Although the largest part of the University’s records are currently digital, there are still records that arrive at the University in paper format, or that are required to be printed and signed, and are subsequently scanned/digitised.
The following guidelines apply to all documents scanned to the University’s electronic document and records management system, TRIM, and to other business systems, including file share drives.
Preparation of paper documents for scanning
When preparing documents for scanning, care should be taken in the removal of staples, clips and other bindings. Preparation may also involve some photocopying prior to scanning. This might be necessary to increase the contrast of a faded document, or when a document is creased or damaged.
Most of the University’s network enabled scanner/photocopiers will have the technical capabilities needed for accurate scanning. Should there be a requirement to scan documents of non-standard sizes or colour intensity, or for assistance with any matter related to the specifications, please contact the Manager, University Records on 13056.
The object of digitisation is to render a true and accurate copy of the original source document. A visual inspection of all scanned images should be undertaken as part of the quality control procedures.
When scanning, note should be taken, and a record made if:
- The source document was a photocopy (where applicable)
- A stick-on note was attached (if text is obscured, separately scan the stick-on note)
- ‘Opaque paint’ was used (and where)
- The image was enhanced in any way, eg despecking, border cropping, sharpening.
- Not all pages of a document were scanned (for example large reports).
Following the digitisation process, images should be checked for:
- Image resolution – check that all text and detail on the image is legible, in particular fine or small size text, punctuation, and decimal points
- Image orientation – check that the image is upright, not skewed or incorrectly centred
- Image completeness – check that the image is not cropped or incomplete
- Dimensional accuracy – check that the dimensional information is reproduced within acceptable tolerances
- Colour fidelity – check that original colours are preserved in the image*
Any images which do not meet the required standard must be re-scanned.
Disposal of source documents
Any disposal of paper records after scanning should be recorded in a business unit procedure approved by the Manager, University Records.
If the scanned document is outgoing (i.e. an outgoing letter is printed, signed, scanned, entered in a recordkeeping system and then sent off to the addressee), no paper record needs to be retained, provided verification that the digitised images are authentic, complete and accessible, has been carried out.
If the scanned document is incoming (i.e. an incoming letter or invoice is scanned and entered in a recordkeeping system), the original paper source record needs to be retained for the period prescribed in the relevant General Disposal Schedule unless a disposal procedure has been approved by the Manager, University Records, and recorded. Such a procedure will include regulations on verification that the digitised images are authentic, complete and accessible, and a minimum retention period to ensure that the image can be rescanned should errors be detected.