Records Management Vocabulary

accession
process of transferring physical custody of documentary materials to an archival institution
accountability
principle that individuals, organizations, and the community are responsible for their actions and may be required to explain them to others
acid-free paper
In principle, papers that contain no free acid and have a pH value of 7.0 or greater. In practice, papermakers consider a paper having a pH value of 6.0 or greater to be acid-free
acid-free/alkaline-buffered paper
Paper that has a reserve of an alkaline substance added for the purpose of counteracting any acid that may be introduced into the paper later
Note: The buffering is effective only as long as free alkali remains. Papers that are to remain acid-free for long periods of time (e.g., 500 years) should have approximately 3 percent precipitated carbonate by weight of paper.
acquisition
The process of adding to the holdings of a records center or archives by transfer under an established and legally based procedure, by deposit, purchase, gift, or bequest
active record
A record needed to perform current operations, subject to frequent use, and usually located near the user Also referred to as current record.
alphanumeric
A classification system that uses a combination of letters and numbers, in combination with punctuation marks, to develop codes for classifying and retrieving information
analog record
A record created by a continuously varying quantity that reflects variations in some quantity, such as photographs and films made with light-sensitive media, National Television System Committee (NTSC) and phase alternating line (PAL) video recordings, phonograph records, and sound recordings on magnetic tape. Paper or micrographic records
annualized loss expectancy
probable annual dollar loss associated with the loss of a specific vital records series
Note: The total expected annual loss to an organization is the sum of the expected annualized losses calculated for each vital records series
aperture card
An electronic data processing card with an opening that contains one frame of microfilm
Note: This frame is usually cut from a roll of microfilm. Characteristics of aperture cards are specified in several standards including Unitized Microfilm Carriers (Aperture, Camera, Copy, and Image Cards (ANSI/AIIM MS41-1996) and Microfilming of Technical Drawings and Other Drawing Office Documents ? Part 3: Aperture Card for 35 mm Microfilm (ISO 3272-3: 2001).
application program interface (API)
A language and message format used by an application program to communicate with the operating system or some other control program such as a database management system or communications protocol
archival integrity
principle that a body of records resulting from the same activity must be preserved as a group, without division, separation, or addition to protect the evidential and informational value that can be discerned from its context
audit
Independent review and examination of records and activities to test for compliance with established policies or standards, often with recommendations for changes in controls or procedures
authentication
process of verifying that a record is what it purports to be
authenticity
sum of the qualities of a record that establish the origin, reliability, trustworthiness, and correctness of its content
bar code
A predetermined pattern of vertical lines that, when read by an optical reader, can be converted to machine-readable language
blip code
An optical mark, usually rectangular, that has been recorded below a microfilm image and is used for counting or indexing images or frames automatically
block-numeric
A records classification system that assigns number ranges to subjects (e.g., the Dewey Decimal system)
break-even analysis
A technique used to show relationships among costs, revenues, and outputs to identify the point at which revenues equal costs
built-in dispersal
regular distribution of records (especially vital records) to additional locations as a method of protection
CDIA+
Vendor-neutral certification that validates a professional’s level of expertise in the technologies and best practices used to plan, design, and specify a document imaging/document management system
Note: Formerly known as the Certified Document Imaging Architech?.
Certified Archivist (CA)
An archivist who has successfully met all criteria for membership in the Academy of Certified Archivists (ACA)
certified copy
A copy of a document attested to be a true copy by the official custodian of the original document
chain index
A hierarchy of terms in a classification scheme that progresses from general to specific terms (e.g., birds, perching birds, swallows)
charge-back
allocation of the costs of programs, functions, or services to the groups who use them
classification system
A system in which related material is filed under a major subject and its subheadings
COLD
computer-output laser disk. See enterprise report management (ERM).
cold site
An alternative facility that is void of any resources or equipment and that can be used as a backup site for disaster recovery
compact disk (CD)
An optical disk that can store up to 700 MB of data
Note: It is available in read-only (CD-ROM), write-once (CD-R), and rewritable (CD-RW) technologies.
