Records Management

Definitions (What Is?)

Q: What is a record?

A: “Records” includes any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including an electronic record as defined in section 1306.01 of the Ohio Revised Code, created or received by or coming under the jurisdiction of any public office of the state or its political subdivisions, which serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office.” (The Ohio Public Records Act)

Q: What is the difference between a permanent record and an archival record?

A: Some archivists may distinguish permanent records from archives, the former representing records still in the hands of the records creators before transfer to the archives. In the vernacular, "archives" is often used to refer to any collection of documents that are old or of historical interest, regardless of how they are organized; in this sense, the term is synonymous with permanent records. (The Society of American Archivists Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology).

Q: How is an archival record determined?

A: Archival records are identified by the Records Retention Schedule or by the University Archivist usually in consultation with the records creator. The retention schedule designates some records as archival or potentially archival with the wording "Review for continuing historical value and potential transfer to institutional Archives" or a variation of this wording. These records are possibly archival and may need transferred to University Archives for permanent retention and preservation.

Q: What is a current record (also known as an active record)?

A: Records that continue to be used with sufficient frequency to justify keeping them in the office of creation (The Society of American Archivists Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology).

Q: What is a non-current record (also known as an inactive record)?

A: Records that are no longer used in the day-to-day course of business, but which are preserved and occasionally used for legal, historical, or operational purposes. Either they may be destroyed when their frequency of use falls so low that they have lost all value or they may be transferred to an archival repository for permanent retention (The Society of American Archivists Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology).

Q: What is an archival record (also referred to as permanent or historical records)?

A: Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs that are preserved because of the enduring value contained in the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator. Archival records may be in any format, including text on paper or in electronic formats, photographs, motion pictures, videos, sound recordings. In general, records with archival value are estimated to make up only three to five percent of an organization's records. (The Society of American Archivists Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology).

Q: What is a non-permanent record (also known as non-archival records)?

A: Records that do not have sufficient permanent, archival, or historical value to warrant the long-term preservation in an archives.

Q: What is an information copy (also referred to as a reference copy or personal copy)?

A: A copy of a record distributed to make recipients aware of the content, but not directing the recipient to take any action on the matter. Information copies are often considered to be non-records, having only ephemeral value. Because information copies are duplicates of the record copy, some retention schedules allow them to be disposed of at any time without authorization ( The Society of American Archivists Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology).

Q: What is a non-record?

A: A non-record is any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, created or received that DOES NOT serve to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office. Non-records may include, but are not limited to: personal correspondence; non-university publications; Listserv® materials; junk mail/spam; product catalogs; journals, books, other library materials; and faculty papers (Faculty papers are the property of the faculty member, not the university and as such are not university records; however, in some cases the University Archives may be interested in collecting faculty papers.) (Records Retention for Public Colleges and Universities in Ohio: A Manual, Inter-University Council of Ohio, May 2009 Revision)

Q: What is a life cycle?

A: The distinct phases of a record's existence, from creation to final disposition. (The Society of American Archivists Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology).

Q: What is a retention schedule (also known as disposal schedule, records schedule, records retention schedule, transfer schedule)?

A: A document that identifies and describes an organization's records, usually at the series level, and provides instructions for the disposition of records throughout their life cycle (The Society of American Archivists Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology). By Board of Trustee Rule 3359-11-11, The University of Akron has adopted the Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC) Records Retention Schedule. This is the only schedule used by The University of Akron to determine records disposition.

Q: What is a transient record (also called a transitory record)?

A: Transient or transitory records have a very short-lived administrative, legal or fiscal value and should be disposed in an appropriate manner once that administrative, legal or fiscal use has expired, providing there is no legal hold. Typically the retention is not a fixed period of time and is event driven; it maybe a short as a few hours and could be as long as several days or weeks. Transient/transitory records may include, but are not limited to: preliminary drafts (when superseded), memoranda (paper-based or email) pertaining to scheduling an event, documents designated as superseded or as-updated user copies (not original document), and routing slips (Records Retention for Public Colleges and Universities in Ohio: A Manual, Inter-University Council of Ohio, May 2009 Revision)

Records Management

225 South Main Street.
Akron, OH 44325
Polsky Building, Room LL10
Main Phone 330-972-8182
Fax: 330-972-6170
E-mail:
recordsmanagement@uakron.edu


The University of Akron