Records Management Glossary

Active Records: Records which are accessed on a daily basis to support business processes.

Archival/Historical Value: Records with long-term value that document the history of the institution and require preservation.

Archival Selection: The selection of files for transfer to an archive, according to the records retention schedule. The archival selection process includes the Archivist reviewing the files and selecting items that will be included in the University of Lethbridge Archives. Any records not selected are subsequently destroyed.

Block Numeric System: A file classification system organized into blocks reflecting the University's business functions.

C + x: In retention guidelines, "C" refers to the year of the record's creation or acquisition (also referred to as the current year), and "x" refers to the number of additional years the record is to be kept for retention purposes. For example, a retention period indicated as "C + 3" means that a record is to be kept for three years after the year of creation or acquisition, for a total of 4 years.

Case Files: Records that pertain to a specific person, place, thing, event, or program. For example, personnel files, student academic files or project files.

Certificate of Destruction: A certificate created to document the destruction of University records according to established policies and procedures.

Classification: The systematic identification and arrangement of business activities and/or records into categories according to logically structured conventions, methods, and procedural rules represented in a classification system (ISO 15489-1:2001).

Disposition: The final action to be taken on records at the end of their retention periods. This could include destruction or transfer to the University Archives

Discovery: The phase in a legal dispute when the opposing parties gather evidence and share it before the trial goes to court. Not applicable in all juristictions; sometimes referred to as disclosure.

Fiscal Value: Records have fiscal value if they document the way the University manages money.

Enterprise Content Management: the strategies, tools, processes and skills an organization needs to manage all its information assets (regardless of type) over their lifecycle.

Inactive Records: Records which are not accessed regularly or often but which must be retained for administrative, legal or financial reasons.

Legal Value: Records have legal value if they are used to document the University's contractual obligations. For example, contracts, agreements and Insurance Policies

Life cycle: The life span of a record from its creation or receipt to its final disposition. It is usually described in three stages: creation, maintenance & use, and final disposition (DoD 5015.02-STD, 2007).

Metadata: Data describing context, content and structure of records and their management through time. (ISO 15489-1:2001)

Non-Record: Materials collected for reference value only. For example, reference manuals, sales catalogues, blank forms, published materials or personal papers.

Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR): The University department or office which is responsible for the University's "official" copy of a record. For example, the Registrar's Office is the office of primary responsibility for student academic records; similarly, Human Resources is responsible for maintaining employment records for staff.

Operational Value: The period of usefulness of records to the originating office for the conduct of current business.

Records: Information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business (ISO 15489-1:2001).

Records Management: The 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 (ISO 15489-1:2001).

Record Series: Groups of related records which are normally used and filed as a unit, to support business processes and activities. For example, budgets, maintenance, or procurement

Retention Schedule: A document that sets out the periods for which the University's records should be retained to meet its operational requirements, legal obligations and to protect personal information.

S/O: "Superceded or Obsolete" - the record in question shall be retained until its provisions are no longer in effect. For example, revised policies/procedures or updated business plans.

Transitory Records: Transitory records are records of temporary usefulness that are needed only for a limited period of time in order to complete a routine action or prepare an ongoing record. Transitory records are not incorporated in standard records control or filing systems. For example, routine notices or memos regarding holidays or special events circulated to all staff, insignificant or inconsequential information items concerning routine matters, drafts of memos/letters.