compact shelving
compact shelving
computer-assisted retrieval (CAR)
A system that contains the capability to retrieve a specific frame of microfilm according to its coded location on a particular roll
computer-input microform
A system that converts microform images to digital images and then converts the resulting images to electronic format by optical character recognition
computer-output microfilm (COM)
process that converts and records data from a computer directly onto microfilm
consecutive-numeric filing
A system in which consecutively numbered records are arranged in ascending number order, from the lowest number to the highest number. Also referred to as sequential filing, serial filing, and straight numeric filing.
coordinate indexing
An indexing scheme by which terms may be correlated or combined to show interrelationships, the purpose of which is to facilitate more precise retrieval
correspondence management
A control function used to regulate the volume of correspondence processed and to establish uniform systems for filing maintenance and retrieval
cost avoidance
A management concept whereby approval is sought for a proposal stating that acceptance now will be less costly than a future alternative
cumulative index
An index in which successive entries are added or interfiled as the records collection grows
cutoff
A point where a record series is broken into regular segments that can be disposed of as a block
data dictionary
A directory of information about the definition, structure, and usage of data that does not contain the data itself but contains the name of each data element, its definition, where and how it is used, and its relationship to other data
data replication
process of duplicating data between sites to enable the continued use of data
database
A digital file that stores structured data
database management system (DBMS)
Software that controls the storage, modification, and retrieval of data stored in a database
decimal-numeric
A numeric system for classifying records by subject in units of 10 and coded for arrangement in numeric order. Note: An unlimited number of subdivisions are permitted through the use of digits to the right of the decimal point.
diazo microfilm
A type of non-archival quality film processed by exposure to ammonia and used as a medium for use copies of master microforms
dictionary arrangement
A single alphabetic filing arrangement in which all types of entries (names, subjects, titles, etc.) are interfiled. Also referred to as topical filing system.
digital certificate
A file issued by a certificate authority that binds an individual or organization to a public key so that the identity of the individual or organization can be authenticated
digital versatile disc (DVD)
Optical storage media that can store up to 4.7 GB of data, or the equivalent of 7 CDs, on a single-sided, single-layer disc, or up to 8.5 GB on a single-sided, dual-layer disc. Note: DVDs are available in read-only (DVD), write-once (DVD+R and DVD-R), and rewritable technologies (DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM).
direct access
A system that permits access to files without reference to an index or other finding aid
direct entry
selection of natural word order when formulating and indexing a term consisting of two or more words (for example, “diazo microfilm” rather than “microfilm, diazo”
directives management
application of records management principles and techniques to general instructions, bulletins, policies/procedures, or other official issuances
disaster recovery plan
A written and approved course of action to take after a disaster strikes that details how an organization will restore critical business functions and reclaim damaged or threatened records
dispersal
transfer of duplicate copies of vital records to locations beyond those where the originals are housed
disposition
A final administrative action taken with regard to records, including destruction, transfer to another entity, or permanent preservation
document
Recorded information or object which can be treated as a unit
document management (DM)
Techniques used to regulate the creation, use, and maintenance of documents according to established policies and procedures
duplex-numeric
A coding system using numbers with two or more parts separated by a dash, space, or comma
Note: An unlimited number of items may be included under any one division or subdivision.
electronic data interchange (EDI)
computer-to-computer transmission of records or data in a computer-readable format. Note: Usually in compliance with the ANSI X12 standards for defining electronic data interchange transactions or the United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce, and Transport (EDIFACT) standard.
electronic document management system (EDMS)
A system consisting of software, hardware, policies, and processes to automate the preparation, organization, tracking, and distribution of electronic documents. Note: Electronic document management software includes version control and check-in/check-out capabilities.
electronic records management (ERM)
The application of records management principles to electronic records
electronic records management system
A system consisting of software, hardware, policies, and processes to automate the preparation, organization, tracking, and distribution of records regardless of media. Note: Electronic records management software includes retention scheduling and disposition.
