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Document and data management glossary of terms

Access Rights

A security mechanism that lets the system administrator determine which objects (documents, folders etc) each user can open, view or edit. Access rights can be set for individuals or groups.

Audit Trail

Electronic methods of tracking access and change to a document, record or system.

Bar Code

A bar code is a small line pattern which can be read by an optical scanner. The bar code refers to a unique record in a database. Bar code recognition is designed to increase the speed at which documents can be scanned and archived.

Back Scan

A back scan refers to the scanning of a document archive, often done to get a company up to date with their scanning so they can scan daily moving forward.


BPO stands for Business Process Outsourcing. In simple terms this means outsourcing time-consuming jobs or processes to a third party.

Data Capture

The process of capturing data from a document to work with it later.

Digital Mailroom

The automation of selected incoming mail items. Using a combination of document scanning and data capture, mail can be digitised, classified and routed accordingly.

Document Management Software

Document management software allows the organisation to store, manage and track all its documents.


DocuWare is an industry leading document management software product. In use by over 100,000 organisations worlwide with offices in the UK, Germany, USA, France and Spain.


Duplex refers to scanning both sides of a document simultaneously.


EDMS stands for Electronic Document Management System.


ERMS stands for Electronic Records Management System.


A file contains one or more paper documents but could also contain electronic documents.

Forms Processing

Forms processing simply means data is captured from pre-defined fields on a form or document. The data is normally entered onto the fields by humans (a good example is a multiple-choice test with a box to tick), this data is then read by the scanner.


FTP stands for file transfer protocol, SFTP stands for secure file transfer protocol. Both represent the transfer method of data from one computer or server to another.


GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. It is a file format that images can be saved in although rarely used for scanning purposes.


Intelligent Character Recognition is a process in which a document image is converted to coded text i.e. ASCII or a text file.


A digital representation of a document or graphic. Normally stored as a PDF or JPG.


Indexing is the process of associating or tagging documents with different search terms. As an example, you may wish to search for an invoice by number, vendor name, or date. The power of indexing is made apparent when a search is made for the document later.


JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and is often shortened to JPG. It is one of the most common file formats for compressed images.


Metadata is the data associated with documents to the information on their contents and context.


Optical Character Recognition. OCR is a technique used to analyse images and recognise the alphanumeric characters within the image. These characters can then be extracted and converted to an image or document.


Portable Document Format. Invented by Adobe it is an open standard for electronic document exchange. PDF is the most common format for scanned documents to be saved to.


Prep or preparation refers to the work done to documents ahead of the actual scanning. This could be as straightforward as just straightening up the documents to get them ready to go into the scanner. In most cases prep involves removing staples, paper clips, turning pages around the right way and splitting files into logical groups. It is an essential step ahead of scanning and ensures quality from the start.


QC stands for quality control. We build in quality control steps at numerous points throughout our process.


A record is any piece of information created, received and maintained by an organisation.

Retention Period

The length of time a record must be kept for before it can legally be destroyed.


A device for converting paper documents to a digital form i.e. a JPG or PDF.


Tagged Image File Format. A file format often used for scanned images.


In document management applications - the ability to track new versions of documents after changes have been made.


Workflow is the process of organising business processes as a controlled sequence of activities.


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