Glossary

Access - The availability of or permission to use records. ORS 192.420 states, “Every person has a right to inspect any public record of a public body in this state, except as otherwise expressly provided by ORS 192.501 to 192.505.”

Active Records - Records that are used, maintained and are actively referred to during everyday operations.

Administrative Value - Usefulness of records in conducting an agency’s business.

Agency - When used alone means either a state agency or a political subdivision.

AIIM - Association for Information and Image Management

Analog - A device or system that represents changing values as continuously variable physical quantities. An analog clock’s hands are capable of indicating every possible time of day. In contrast, a digital watch is capable of representing only a finite number of times (every tenth of a second, for example).

ANSI - American National Standards Institute

Aperture Card - A card with a rectangular opening into which microfilm may be inserted.

Appraisal - The process of determining the value and disposition of records based on their current administrative legal, and fiscal use; their evidential and informational or research value; and their relationship to other records. 

Archivist - The State Archivist who serves under the Secretary of State and who administers the Archives Division which operates the State Archives, the State Records Center and the Security Copy Depository.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) - Standard binary-coding scheme.

Attachment - Any computer file (text file, database, digital image, etc.) intentionally associated with, and received as part of an email message.

Audio Recording - Sound stored in a digital or analog format.

Audit - A regular examination and verification of a specific activity. 

Backup - A copy of electronic records and data that are retained to protect an organization against loss of the information. Backups can be stored on disks, tapes or other machine-readable media. There are essentially two types of backups - security (see Backup, Security) and retention (see Backup, Retention).

Backup, Retention - Backup of data in order to comply with records retention schedules (see Backup, Security).

Backup, Security - Backup of data for the purposes of security and disaster recovery. Because security backup media are regularly overwritten, a separate retention backup procedure is necessary to comply with records retention schedules (see Backup, Retention).

Bit-map - A method of representing images by assigning an individual memory location for each picture element.

Born Again Digital - (see Reformatted)

Born Digital - Records that originated in electronic form, e.g. databases or word processing documents.

Capital Improvement - A government acquisition of real property, major construction project, or acquisition of long lasting or expensive equipment. 

Case File - Groupings of documents that pertain to a particular person, place or thing. A case or project file may consist of correspondence, form records, memoranda and other records as long as they all relate to the same person, place or thing. 

CD-ROM - Optical disk that is created by a mastering process and used for distributing read-only information.

Central File - The files or records of one or several offices or organizational units physically and/or functionally centralized and supervised in one location. 

Certification (Certificate of Legality) - The confirmation that images recorded on microfilm are accurate, complete and unaltered reproductions of the original records. Sometimes referred to as “Camera Operator’s Certificate.”

Chat Room - An online network discussion platform to encourage and manage online text discussions over a period of time among members of special interest groups or project teams.

Civil Case - A court proceeding, other than a criminal case, to determine and enforce rights between parties, prevent future violation of rights, and provide appropriate redress or compensation. 

Closed Files - A group of records for which action has been completed and no further action is anticipated. 

Compound Document - (see Integrated Document)

Compression - (see Data Compression)

Computer Output Microfilm (COM) - An original record in microfilm format produced directly from computer data without an intermediate visible record. 

Computer Record - Information created and/or retained in a digital format and requires a computer to read and use. 

Confidential Records - Records or information exempted from public disclosure by statute or rule. 

Copy - A duplicate of the original record. 

Copyright - Legal right granted to an author, composer, playwright, publisher or distributor to exclusive publication, production, sale or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work.

Correspondence - Letters, memoranda, notes, telecommunications and any other form of addressed, written communications, sent and received. 

Correspondence, Ephemeral - Communications received or sent which do not contain significant information about a county’s programs, fiscal status or routine agency operations. Records include, but are not limited to, advertising circulars, spam, desk notes, memoranda and other records of a preliminary or informational nature. 

Criminal Case - A type of court case relating to the defendant’s alleged violation of the law. Conviction could result in fines, loss of rights or imprisonment. 

Cross-Reference - Additional notation that directs the user to another location where the record or information may be found. 

Data Compression - A method of reducing the size of an image file.

Data Corruption - Compromising of the validity or integrity of data. 

Data Loss - (see Data Corruption)

Database - Electronic collection of records stored in a central file.

Date of Last Action - The date at which all reasonable contingent actions related to a case have occurred. For example, this could be the date after which no appeals are possible.