electronic signature
An electronic symbol or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic record and executed or adopted with the intent to authenticate the record
electronic vaulting
Disaster planning service that involves moving data over a network to a secure remote site according to an established schedule
encyclopedic arrangement
An arrangement of filing in which records are filed under broad, major headings and then under the specific subheading to which they relate. Headings and subheadings are arranged alphabetically
enterprise report management (ERM)
A system that transforms reports into documents and data that can be searched, accessed, and leveraged in business processes
environmental control
management of the conditions where records are stored, including temperature, humidity, air quality, light, and pests
expert system
An artificial intelligence application that uses a knowledge base of human expertise to aid in solving problems. Note: The problem-solving capability is based on the quality of the data and rules obtained from the human expert.
extensible markup language (XML)
A universal format for structured documents and data on the Web having the potential to alleviate many of the interoperability problems associated with the sharing of documents and data
file classification system
A logical and systematic arrangement for classifying records into subject groups or categories based on some definite scheme of natural relationships representing numbers, letters, or key words for identification
file maintenance
activity of preserving the integrity and/or maintaining the currency of a file by reviewing, deleting duplicates, and/or adding information
filing inch
linear capacity of filing expressed in inches
Note: For example, 25 filing inches are in a standard letter-size vertical file drawer.
filing segment
One or more filing units that comprise an entire personal, organizational, or governmental name used in coding and arranging files
filing unit
A word, number, letter, or any combination of them, in a filing segment, considered when coding and arranging files
firewall
A computer security mechanism that is designed to control access to or from a specified system according to the network policy
fiscal value
worth of records for the conduct of current or future financial business and/or evidence thereof
floppy disk
A circular sheet of polyester coated with magnetic oxide and housed in a thin, square plastic jacket that is used as a removable data storage medium
forms digest
process of creating a form, based on forms analysis, that meets the requirements of its potential use
forms management/control
function that establishes standards for the creation, design, analysis, revision, procurement, and warehousing of all forms within an organization regardless of format or medium
gateway
Computer hardware and/or software configured to interface between networks that use different protocols
general records schedule
A records schedule governing specified series of records common to several or all agencies or administrative units of a corporate body, which are sometimes characterized as functional retention schedules
geographic filing system
classification of records by geographic location usually arranged by numeric code or in alphabetic order
hierarchical data model
organization of files based on relationships established along progressive levels of a tree structure, or hierarchy
hot site
An alternate facility that has the equipment and resources to immediately recover the business functions affected by the occurrence of a disaster
indirect access
A method of access to records requiring prior use of an external index
information
Data that has been given value through analysis, interpretation, or compilation in a meaningful form
information systems (IS)
infrastructure, processes, and technologies used to store, generate, manipulate, and transmit information to support an organization
integrity (of a record)
quality of being whole and unaltered from loss, tampering, or corruption
intelligent character recognition (ICR)
A technique for converting images of text, especially hand print, into machine-readable data that uses patterns to match characters, then improves accuracy through an analysis of the characters in context
intrinsic value
usefulness or significance of an item derived from its physical or associational qualities, inherent in its original form and generally independent of its content, that are integral to its material nature and would be lost in reproduction
jukebox
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
letter-by-letter arrangement
A sorting technique that orders entries based on each character in a heading without regard for spaces or punctuation
lookup table
A collection of data used as ready reference stored in a row and column format
magnetic ink character recognition (MICR)
A technique that enables special characters printed in magnetic ink to be read and input rapidly and accurately into a computer
magnetic media
Any storage medium in which different patterns of magnetization are used to represent stored bits or bytes of information
mainframe
A class of powerful, general purpose computers that can manage large amounts of data at high speed. Mainframes often provide processing to many connected terminals
management information systems (MIS)
A system that collects and processes data, generating information for decision-making, planning, program implementation, and control
metric paper size
An international measure for paper based on the subdivisions of a square meter
microfiche
A flexible, transparent sheet of film bearing a number of microimages arranged in a grid pattern with a heading area across the top
microfilm reader
A device that enlarges microimages for viewing, usually consisting of a light source, illuminating optics, microfilm holder, lens, and a screen
middle-digit filing
A numeric filing system in which the middle digits are used as the finding aid to organize the filing system
mirror image
process of making an identical copy of the hard drive, including empty sectors
Also referred to as imaging (a drive) and mirroring.
