Academic Year (AY): refers to a twelve-month period represented in the Dalhousie University Academic Calendar, beginning on September 1 and ending on August 31 (i.e. AY 2023/2024 covers the period from September 1, 2023 through to August 31, 2024).

Accession record: an administrative and descriptive document identifying the contents, provenance and disposition of material brought into the archives.

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 Dalhousie University.

Administrative value: the usefulness of records to originating offices for the conduct of the day-to-day business of Dalhousie University.

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. 

Calendar Year (CY): refers to a twelve-month period that begins on January 1 and ends on December 31 (i.e. CY 2023 covers the period from January 1, 2023 through to December 31, 2023)

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.

Email: messages, including attachments, sent and received electronically between personal computers or terminals linked by communications facilities. This includes address information (to, from, cc, bc, subject and date) and the message content.

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).

Fiscal Year (FY): refers to a twelve-month period that begins on April 1 and ends on March 31 (i.e. FY 2023-24 covers the period from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024)

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP): the Act strives for balance between an individual’s right to know and an individual’s right to privacy. For more information, go to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. For more information regarding FOIPOP and Dalhousie, click here.  

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 Dalhousie University 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.

Operational Value: the usefulness of records related to the mandate, role or mission of Dalhousie University by documenting the duties, responsibilities, functions, activities and services performed.

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

Personal Information: recorded information about an identifiable individual as defined by Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. 1993.c5 

Primary copies or official copies: copies of the creator or the official stakeholder. They generally contain the most complete information on a given subject.

Records inventory: a survey of records to determine the size, scope and intricacy of a department’s records. It should include the name of the records series, inclusive dates, types of records, quantity and how they are arranged and described.

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 missions of the university (e.g., Academic Affairs, Research, etc.) and by the administrative activities that support these missions (e.g., Human Resources, Financial Resources, etc.). 

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.

Selective retention by Archives: process completed by the University Archives to identity the historical value of records. 

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).