Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is records management?
A: Records management is the field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including the processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records (ISO 15489: 2001 standard).
Q: Who is responsible for records management at UA?
A: Archives and Special Collections, per Board of Trustee Rule 3359-11-11 is responsible for the University’s records management program.
Q: How do I transfer records to Archives and Special Collections?
A: Refer to the Records Transfer Guidelines and Forms for information about transferring records to Archives and Special Collections.
Q: How do I order records storage boxes?
A: Refer to the Records Transfer Guidelines for information about ordering records storage boxes.
Q: How do I know how long I need to retain my records?
Q: How do I know if my records should be destroyed or transferred to University Archives for permanent retention?
A: Those records designated in the Records Retention Schedule as "review for continuing administrative historical value and potential transfer to institutional archives" or some variation of this wording may need transferred to University Archives for permanent retention and preservation. Appendix A of the Collection Development Policy also provides guidance. Please contact the University Archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-972-6253 or University Records Manager, at email@example.com or 330-972-8182 to discuss these records or for further questions.
Q: How do I schedule a training session?
Q: Who is my area's designated records coordinator?
Q: What is a record?
A: "Record" 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. (ORC 149.011 (G)).
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 Dictionary of Archives 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. Please contact the University Archivist at 330-972-6253 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to have the records reviewed.
Q: What is an active record (also known as a current record)?
A: Records that continue to be used with sufficient frequency to justify keeping them in the office of creation are considered active (The Society of American Archivists Dictionary of Archives Terminology).
Q: What is a noncurrent 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 Dictionary of Archives 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, and/or 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 Dictionary of Archives Terminology)
Q: What is a temporary record (also known as a disposable record)?
A: A record of ephemeral value that can be destroyed immediately or after a specified time period.
Temporary records are distinguished from permanent records, which must be kept indefinitely. (The Society of American Archivists Dictionary of Archives Terminology)
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 Dictionary of Archives 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.
Different models identify different stages. All models include creation or receipt, use, and disposition. Some models distinguish between active and inactive use, and between destruction and archival preservation. (The Society of American Archivists Dictionary of Archives 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 Dictionary of Archives Terminology). By Board of Trustee Rule 3359-11-11, The University of Akron has adopted the UA 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).