MoReq2 Glossary D to P

MoReq2 Glossary D to P moreq2_glossary_d_to_p


Process of eliminating […] records, beyond any possible reconstruction.

Source: ISO 15489 (see appendix 7).

Note: Depending on system configuration, this may be the same as deletion, or different from deletion.

Note: This is not intended to imply overwriting of destroyed data or other security measures. Such additional security measures can be implemented but are not required by MoReq2.


Describes information made of distinct digits or numerical values rather than continuously variable values.

Note: this term is not used in MoReq2 to describe records. Although “digital record” is more accurate than “electronic record”, the former is rarely used in practice. See electronic.

disposal hold

A rule that prevents the destruction or transfer of records.


Range of processes associated with implementing records retention, destruction or transfer decisions which are documented in retention and disposition schedules or other instruments.

Source: ISO 15489 (see appendix 7).

document (noun)

Recorded information or object which can be treated as a unit.

Source: ISO 15489 (see appendix 7).

Note: a document may be on paper, microform, magnetic or any other electronic medium. It may include any combination of text, data, graphics, sound, moving pictures or any other forms of information. A single document may consist of one or several components.

Note: documents differ from records in several important respects. MoReq2 uses the term document to mean information that has not been captured as a record, i.e. classified, registered and locked against change. The word “recorded” in the definition does not imply the characteristics of a record. However, note that some documents become records.

document type

Describes documents that share common characteristics.

Note: for example, documents with common layout, content, retention and disposition requirements, and/or metadata. Document types could include, for example:

  • application form;
  • correspondence (includes letters and faxes and memoranda);
  • curriculum vitae;
  • e-mail message;
  • invoice;
  • medical report;
  • web page.
  • Note: in this example, e-mail messages are treated differently than other correspondence, as they may have different metadata requirements; this will not be the case in every organisation.

    Note: each organisation needs to define its document types, according to its business needs; the above are purely illustrative.


    Electronic Document Management System.

    Computer-based application dealing with the management of documents throughout the document life cycle.

    Source: IEC 82045-1 Document Management.

    Note: the functionality required for EDMSs is not included in this specification. However, an EDMS is often used in tight integration with an ERMS. See section 10.3 for more details.


    For the purposes of this specification, the word “electronic” is used to mean the same as “digital”.

    Note: analogue recordings, though they may be regarded as electronic, are not considered as “electronic” for the purposes of this specification as they cannot be stored within a computer system unless they are converted to digital form. It follows that, in the terminology of this specification, analogue records can only be stored as physical records.

    electronic document

    A document which is in electronic form.

    Note: use of the term electronic document is not limited to the text-based documents typically generated by word processors. It also includes e-mail messages, spreadsheets, graphics and images, HTML/XML documents, multimedia and compound documents, and other types of office document.

    electronic record

    A record which is in electronic form.

    Note: it can be in electronic form as a result of having been created by application software or as a result of digitisation, e.g. by scanning.


    Electronic Records Management System.

    Note: ERMSs differ from EDMSs in several important respects. See section 10.3 for more details.

    export (verb)

    The process of producing a copy of electronic records, along with their metadata, for another system.

    Note: the records remain in the ERMS after export, unlike transfer.

    file (noun)

    An organised unit of records grouped together because they relate to the same subject, activity or transaction.

    Source: shortened and adapted from ISAD(G) (see appendix 7).

    Note: this is the Records Management usage of the term file. It differs from the IT usage, for which MoReq2 uses the term component.

    file format

    The internal structure and/or encoding of a record or component which allows it to be presented into human-accessible form.

    Note: examples include:

  • HTML v3.2 (a file format for web pages);
  • PDF/A v1 (an archival file format for portable documents);
  • TXT (ASCII plain text file format);
  • XML v1.0 (a file format for extensible markup language which itself relies on ASCII plain text).
  • Many proprietary file formats produced by desktop applications such as office suites.
  • format (noun)

    See file format.

    group (noun)

    A set of users.

    Note: a group may include users with the same, or different, roles. A group is sometimes used to define users’ affiliation to an organisational unit such as a department (in which case it typically will include several roles); it is sometimes used to define membership of a virtual team that crosses organisational boundaries, such as all Procurement Officers (in which case it may consist of only users with a specified role); or it may be used in other ways.


    See bulk importing.


    Optional metadata used to describe classes, files, sub-files, and records but not volumes.

    Note: it is good practice for keywords to be picked from or validated against a controlled vocabulary, or to be extracted automatically by the ERMS, but this is not mandatory.


    (in the context of records management) Data describing context, content and structure of records and their management through time.

    Source: ISO 15489 (see appendix 7).

    Note: some models are based on a different conceptual view of metadata. For example, they may treat audit trail information as being entirely metadata. These alternative views are valid and valuable in their contexts, but are not helpful in specifying the functionality of systems, and so are not considered here.

    metadata stub

    The subset of the metadata for an item that is retained after the item has been disposed of, to act as evidence that the item used to be held and has been properly disposed of.

    non-case file

    Any file that is not a case file.


    (verb) The process of creating a new file, sub-file or volume such that it can accept the addition of records.

    (adjective) Describes a file, sub-file or volume which has not yet been closed, and so is able to accept the addition of records.


    The person or role responsible for a record or aggregation.

    Note: this is the usage in MoReq2; the legal owner of a record is the organisation that holds the record.

    Note: see also custodian.

    paper file

    A kind of physical file.

    Note: examples of paper files include, among others, envelopes, box files and ring binders.


    Portable Document Format, a file format primarily for the representation of two-dimensional information.

    Note: At the time of writing, this widely used file format is proprietary to Adobe Inc., but a recent version of the format (v1.7) is under consideration as an International Standard (ISO/DIS

    32000). Inclusion of the term PDF in this glossary does not represent any form of endorsement. Extensions for the representation of three-dimensional information are under development.PDF/A

    A subset of PDF designed for archival use, as defined in the ISO 19005 series of standards.

    physical file

    A device for holding physical documents and physical records.

    Source: Adapted from PRO Functional Specification (see appendix 1).

    physical record

    A record that is held in a medium outside the ERMS, such that the record itself is not individually under the management of the ERMS.

    Note: examples include paper records, microform records, and electronic records held on removable media so long as the records are not individually managed by the ERMS.


    The manifestation of an electronic record presented by the ERMS to which a user can refer.

    Note: this may include on-screen display, printed and audio and multimedia presentations.

    Note: the exact nature of the presentation can be affected by the software and hardware environment. Typically different presentations of the same record can vary in details of font metrics, line endings and pagination, resolution, bit depth, colour space etc. In most cases these differences are acceptable. However, in some cases their potential effects have to be considered separately; these considerations are beyond the scope of this specification.

    Note: in the previous version of MoReq the term rendition was used with this meaning.


    The set of permissions allocated to a user or group or role.

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