Density - The light-absorbing or light-reflecting characteristics of a photographic medium.

Department of Defense 5015.2-Std - Standard for the integrity and security of data maintained in U.S. Department of Defense electronic recordkeeping systems. Also considered a de facto standard for U.S. Government electronic recordkeeping systems.

Derivative Image - Image derived or duplicated from a master image.

Destruction - The process of eliminating or deleting data, documents and records so that the recorded information no longer exists.

Digital Image - Image composed of discrete pixels of digitally subdivided increments of brightness and color. 

Digital Imaging - Techniques for capturing, recording, processing, storing, transferring and using images in electronic or microfilm formats.

Digital Imaging System - A system (including people, machines, methods of organization and procedures), which provides input, storage, processing, communications, output and control functions for digitized representations of original public records.

Digital Signature - A type of electronic signature that transforms a message using an asymmetric cryptosystem such that a person having the initial message and the signer’s public key can accurately determine: (a) whether the transformation was created using the private key that corresponds to the signer’s public key and (b) whether the initial message has been altered since the transformation was made (ORS 192.835(4)) (see Electronic Signature).

Digitized Record - A record produced from an original by electronic scanning techniques, stored on optical disk or other high-density storage media, and then displayed on a high resolution terminal or printed onto paper (see also Electronic Imaging System).

Directive - Instruction given by management that usually relates to agency policies and/or procedures. 

Disaster - A sudden and unexpected event that results in loss of records and information essential to an organization’s continued operation. 

Discovery - The legal process, generally conducted near the beginning of litigation, which enables parties of the litigation to obtain relevant records and information from each other. 

Disc - Round, flat recording medium which consists of a substrate(s) with one or more layers deposited on the surface(s) onto which information can be recorded and played back when the disk is loaded in a disk drive. 

Disposition - The actions taken with regard to non-current records following their appraisal. The actions include transfer to a records center for temporary storage, transfer to the State Archives, long-term storage in an agency repository, donation to an eligible repository, reproduction on microfilm, and destruction. 

Doing Business - The acts of an organization that place it under the jurisdiction or control of government, courts or law. 

DPI - Dots per inch; refers to the number of pixels contained in a linear inch.

Drop-Off Rate - (see Data Corruption)

EDMS (Electronic Document Management System) - A type of electronic information system, which may or may not feature automated tools for retention and disposition of records (see Electronic recordkeeping system).

Electronic Content Management Systems - (see Electronic recordkeeping system) 

Electronic Image - (see Digital Image)

Electronic Imaging - (see Digital Imaging)

Electronic Imaging System - (see Digital Imaging System)

Electronic Recordkeeping System - A recordkeeping system that captures, maintains and provides access to electronic records as evidence over time and allows for disposition according to records retention schedules. 

Electronic Records - Records stored in a form that requires a computer to process. “Electronic records” does not include or refer to photocopies, digital imaging systems, or analog or digital audio and videotapes. 

Electronic Signature - (see Digital Signature)

Electronic Storage - The depositing of information in an online computer database or in the memory of a word processor. 

Email - (see Messaging)

Email Messages - Electronic documents created, received or sent within an electronic messaging system. Applicable to the contents of the communication, the transactional information and any attachments associated to such communication. An email message’s structure is composed of the text or content of the document, transmission and header information that indicates who it was from, what it is about, and other metadata.

Email System - System providing the means for creating messages, transmitting them through a network, and displaying the messages on the recipient’s workstation, personal computer (PC) or terminal.

Encryption - Translation of data into a secret code.

ERMS (Electronic Records Management System) - (see Electronic Recordkeeping System)

Essential Electronic Records System - A records system which requires a computer to process, and contains records which are essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of a government agency during and after an emergency, or those records which are essential to protect the rights and interests of that agency and of the individuals directly affected by its actions.

Essential Records - Records which are essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an agency during and after an emergency, and also those records which are essential to protect the rights and interests of that agency and of the individuals directly affected by its actions. Essential records are sometimes called vital records.

Essential Records Schedule - Detailed instructions identifying types of essential (vital) records, locations and retention requirements. 

Evidential Value - The value which records have involving the administrative, fiscal and legal activities of the creating agency. Evidential values are based on the functions that the records had and continue to have for the person or office that created them or for any succeeding individual or agency that uses them. 

Excluded Records - Materials that are excluded from the definition of public records by ORS 192.005(5).

