Scanning and Disposal Process for Imaged Records

1. Purpose

The purpose of this guide is to assist all members of the University community who digitise paper records to implement sound records management practices relating to the destruction of original paper records which have been successfully digitised through scanning and capture in the University's record keeping system TRIM or a digital record compliant system.

Download the Scanning and Disposal Process for Imaged Records Guide (doc).

2. Scope

Original records that are excluded from this guide and are NOT to be disposed of after digitisation:

  1. Records that are subject to a Government policy or directive not to be destroyed
  2. Original artworks - refer these to archive services for appraisal
  3. Original proclamations, charters, testimonials and intergovernmental agreements or treaties
  4. Records that are subject to current or pending legal proceedings
  5. Records that are subject to current requests for information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 or the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998
  6. Records that are required as State archives that were created or received prior to January 1st 2000

Prior to destruction of Imaged Records, staff must ensure that records considered for destruction under GDA36 - General Disposal Authority - Imaged Records, are covered by a current, approved General Disposal Authority.

3. References

  • State Records NSW General Disposal Authority 36 - Imaged Records
  • State Records NSW General Disposal Authority 33 - Source records that have been migrated
  • State Records Standard on digital recordkeeping
  • Records Management Policy

4. Capture Requirement

TRIM or a record compliant system must be used to capture official imaged records and the associated recordkeeping metadata relating to the records. This will facilitate record integrity, preservation and retrieval.

Scanning of images must be done using software and hardware that comply with the NSW State Records minimum requirement for imaging records. This will ensure imaged records are a true and exact copy of an original. If the minimum requirements are not met we are not permitted to dispose of the original records.

5. Sensitivity

5.1 Security Controls

Staff must ensure that the appropriate security controls are applied to scanned images to protect the sensitivity of information. Access to records/images within TRIM is directed by the security level associated to the files and through the use of Groups and Access rights.

Staff are reminded that imaged/scanned documents inherit the same security level as the originals.

5.2 "Read Only" Controls

Staff are required to use only approved image formats. Approved image formats include Portable Document Format (PDF) and Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) for scanned/imaged records as these provide 'read only' controls ensuring data integrity and accessibility.

6. Quality

6.1 Technical Considerations - Recommended Resolution

Staff must observe the following recommended technical guidelines when scanning images into TRIM.

Document Type Resolution Bit Depth File Formats Compression
Text only, black and white Minimum 300ppi 1 bit (bi-tonal)
  • TIFF
  • PDF, or
  • PDF/A
Lossless compression
Documents with watermarks, grey shading, grey graphics Minimum 600ppi 8 bit greyscale
  • TIFF
  • PDF
  • JPEG, or
  • PDF/A
Lossless compression
Documents with discrete colour used in text or diagrams Minimum 600ppi Minimum: 8 bit colour
  • TIFF
  • JPEG
  • PDF, or
  • PDF/A
Lossless compression
Black and white photographs Sufficient to provide >3000 pixels across long dimensions 8 bit greyscale
  • TIFF
  • JPEG
  • PDF, or
  • PDF/A
Lossless compression
Colour photographs Sufficient to provide >3000 pixels across long dimensions 24 bit colour
  • TIFF
  • JPEG
  • PDF, or
  • PDF/A
Lossless compression
Black and white negatives Sufficient to provide >3000 pixels across long dimensions 8 bit greyscale or 24 bit colour
  • TIFF
  • JPEG
  • PDF, or
  • PDF/A
Lossless compression
Colour negatives and transparencies Sufficient to provide >3000 pixels across long dimensions 24 bit colour
  • TIFF
  • JPEG
  • PDF, or
  • PDF/A
Lossless compression

6.2 Quality Control Imaging Process

Industry standards for imaging recommend quality control measures including:

  • the issue of certificates verifying the integrity of the copying process, particularly when it is done by an external organisation
  • periodic testing and cleaning of scanning equipment
  • careful preparation of the documents to be scanned, for example, to ensure they are not folded, obscuring information
  • random sampling of pages scanned to check quality. For large volumes, samples of 5-10% are acceptable. This quality checking to examine:
    • smallest detail legibly captured (e.g. smallest type size for text; clarity of punctuation marks, including decimal points);
    • completeness of detail (e.g. acceptability of broken characters, missing segments of lines);
    • dimensional accuracy compared with the original;
    • scanner-generated speckle (i.e. speckle not present on the original);
    • completeness of overall image area (i.e. missing information at the edges of the image area);
    • density of solid black areas; and
    • colour fidelity.

6.3 Standard Format

The standard format for imaged records is PDF. PDF is a digital format that has become the standard for the exchange and storage of data. PDF files may be created natively in PDF form, converted from other electronic formats, or digitised from paper, microfilm or other hard copy formats. TIFF is a digital format that is widely supported. TIFF files are commonly used in desktop publishing, facing, 3-D applications and medical imaging applications.

6.4 Image Enchancement

To ensure the integrity of images any image enhancement undertaken must be noted and registered in the notes section of the document type within TRIM. This includes enhancements such as:

  • Despecking
  • Deskewing
  • Crop Border
  • Invert Images
  • Smoothing/Sharpening
  • Colour correction

6.5 Conditions for the Disposal of Imaged Records

To comply with legal requirements when destroying imaged records, staff must ensure that;

  1. All requirements for retaining originals have been assessed and fulfilled (refer to Scope page 1).
  2. The original paper record must be placed in a TRIM registered Archival Box for Quality control/Disaster Recovery purposes.
  3. Originals are kept (in the business unit) for quality control purposes for one month after copying proving that all quality checks have been made within this period and there are no legal or pending legal requirements to retain them for longer.
  4. Originals should be kept to allow time for any errors to be detected and to allow re-scanning.
  5. Disposal of any records under GDA24 should be in accordance with current University disposal procedures. These include:
    • Completing a 'Record Destruction Authorisation Form' and forwarding this to the Records Management Office for approval;
    • Notifying the Records Management Office how and when the records were destroyed include a destruction certificate if an external company is used to destroy the records.
  6. Copies are made which are authentic - the product of routine, authorised copying and registration processes.
  7. Copies are made which are complete - an accurate, legible reproduction of the original, without substantive changes or deletions of content.
  8. Copies are made which are accessible - available and readable to all those with a right to access it, for as long as it is required.
  9. Copies are kept for the authorised retention period.

Under the existing legal framework in New South Wales:

  • there is no barrier to public sector organisations tendering digital images of records as evidence for legal proceedings, for GIPA applications or for other evidentiary purposes,
  • under the Evidence Act 1995, an 'original' is not automatically regarded as better evidence than copies, including those made and kept by electronic means,
  • the value of a record as evidence will, however, depend on how it has been created and kept, and organisations need to be prepared to show how they have protected images from tampering or loss.