Glossary

Access: Ability to locate, retrieve, and provide records at the appropriate time for the appropriate individuals.

Active File: Materials which are maintained in the office of an agency for current daily operations and are referred to frequently.

Active Record: A record which is regularly referred to and required for current use. Usually considered to be those records that are referred to more than once per file drawer per month.

Administrative Value: Records useful for providing information related to an agency’s organizational structure, administrative decisions, policies ,or procedures.

Administrative Records: Records that are created to help an agency accomplish its current administrative functions.

Archival Record: Document whose long term value justifies its permanent retention.

Archival Value: The determination in appraisal that records are worthy of permanent preservation by an archival institution.

Archives: (1) The agency responsible for selecting, preserving, and making available archival materials. (2) The building in which an archival institution is located. (3) Those records that are no longer required for current use but have been selected for permanent preservation because of their evidential, informational, or historical value.

Cloud Computing: IT services (storage or software) delivered via internet technologies although based offsite and frequently provided by a vendor.

Convenience Copy: A copy created for administrative ease of use, also called a working or reference copy; not the official record.

Copy: The reproduction, by any method, of the complete substance of a record; a reproduction of an original.

Cross-Reference: A notation in a file or on a list showing that a record has been stored elsewhere.

Database: A set of data, consisting of at least one data file or a group of integrated data files, usually stored in one location and made available to several users at the same time for various applications.

Database Management System (DBMS): A software system used to access and retrieve data stored in a database.

Data Processing: Handling and processing of information necessary to record the transactions of an organization. Usually used in conjunction with mechanical and electronic data–handling equipment.

Digital Signature: A cryptographic technique for creating a bit stream that can be affixed to a document (or any other digital object) and thereby attest to its authenticity. A digital signature includes a private key that is known only to its owner and a reciprocal public key that can be made available to anyone. A digital object signed with a private key can only be validated by its reciprocal public key.

Electronic Record: Digital information content that is captured and stored in a computer storage device or media for future use as evidence of business transactions that requires access to computer technology to render it intelligible to humans. “Born digital” refers to records created in a digital format while scanned digital records are reproductions or images of hard copy records.

Encryption: The process of systematically encoding a bit stream before transmission so that an unauthorized party cannot decipher it.

Fiscal Value: The usefulness of records to the organization as relating to financial transactions and the movement and expenditure of state, federal, or other funds.

Historical Value: (1) The usefulness of records for historical research concerning the agency of origin or for information about persons, places, events, or things. (2) The value arising from exceptional age, and/or connection with some historical event or person.

Holdings: All of the records in the custody of a given agency, organizational element, archival establishment, or records center.

Inactive Records: Records that have a reference rate of less than one search per file drawer per month. Records that are not needed immediately, but which must be kept for administrative, fiscal, legal, historical, or governmental purposes, prior to disposition.

Information Governance: Is not only managing the retention and disposition of the record but the complete management of the metadata of the record, tiering of content across storage platforms, security classification of the content during its lifecycle, data privacy attributes of the record during its lifecycle, and digital rights of the content.

Legal Custody: Control of access to, possession of, or responsibility for records based on specific statutory authority, ownership, or title to documentary materials.

Legal Value: Refers to the usefulness of records that form the basis of legal actions, proof of agency authority and/or that contain evidence of legally enforceable rights or obligations of government or private persons.

Long-Term: A period of time long enough for there to be concern about the impacts of changing technologies, including support for new media and data formats, and of a changing user community, on the information being held in a repository. This period extends into the indefinite future.

Migration: A strategy for avoiding obsolescence in media or file type that involves the periodic duplication of files and/or content into new media and/or file type, respectively.

Native File Formats: Electronic records in a native file format can only be recognized and opened by the software application that originally was used to create the records. Sometimes an application other than the original software application may be able to open records in a native format but key features (line spacing, special types of fonts, and the like) may be rendered differently.

Off-Line: 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.

On-Line: Under the direct control of a computer. Refers to data on a medium, often a hard drive, directly accessible for immediate processing by a computer.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR): A process that scans text images and stores the scanned characters in digital form.

Permanent Record: A record considered being so valuable or unique that it is to be permanently preserved.

Preservation Duplicate: An exact copy of a record held off site and used to preserve the record in the event of a disaster.

Record Copy: A record that is designated to be kept for the full retention period; not a reference, working, or convenience copy.

Records Creator: The role played by those persons or client systems that provide the information to be preserved. This can include other archival information systems or internal persons or systems

Records Appraisal: The analysis of records with the objective of establishing retention policy.

Records Disposition: Final processing of records; either destruction, permanent retention, or archival preservation

Reference Copy: A copy of an official record, which serves as a substitute for reference purposes. Also called a convenience or working copy.

Temporary Records: Records that are disposable as valueless after a stated period of time.

Trustworthy Digital Repository: A trustworthy digital repository accepts responsibility for the long-term maintenance of digital records for current and future users; has an organization system that supports the long-term sustainability of the repository and its contents; designs and implements its systems in such a way as to ensure on-going access to and security of digital records in its custody; establishes credible methodologies for system evaluation that meet community expectations of trustworthiness; and supports polices, practices and actions that can be measured and audited.

Trustworthy Records: Trustworthy electronic records are reliable and authentic records whose integrity has been preserved over time. Reliability references that records can be trusted as an accurate representation of the activities and facts associated with a transaction(s) because they were captured at or near the time of the transaction. Authenticity means that electronic records are what they purport to be.

Vital Record: Records containing information necessary to the operating of government in an emergency created by disaster; and records to protect the rights and interests of individuals or to establish and affirm the poser s government in the resumption of operation after a disaster.