Document Imaging

Imaging Logo

Document imaging is the conversion of paper-based documents to digital images, making them readily accessible, thereby enhancing the business processes and workflows of our departments and units on campus. The Ohio Electronic Records Committee established guidelines in 2000 (revised 2003) regarding document imaging best practices. This guidance can be found at's Document Imaging web-page. There is nothing in Ohio state law or regulations that prohibits a public agency from disposing of the original paper records once they have been imaged, however, before embarking on a document imaging project and/or disposing of converted records the University Archives suggests that OSU departments and units consider the following:

  • Ask yourself, "Why do we or are we imaging our documents?"
    • Best answer: "We are trying to make our records more accessible and enhancing our business processes."
    • Worst answer: "We have a storage problem." Document imaging is a very expensive way of solving a storage problem; there are other lower cost solutions.
  • Ask yourself, "What documents are we imaging?"
    • Good answer: "Records that have a high reference value."
    • Bad answer: "Records that are destined for destruction shortly, or should have already been destroyed."
  • Prior to the destruction of any converted documents (and preferably prior to embarking upon a document imaging project), please draft an imaging system polices/procedures document for University Archives review. It should identify:
    • the governance of the project
    • the records being imaged
    • the records series and retention time for the records being imaged
    • the hardware/software being utilized for imaging
    • a brief step-by-step description of the actual process (i.e. a “How To”)
    • scanning resolution and file format
    • how the records will be index for retrieval and ultimate destruction
    • the quality control process (operator and supervisory)
    • back-up and data recovery plans
    • the redaction process for private information (FERPA, HIPAA, et al)
    • a buffer time, post-imaging before the paper records will be destroyed
    • how the paper records will be destroyed in a manner that maintains confidentiality.
    • that imaged records must be destroyed and a Certificate of Records Destruction submitted at the end of their life, per the retention schedule