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Secretariat

Glossary

Active records:  records in current use that need to be accessed frequently in the course of conducting office or departmental business.

Administrative records: records that document the functions of administrative matters at UFV.

Appraisal: the process of determining the value and thus the disposition of documents based on their current administrative, legal and fiscal value; their arrangement; their medium and format; their condition and future preservation; their accessibility and their relationship to other documents.

Archives: records retained for their historical or enduring value that document the history and development of the university. Also refers to the part of the building in which archives are preserved and made available for consultation. 

Records classification plan: a system for organizing records. It defines what category a records belongs to and assigns a number or other identifier to facilitate filing and retrieval.

Destruction: the process of physically eliminating or deleting records beyond any possible reconstruction (source ISO 15489:2001).

Disposal: the final action on records that have reached the end of their retention period. Records may be destroyed or sent to a records storage area or Archives.

Disposition: the action taken with records that are no longer required for current business. Actions may include digitizing, duplication, shredding, recycling or transfer to a storage site or Archives. 

Electronic records: records created or received in a digital format, which require a computer or other device to read, perceive or hear.

Files: the smallest conceptual unit of aggregated documents. Files typically relate to one subject or one sub-activity. A file in the physical or analog environment is a collection of related records grouped together usually in reverse chronological order. In the digital environment, a named set of records stored or processed as a unit electronically (Source: ARMA, Glossary of Records and Information Management Terms).

Historical value: the usefulness of records for historical research concerning an organization’s functions and development, or for information about persons, places or events.

Inactive (and semi-active) records: records needed infrequently or never for operational use. but which must be retained for a specific period to meet statutory, fiscal or other requirements.

Information security: the process of preserving the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information; in addition, other properties such as authenticity, accountability, non-repudiation and reliability can also be involved (source: ISO/IEC 17799:2005).

Legal value: the value of a record for legal purposes, such as protecting the rights of an organization and of individuals associated with Dalhousie. 

Life cycle: the life span of a record from its creation or receipt to its final disposition.

Master record: the original record that pertains to the history, operations and administrative and/or financial activities of UFV as whole. 

Office of primary responsibility (OPR): the university office considered primarily responsible for the maintenance of the official university record. See also primary copies or official copies.

Office of secondary responsibility (OSR): the university office or administrative unit considered responsible for the transit of official records to OPRs and which uses secondary copies to support its own unit operations. 

Operational records: records that document the specific mandate or activities of the office. These records are unique to the office as indicated by the mandate of that office.

Permanent records: records considered to have enduring administrative, legal, fiscal or historical value and thus must be retained and preserved indefinitely.

Personal Information (PI): recorded information about an identifiable individual as defined by Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Records management: the systematic control of all records, regardless of media format, from initial creation to final disposition.

Records series: groups of related records supporting and documenting a function, activity or related tasks and transactions that are used, filed and disposed of in a similar fashion. Series are determined primarily by the functions of the university and by the administrative activities that support these missions.

Record: information, regardless of format or medium, which is created, received, and maintained by the university and which provides evidence of its transactions or activities. It is recorded information, regardless of physical form or characteristics, created and maintained by the office, department or individual in pursuance of its mission, its legal obligations or in the transaction of business.

Retention rationale: explanation of the underlying principles behind the retention periods based on legislation, regulation, anticipated operational use and/or current practice.

Retention: the length of time that records are active and required to be kept in the custody of the responsible unit.

Transitory records: records required for a limited time to complete a routine action. They are used in the preparation of final records or are retained as information or convenience copies by offices or individuals who do not have responsibility for them.

Unit: an operational entity of the university that functions independently or within an organizational umbrella of a larger department or faculty. 

University administrative records: records (regardless of format or medium) that support the administration of the university and are created, received, used or maintained by members of the university community in the course of activities undertaken on behalf of, or in the course of employment duties to, the university. 

Vital records: records that are indispensable to a mission-critical business operation or a record identified as essential for the continuation of an organization during or following a disaster. Such records are required to recreate the organization’s legal and financial status and to support the rights and obligations of employees, customers, shareholders and citizens (source: Making the Transition from Paper to Electronic, David O. Stephens, ARMA International, 2007).

Glossary adpated from Dalhouse University.

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