mnemonic filing
A system to classify files using codes or symbols that have an easily remembered relationship to the actual meaning or function (e.g., “LA” for Los Angeles or “FIN” for Finance)
mobile-aisle system
Rows of shelving used for compact storage, which travel on tracks and allow one or more aisles to be opened to access the system
network architecture
specifications of a network, including its topology, information encoding, transmission protocols, error detection, and correction
network-attached storage (NAS)
A server that is dedicated to nothing more than file-sharing
node
An addressable entity, such as a computer, a storage device, or a storage subsystem, connected to a network
numeric alphabetic indexing
An alphanumeric system in which numerals precede alphabetic coding
operational record
Records that relate to the substantive activities an organization undertakes to accomplish its mission or mandate
optical disk
A storage medium from which data is read and to which it is written by lasers
phonetic index
A listing organized by the sound of a word rather than its spelling
policy
A high-level overall plan, containing a set of principles, embracing the general goals of the organization, and used to base decisions
primary-digit filing
A numeric filing system in which the first digits are used as the method of organizing and finding in a records management system
private key
In a dual-key encryption system, the sequence of characters that is used to decrypt ciphertext encrypted with the corresponding public key
procedure
Instructions, exhibits, and/or other methodologies to follow in order to complete tasks in a predictable and orderly way
protective storage
use of special fire-resistant and environmentally controlled records protection equipment and vaults designed for the protection of the media being stored
public key
In a dual-key encryption system, the sequence of characters that is used to encrypt plain text so that it cannot be read without the corresponding private key
public key infrastructure (PKI)
underlying systems and processes necessary to support the trustworthiness and wide-scale use of public key encryption to authenticate individuals in a digital environment, especially over the Internet
radio frequency identification (RFID)
Technology that uses radio frequencies to identify, track, locate, and manage items
random filing
filing of entities without regard to a particular order or pattern, used with an indexing system for locating them
record
Recorded information, regardless of medium or characteristics, made or received by an organization in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business
records analyst
A records practitioner who examines and evaluates the systems and procedures involved in creating, processing, storing, and disposing of records
records and information management (RIM)
field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use, and disposition of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records
records center
An area for lower-cost storage, maintenance, and reference use of semiactive records pending their ultimate disposition
records coordinator
Individual responsible for coordinating records management activities within a department and acting as liaison between the department and the records manager/administrator
records inventory
A detailed listing that includes the types, locations, dates, volumes, equipment, classification systems, and usage data of an organization’s records in order to evaluate, appraise, and organize the information
records management manual
A publication that defines the scope of the records management program, its authority, the services it provides, and an introduction to concepts
records manager
individual within an organization who is responsible for systematically managing the recorded information generated and received by the organization
records series
A group of related records filed/used together as a unit and evaluated as a unit for retention purposes, e.g., a personnel file consisting of an application, reference letters, benefit forms, etc
reduction ratio
relationship between the dimensions of the original or master and the corresponding dimensions of the microfilmed or photocopied image
reference analysis
A statistical breakdown of requests for records during a specific period to determine usage of individual types of records
reliability
qualities of a record that demonstrate its trustworthiness over time
resolution
ability of an image or an imaging system to capture fine detail
Note: Resolution may be measured in dots per inch.