Exempt Records - Records or information exempted from public disclosure by statute or rule. 

Expiration - The termination of a period fixed by law, contract or agreement. 

Expungement - The process of removing information on the directive from a court and obliterating it by any method to make the information unreadable or unusable under any circumstances. 

Fax or Facsimile - Process by which a document is scanned, converted into electrical signals, transmitted and recorded or displayed as a copy of the original.

Feasibility Study - An examination of the practicality of implementing new or modified procedures, methods or technologies.

File - A collection of records arranged according to a predetermined system. 

File Format - A specific pre-established arrangement or organization of data. Data in a file is stored in a format that is established by whatever software application created the file. A file’s format is indicated by its file extension. For example, a file with the file extension .txt is a text document.

File Structure - Organization of a government entity’s records. A logical, hierarchical file structure is required for the efficient use of an electronic recordkeeping system.

Filing - The action of storing a record. 

Financial Value - The value which records have related to their role in documenting fiscal accountability and providing an audit trail. Records with financial value demonstrate how the agency conducted its business by documenting the financial obligations, authorizations and transactions of the agency. 

Fiscal Value - The usefulness of records in documenting an agency's fiscal transactions and obligations.

Folder - An electronic receptacle used to store electronic files. Also known as directory or subdirectory.

Format - (see File Format)

Forms - Carefully designed documents used to gather and transmit information necessary for operational functions. 

Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts - Two acts that combine to protect personal information collected by a governmental agency. 

Generation - One of the successive duplicates of a photographic master. The camera original is the first-generation microfilm. A duplicate made from the master is a second-generation copy; a duplicate made from the second-generation copy is third-generation and so on.

Geographical Information System (GIS) - Tools used to gather, transform, manipulate, analyze and produce information related to the surface of the Earth.

Graphics - Photographs and other types of images.

Hardware - Physical equipment necessary to run a data processing system .

Header Label - A set of information associated with a specific digital image which assists system software in retrieving images.

Historical Value - Records of permanent value that document company policy, operations, organization, development or social contributions; illustrates major economic, political, religious, legal or social trends; portrays significant individual achievements; or sheds light on significant events of our times.

Hybrid System - A system that combines a microfilm analog system with an electronic, digital technology.

Image - Any representation of a document or data produced by radiant energy.

Inactive Record - Records still needed by an organization but not for current operations. 

Instant Messaging - (see Messaging)

Integrated Document - A document that contains more than one type of electronic file. For example, a Microsoft Word document may have embedded within it an Excel spreadsheet.

Intergovernmental Agreement(s) - Contracts between two or more public agencies for the joint exercise of powers common to the agencies. 

Internet - The vast network of computer systems that enables worldwide connectivity among users and computers. 

Intranet - A closed network that uses technology to restrict Web-based information to a group of authorized users.

ISO - International Organization for Standardization. An international agency for standardization in all fields except electrical and electronic engineering.

ITU-T - International Telecommunication Union - Telecommunication sector.

Jacket - A transparent plastic carrier with channels into which film may be inserted. 

JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group.

Legal Value - The usefulness of records in documenting legally enforceable rights or obligations, both those of the state and those of persons directly affected by an agency's actions.

Life Cycle - The creation, distribution, use, maintenance and disposition of a record. 

Life of Structure - Until the structure no longer stands or exists. 

Light Box - A back-lit translucent surface used for film inspection.

Listserv - Automatic mailing list server.

Litigation - The proceeding in a court of law to enforce a right. Same as lawsuit. 

Local Agency - Any officer, department, board, commission or institution created by or under the jurisdiction of a political subdivision of this state. 

Local Improvement - A public improvement provided to a specific area and benefits that area; usually paid for by special assessment of benefiting property owners. 

Long-Term Records - Records with an approved retention period of 100 years or longer, including permanent records.

Loupe (Lupe) - A small, hand-held optical magnifying device used in conjunction with a light box for the inspection of microfilm.

Machine Readable Records - Records which require equipment to read the information they contain. Machine-readable records may include audio tape, videotape and computer media. 

Master Image - Initial image used for producing duplicates.

Media - Tangible objects on which data are recorded.

Medium-Rerm Records - Records with an approved retention period of at least ten but less than 100 years.

Messaging - Broad term encompassing electronic communications, including electronic mail, Instant Messaging (IM) and chat rooms, all of which can be public records (see Email Messages and Email System).

