Term Description Source
Access The right, opportunity, or means of finding, using or retrieving information. ISO 15489-1:2016
Access copy A copy or reproduction of records or archival material that is used specifically for information sharing and/or to protect originals from damage or theft.  
Access policy Written statement, authorized by the repository management, that describes the approach to be taken by the repository for providing access to objects accessioned into the repository. ISO 16363:2012
Accession The process of transferring physical custody of documentary materials to archival institution.  
Accountability The principle that individuals, organization, and the community are responsible for their actions and may be required to explain them to others. ARMA International
Active records Records in frequent use, regardless of their date of creation, required for current business relating to the administration or function of the organization. Such records are usually maintained in office space and primary servers or systems, close to hand. Also known as current records.  
Activity Major task performed by a business entity as part of a function (see: function). ISO 15489-1:2016
Administrative records Records that facilitate operations and management of an organization, but do not related directly to programs that help the agency achieve its mission. Common to most organizations. Examples include routine correspondence or interoffice communications; records relating to human resources, equipment and supplies, and facilities; reference materials, routine reports, work assignments, appointment books, and telephone logs. SAA Glossary
Aggregation Accumulated or collected records that are organized into groupings or series.  
Archival system Organized collection of hardware, software, policies, procedures and people, which maintains, stores, manages and makes available records over time. ISO 23081-2:2009
Attribute Characteristic of an object or entity ISO/IEC 11179-3:2003
Authenticity Record that can be proven to be what it purports to be, to have been created or sent by the person purported to have created or sent it, and to have been created or sent at the time purported. ISO 13008:2012
Business classification scheme Tool for linking records to the context of their creation. ISO 15489-1:2016
Classification Systematic identification and/or arrangement of business activities and/or records into categories according to logically structured conventions, methods, and procedural rules. ISO 15489-1:2016
Content Subject information of a document ISO 13008:2012
Conversion Process of changing records from one format to another ISO 15489-1:2016
  (Record) process of changing records from one format to another while maintaining the characteristics of the records ISO 13008:2012
Data cleansing Process of reviewing and correcting data to ensure data are in a standardized format (Note: correction may be carried out for incompleteness, incorrect formatting, obsolescence, duplication, etc. It is often done prior to merging data sets or converting data from one system/database to another. ISO 13008:2012
Destruction Process of eliminating or deleting a record, beyond any possible reconstruction ISO 15489-1:2016
Disposition Range of processes associated with implementing records retention, destruction or transfer decisions which are documented in disposition authorities or other instruments ISO 15489-1:2016
Disposition authority Instrument that defines the disposition actions that are authorized for specified records ISO 15489-1:2016
Documentation Collection of documents describing operations, instructions, decisions, procedures and business rules related to a given function, process or transaction. ISO/TR 26122:2008
Emulation Use of a data processing system to imitate another data processing system, so that the imitating system accepts the same data, executes the same programs, and achieves the same results as the imitated system. ISO 13008:2012
Encryption (Reversible) transformation of data by a cryptographic algorithm to produce ciphertext, i.e. to hide the information content of the data ISO 13008:2012
Evidence Documentation of a transaction. ISO 30300:2011
File format Encoding of a file type that can be rendered or interpreted in a consistent, expected and meaningful way through the intervention of a particular piece of software or hardware which has been designed to handle that format. ISO 13008:2012
Function Group of activities that fulfils the major responsibilities for achieving the strategic goals of a business entity ISO 15489-1:2016
Functional analysis Grouping together of all the processes undertaken to achieve a specific, strategic, goal of an organization, which uncovers relationships between functions, processes and transactions which have implications for managing records. ISO/TR 26122:2008
Integrity Quality of being complete and unaltered ISO 13008:2012
Metadata (Records) data describing context, content, and structure of records and their management through time. ISO 15489-1:2016
Metadata for records Structured or semi-structured information, which enables the creation, management, and use of records through time and within and across domains. ISO 23081-2:2009
Migration Process of moving records from one hardware or software configuration to another without changing the format. ISO 30300:2011
Practice Actions conducted to execute procedures. Practices are measured by logs or other evidence that record actions completed. ISO 16363:2012
Preservation Processes and operations involved in ensuring the technical and intellectual survival of authentic records through time. ISO 13008:2012
Preservation implementation plan A written statement, authorized by the management of the repository, that describes the services to be offered by the repository for preserving objects accessioned into the repository in accordance with the Preservation Policy. ISO 16363:2012
Preservation metadata Metadata that supports the viability, renderability, understandability, authenticity and identity of digital objects in a preservation context. ISO 13008:2012
PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata, v.2.0, March 2008
Preservation Policy Written statement, authorized by the repository management, that describes the approach to be taken by the repository for the preservation of objects accessioned into the repository. The Preservation Policy is consistent with the Preservation Strategic Plan. ISO 16363:2012
Preservation Strategic Plan A written statement, authorized by the management of the repository, that states the goals and objectives for achieving that part of the mission of the repository concerned with preservation. Preservation Strategic Plans may include long-term and short-term plans. ISO 16363:2012
Procedure A written statement that specifies actions required to complete a service or to achieve a specific state or condition. Procedures specify how various aspects of the relevant Preservation Implementation Plans are to be fulfilled. ISO 16363:2012
Record(s) Information created, received and maintained as evidence and as an asset by an organization or person, in pursuit of legal obligations or in the transaction of business. ISO 15489-1:2016
Records management 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 an information about business activities and transactions in the form of records. ISO 15489-1:2016
Records system Information system which captures, managed and provides access to records over time. (Note: A records system can consist of technical elements such as software, which may be designed specifically for managing records or for some other business purpose, and non-technical elements including policy, procedures, people and other agents, and assigned responsibilities. ISO 15489-1:2016
Reliability Measure of the completeness and accuracy of the representation of transactions and activities, or of the facts to which they attest ISO 13008:2012
Replication Digital migration where there is no change to the packaging information, the content information, and the preservation description information. (Note: the bits used to represent these information objects are preserved in the transfer to the same or new media instance). ISO 13008:2012
Schema Logical plan showing the relationships between metadata elements, normally through establishing rules for the use and management of metadata specifically as regards the semantics, the syntax and the optionality (obligation level) of values. ISO 15489-1:2016
Transaction Smallest unit of a work process consisting of an exchange between two or more participants or systems. ISO/TR 26122:2008
Usability (Records) property of being able to be located, retrieved, presented and interpreted. ISO 13008:2012
Validation Confirmation, through the provision of objective evidence, that the requirements for a specific intended use or application have been fulfilled. ISO 13008:2012