retention schedule
A comprehensive list of records series, indicating for each the length of time it is to be maintained and its disposition
retrieval ratio
time required to locate a record, which is determined by dividing the total minutes used to retrieve items by the total number of requests
risk management
process that ensures that an organization does not assume an unacceptable level of risk; includes both records risk analysis and records risk assessment procedures
semiactive record
A record that is infrequently referred to but is still needed for reference
shadowing
A method of data replication that maintains an exact copy of electronic records, typically by continuously capturing changes and applying them at the recovery site
silver halide microfilm
Archival quality polyester-based film containing images produced by exposure of light sensitive silver halide crystals suspended in a gelatin emulsion
snaking
A system of filing records continuously, from one row to another, in a winding format
specifications
Documented requirements containing the particulars with which a system or project must conform
standard
A method, material, or practice developed through consensus by experts in the field, which leads to results that are consistent, predictable, and desirable
structured-functional filing system
A filing system in which records are under primary subject headings according to the basic activities or functions of the organization
target
In imaging systems, any document or chart containing identification information about the content
taxonomy
A structure used for classifying materials into a hierarchy of categories and subcategories
terminal-digit filing
A system of numeric filing using the last two or three digits right to left of each number as the primary division under which the record is filed
transmittal list
A document that lists the records being transferred from one area to another
Note: A transmittal list may also transfer legal responsibility for and the physical custody of the records.
warm site
An alternative facility that has the equipment and resources available to recover business functions in the event of a disaster
word-by-word arrangement
A method of filing that treats each word as an individual filing unit
write once read many (WORM)
A technology to write data onto a storage medium and which does not permit changes
3570
High-density tape used for storage
Abandoned records fee
Another form of exit fee related to material stored by a commercial storage provider for a client no longer able to pay for storing its records.
commercial vault
A climate-controlled, high security commercial storage facility. This style vault stores magnetic media, long-term or permanent hard-copy records, and other temperature/humidity sensitive items such as microfiche, microfilm, computer tapes, CDs, archival papers, etc.
digital linear tape (DLT)
A high-capacity recording media that uses half-inch magnetic tape often used for midrange to high-end backup requirements
Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance
Insurance that provides coverage for errors and/or omissions by vendor employees
Exit fees
Fees associated with the removal of records stored under a contract with a storage provider. May be related to the permanent removal of stored items from the facility and to records abandoned by a client.
FM200
A fire suppression system used as an alternative to Halon and water; it does not deplete ozone in the environment
General liability insurance (GL)
Insurance that covers accidents on a policyholder’s premises and/or action sof the organization and its emplooyees that might cause harm to another
Halon
A compressed gas or steaming liquid, used for fire suppression; effective only in closed areas. For environmental reasons, it is generally not available for purchasing new quantities. A third-party market is used to purchase Halon.
item/box (IB)
A method of calculating costs based on the item or box, not the size
ISO 9000
A series of standards surrounding quality management, including meeting customer and regulatory requirements, making continuous performance improvements, and providing customer satisfaction
ISO 14001
A standard that specifies requirements for an environmental management system. It applies to those environmental aspects in which the organization has control and influence.
Knox Box
A rapid entry system, usually used as part of disaster recovery / emergency response program
linear tape-open (LTO)
Magnetic tape technology for computer data. The objective for using LTO is the creation of open-format specifications for high capacity, high-performance tape storage products for use in midrange and network server computing environments
property insurance
Insurance that covers loss or damage to buildings and contents owned, boxed, or financed by the policyholder
Underwriters Laboratory (UL)
A not-for-profit independent organization that provides product testing and certification.
umbrella insurance
A type of liability insurance that provides additional coverage above and beyond the coverage normally provided under GL, auto, and homeowner’s insurance.
uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
A device generally used as backup power for electronic devices and equipment
warehouseman’s legal liability (WLL) insurance
Insurance coverage for damage or loss of client-owned items in the custody of the policyholder; i.e., client records, valuable papers, magnetic media, and other stored items. Note: Insurance riders can be provided to cover restoration expenses associated with water damage to records. These riders typcally range from $1.00 to $2.00 per cubic foot plus defense and transportation costs. Acts of negligence could open the door for litigation, regardless of the established value. Some insurance companies provide extra coverage for restoration of partially damaged (often wet) records. Cusotmers may be able to secure better, more cost-effective coverage through their corporate insurance provider.