Metadata - Data that describes data including subject, date and recipients of an email.

Methylene Blue Test - A test used to measure the amount of residual thiosulphate ion (hypo) remaining on the film following washing.

Microfiche - A microform, approximately 4x6 inches, on which documents are photographed in a reduced size for convenience in storage. 

Microfilm - Film, in roll format, on which documents are photographed in a reduced size for convenience in storage. The images on film can be enlarged for viewing or printing onto paper.

Migration - The periodic transfer of data from one electronic system to another that retains the integrity and accessibility despite technological advances in the hardware and software used to access the data.

Migration Plan - A narrative description of an agency's plan to maintain access to electronic information if an electronic system’s life expectancy is less than the retention of the records it contains.

Minimum Term Records - Records with an approved retention period of less than 10 years. 

Naming Convention - Guidelines for assigning names to files. Especially when groups of people need access to common files, naming conventions are essential for efficient retrieval.

Network - A system of computers and related devices interconnected so that they can communicate together.

NIST - National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Nonrecord Copy - A copy of a record maintained in addition to the official copy, such as duplicates, stocks of publications and materials available from other sources (i.e. library books, magazines, etc.). Information excluded from the legal definition of a public record includes extra copies of documents kept for convenience of reference, stocks of publications, library or museum materials intended solely for reference or exhibition. 

OAR - Acronym for Oregon Administrative Rules; rules promulgated by state agencies in order to implement statutes. 

Obsolete - In the context of retention schedule, obsolete means no longer relevant to current program or primary functional responsibilities of a department or office. 

Office of Record - The group, department or office in an organization responsible for maintaining the official records for the total records retention period. 

Official Copy - The designated public record, when multiple copies exist. 

Optical Disk - Medium that will accept and retain information in the form of marks or density modulation in a recording layer, and that can be read with an optical beam.

Ordinance - A law prepared by a local governing body. 

Original Date of Hire - The date at which an employee was first officially employed by the organization. 

ORS - Acronym for Oregon Revised Statutes. 

PDF - Proprietary file format developed by Adobe Systems Inc.

Permanent - The continued preservation of information forever (without any time limit). 

Permanent Public Records - Records deemed worthy of permanent preservation for legal, administrative and research purposes. 

Permanently Removed from Service - The date at which equipment, structures such as bridges, etc., are disposed of in such a way that they no longer will be used by the agency.

Pixel - The smallest display element on a video screen or the smallest element in a grid that is placed over a page of text or graphics.

Planetary Camera - A type of microfilm camera that photographs a document as it lies stationary. The document lies on a plane surface and the camera itself is suspended above the document. 

Policy - Guideline for decision-making. 

Policy Manual - Contains written, general guidelines used for consistent decision making.

Political Subdivision - Cities, counties, districts or any other public corporation of this state. 

Private Records - Records belonging to an individual that have no content relevant to the organization or were not produced using resources of the organization. 

Procedure - Statements of how to implement a policy. 

Processing - The steps necessary to render a latent image visible, usable and permanent (fixed). These steps are development, fixing, washing and drying.

Project Plan - A list of tasks with individual responsibility and target dates assigned. 

Public Record - Means any information that: is prepared, owned, used or retained by a state agency or political subdivision; relates to an activity, transaction or function of a state agency or political subdivision; and is necessary to satisfy the fiscal, legal, administrative or historical policies, requirements or needs of the state agency or political subdivision (ORS 192.005(5)).

Purge - The act of selectively destroying one or more documents from a file. 

Quality Control - (a) Planned systematic activities necessary to ensure that media conforms to established technical requirements. (b) All actions that are taken to ensure development of products that meet performance requirements and adhere to standards and procedures. (c) Policy, procedures and systematic actions established in an enterprise for the purpose of providing and maintaining some degree of confidence in data integrity and accuracy throughout the life cycle of the data, which includes input, update, manipulation and output.

Quality Index - A subjective relationship between the legibility of an image and the resolution pattern resolved on a microimage.

Quasi-Judicial Authority - Authority granted to some regulatory agencies to conduct hearings like the judicial branch. 

Reconversion - (see Scanning)

Record Copy - The official copy of a record. 

Record Series - A group of identical or related records that are normally used and filed as a unit and can be evaluated as a unit for retention scheduling purposes. A group of records filed together in a unified arrangement that results from, or relates to, the same function or activity. 

