and after an emergency (emergency operating records). Also those records essential to protecting the legal and financial rights of the organization and of the individuals directly affected by its activities (rights and interest records). Also called essential records. Vital records considerations are a key part of an agency's records management program. See also Disaster recovery plan.
The removal of individual documents or files lacking continuing value from a collection of files. Also known as culling, purging, stripping, or screening.
Documents such as notes, calculations, or drafts assembled or created and used in the preparation or analysis of other documents. Usually retained by the originator at the point of use with limited retention value.
The MERETI project would like to acknowledge the following sources used in the compilation of the Glossary of Electronic Records Terms. Primary sources are indicated by a ‡ symbol.
Agency Recordkeeping Requirements: A Management Guide. Management Guide Series. National Archives and Records Administration, Office of Records Administration: College Park, MD. 1995.
California Electronic Records Management Handbook, Appendix 1- Glossary of Records Management Terms. ‡ California Department of General Services. March 2002
Digitization Glossary. Collaborative Digitization Program. http://www.cdpheritage.org/digital/glossary.cfm. 2006.
Disposition of Federal Records: A Records Management Handbook. ‡ National Archives and Records Administration, Office of Records Administration: Washington, D.C. 1992.
Electronic Records Management Guidelines Glossary. ‡ Minnesota State Archives. http://www.mnhs.org/preserve/records/electronicrecords/erglossary.html. Version 4.
Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (FOLDOC). http://foldoc.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/index.html.
Glossary of Records and Information Management Terms, 2nd Edition. ‡ ARMA International: Prairie Village, KS. 2000.
Guideline for Managing E-mail. ARMA International Standards Committee E-mail Task Force. ARMA International: Prairie Village, KS. 2000.
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