Active Record
A record consulted frequently and must be conveniently available for that purpose; usually used at least once per month (Source: Saffady)

Condition where an organization is answerable to its governing bodies, legal authorities, and more broadly, its other stakeholders regarding its decisions and activities (Source: ISO30300)

Task performed by an organization (Source: ISO30300)

Person or group of people responsible for or involved in records processes.  A technology tool such as a software application can be considered an agent when substituting for individuals or workgroups if the tool routinely perform records processes (Source: ISO30300)

Physical sequence of records or groups of records within a records series (Source: Saffady)


Best Practices
The most advisable courses of action for particular recordkeeping problems or processes (Source: Saddafy)

Business Continuity
Capability of an organization to continue delivery of products or services within acceptable time frames at predefined capacity during disruption (Source: ISO30300)


Certificate of Destruction
A record to document the destruction of specified records series based on the records retention schedule. Typically includes the records series title, dates covered in the series, organization/agency unit owner of the records series, volume or number of boxes destroyed, name of destruction authorizer, method of destruction, and date of destruction (Source:  Saddafy)

Meeting the mandate of the organization; includes obligations set by internal policies and decisions and/or external laws, regulations, standards, and agreements (Source: ISO30300)

Confidential Record
Any business record containing sensitive information and access restricted through federal, state, or local laws. Such records are typically subject to special rules and policies concerning their access, use, and disclosure (Source: Saffady)

Convenience Copies
Duplicate(s) of an original record, often used for access or reference.  They are not the official record so can be appropriately discarded when no longer needed.  Examples include reports run on databases to assist in your work


Data Migration
The process of periodically converting electronic records to a new file format and/or new storage media to satisfy long term retention requirements (Source: Saddafy)

Eliminating or deleting a record beyond any possible reconstruction.  (Source: ISO30300)  For guidance on the proper disposal of records, please see Managing your Records for details

Destruction Hold
A hold placed on the scheduled destruction of records due to pending litigation, investigation, audit, or special organizational requirements. Also called legal hold, destruction suspension, or freeze notice

A final administrative action taken with records, regardless of format, including destruction, transfer to University Archives, or permanent retention in the office

Document Management
Techniques that ensure that recorded information, regardless of format, is properly distributed, used, stored, retrieved, protected, and preserved according to established policies and procedures.  See related Enterprise Content Management (Source: SAA Dictionary of Archival Terminology)

Document Management Systems
A type of software product that automates the preparation, organization, tracking, and distribution of digital documents.  (Source: Saddafy)


Electronic Record
A record that contains machine-readable information that is electronically encoded.  Examples include computer records, audio recordings, and video recordings (Source: Saddafy)

Electronic Signature
Any electronic method of signing a computer-processable record

Enterprise Content Management
The technologies, tools, and methods used to create, capture, process, store, deliver, and preserve information content, particularly unstructured content, across an enterprise. See related: document management

Event-based Disposition
An event occurs to “start the retention clock” for disposition.  Examples include the end of a grant, termination of employment, superseded with a new version  See related: trigger event


FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g). A federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. It also provides rights to access or amend those records.  For additional information, please refer to Clemson University’s FERPA Policy.

A data element within a database record

File Plan
A tool used to manage records, paper and electronic, listing the different records maintained by the office, where and how they are stored, and how long to be kept.

The process of organizing information by placing logically-related records in close physical proximity to one another (Source: Saddafy)

Filing System
The combination of policies, procedures, labor equipment, supplies, facilities, and other resources that relate to the organization of records (Source:  Saddafy)

Group of activities aimed at achieving one or more goals of an organization (Source:  ISO30300)


General Records Schedule
A records schedule governing specified series of record common to several or all units of the university, which are sometimes characterized as functional retention schedules.  See also Specific Records Schedule


HIPAA (Health Insurance portability and Accountability Act)
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. A set of national standards for the protection of certain health information.  For additional information, please refer to Clemson University’s Student Health Services policy on Privacy Practice.


Inactive Record
A record that is not consulted frequently but must be retained for legal, operational, or scholarly reasons until it meets the end of its retention period (Source:  Saddafy)

Information Life Cycle
Concept that information is subject to changing requirements for storage, retrieval, and distribution from its creation or receipt through destruction or permanent retention (Source:  Saddafy)

See records inventory


Key Field
A field selected for indexing within records contained in a database


Structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource

The process of moving data from one hardware or software configuration to another.  It is done to ensure continued access to the information as medium becomes obsolete and degrades over time. (Source: ISO30300)


Any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, created or received that does not serve to document the university’s activities, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and operations.  Examples include blank forms, junk mail/spam, drafts, and trade journal catalogs


Office of Record
An office designated to maintain the record or official copy of a particular record in an organization for the complete designated retention period (Source: Saffady)

Official Record
Single copy of a document, often the original, that is designated as the official copy for reference and preservation (Source:  SAA Dictionary of Archives Terminology)


Permanent Record
A record that has been determined to have sufficient historical, administrative, legal, fiscal, or other informational value to be preserved

Physical Inventory
See Records Inventory

Public Record
Any record created by any department of the state, any state board, commission, agency, and authority, any public or governmental body or political subdivision of the state supported in whole or in part by public funds or expending public funds, as defined by Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, Section 30-1-10(b)


Information, in any form, created, received, or maintained by the university and its employees documenting its activities and evidence of its work and considered the official record

Record Copy
The copy of a record designated to satisfy an organization’s retention requirements for information that exists in multiple copies; also known as the official record

Record Series
A group of related records filed and/or used together to support a specific administrative activity; e.g., a personnel file consisting of application, reference letters, benefit forms, etc., and therefore evaluated as a unit for retention and disposition

Records Center
A facility used for low-cost storage of inactive or semi current records until their retention has been met

Records Inventory
A fact-finding survey that identifies and describes records maintained by all or part of the unit (Source: Saddafy)

Records Management
The field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic governance of records throughout their life cycle, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence and information about business activities

Records Retention Schedule
A comprehensive list of records series, indicating for each the length of time the series needs to be maintained and its disposition

An aspect of records management that determines how long records need to be kept

Retention Period
The length of time records should be kept in a certain location or form for administrative, legal, fiscal, and historical purposes


Security Copies
Additional copies created as protective measure; also known as backup copies

Source Documents
The original from which a copy is made.  In computing, a document containing information entered into a computer during data entry, an input record (Source: SAA Dictionary of Archives Terminology)

Specific Records Schedule
A retention schedule for a records within an unit of the university describing the records, the length of time to be retained, and its final disposition


Transitory Records
Information of a temporary value, regardless of medium, and has a very short-lived administrative, fiscal, or legal value.  Examples include drafts of reports and meeting reminder messages


Vital Records
Records necessary to begin recovery of the university after a disaster, as well as a record necessary to protect the assets, obligations, and resources of the university (Source:  SAA Dictionary of Archives Terminology)