Recordkeeping Requirements - The obligations of law related to the creation, maintenance and disposition of records. 

Recordkeeping System - A specialized version of an information system that captures, maintains and provides access to records as evidence over time and allows for disposition according to records retention schedules.

Records - Recorded information (books, papers, photographs, maps or other documentary materials) regardless of form or characteristics, made or received for legal or operational purposes in connection with the transaction of business. 

Records Destruction - The disposal of records no longer needed by the organization. 

Records Inventory - A detailed listing of the volume, scope and complexity of an organization’s records in order to evaluate, appraise and organize the collection. 

Records Management - The systematic control of all records from creation or receipt through processing, distribution, maintenance and retrieval, to their ultimate disposition. 

Records Manager - An individual, knowledgeable in records management, designated by an organization to control the records management program. 

Records Officer - Refers to the person designated by a state agency or political subdivision in accordance with ORS 192.105(2)(a).

Records System - An organized collection of data captured, processed, maintained, transmitted or disseminated in accordance with defined procedures (automated or manual). 

Reduction Ratio - The relationship between the dimensions of the original document and the dimensions of the microimage of that document.

Reformatted - Refers to records that originated in an analog form and were subsequently scanned or otherwise transformed into digital form.

Refresh - To copy data to other storage media.

Regular Course of Business - The transacting of business activities in a regular, recurring, ordered, customary or habitual manner. 

Research Value - Significant continuing value to the state and its citizens. Records with research value are retained permanently and are eligible for transfer to the State Archives.

Residual Thiosulphate - (see Methylene Blue test)

Resolution - The ability of microfilm or a photographic system to record fine detail.

Retakes - Refilming of documents.

Retention Period - The minimum period of time the state requires local governments to keep particular records. Retention periods begin with the date of creation, unless otherwise stated (i.e., closing of a case, expiration of a permit). 

Retention Schedule - Either a General Schedule published by the State Archivist in the OAR in which certain common public records are described or listed by title and a retention period is established for each; or a Special Schedule approved by the State Archivist for the public records of a specific agency.

Roll Microfilm - Film that is wound on a reel, spool or core. 

Rotary Camera - A rotary camera is a type of microfilm camera that photographs the document as it is being moved by some sort of a transport mechanism. The document transport mechanism is connected to a film transport mechanism, and the film also moves during exposure. 

Scanning - The conversion of human-readable images from paper or microfilm into a stream of numeric values, called a bit-mapped image.

Security Copy - A silver duplicate or first-generation microfilm which is stored under strictly controlled environmental conditions and used solely as a back-up or duplication master.

Security Copy Depository - The section of the Archives Division which offers storage of security microfilm.

Silver Halide - Compound of silver and one of the following elements known as halogens: chlorine, bromine, iodine, and fluorine.

Software - Set of programs, procedures and documentation concerned with the operation of a data-processing system.

Sound Recording - (see Audio Recording)

Source Document Microfilming - The conversion of paper records to microfilm. Differentiated from Computer Output Microfilm which converts digitally encoded data to microfilm.

Splice - The joining of two pieces of film so that they function as one piece.

Spreadsheet - A table of values arranged in rows and columns.

Statute - A law prepared by the United States Congress or a state legislature.

System Documentation - Information describing the organized collection of hardware, software, telecommunications, supplies, people, maintenance, training and policies to accomplish a set of specific functions.

Target, Informational - A chart or document which is photographed in order to assist in identifying the content of the microfilm.

Target, Technical - An aid to technical control of the photographic system which is photographed on the film preceding or following the body of documents.

Text File - A computer file that contains nothing but ASCII text and formatting and therefore can be read by many different types of computer programs.

TIFF - Tagged Image File Format bit-map graphics. An image file format that consists of a series of headers or tags, plus the image data. Currently the closest thing to a standard for the preservation of digital images.

Unitized Microfilm - Film that is formatted in discreet units of information, e.g. microfiche, jackets or aperture cards.

Upgrade - A new version of a software or hardware product designed to replace an older version of the same product.

Verification - A documented process used to ensure that the transfer of information between mediums is accurate and complete.

Weblog (or blog) - Web page that serves as a publicly accessible journal.

Word Processing Document - (see Text File)

Work Copy - A copy of microfilm which is distributed for end use.

WORM - Write once, read many; refers to a type of optical disk which cannot be erased or amended.
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