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Glossary | A


30(b)(6): Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6), a corporation, partnership, association, or governmental agency is subject to the deposition process, and required to provide one or more witnesses to "testify as to matters known or reasonably available to the organization" on the topics requested by the notice. Sometimes the 30(b)(6) topics concern the discovery process itself, including procedures for preservation, collection, chain of custody, processing, review, and production. Early in the litigation, when developing a discovery plan, particularly with regard to electronic discovery, a party should be mindful of the obligation to provide one or more 30(b)(6) witnesses should the request be made by another party to the litigation, and include this contingency in the discovery plan.

Ablate: Describes the process by which laser-readable "pits" are burned into the recorded layer of optical disks, DVD-ROMs, and CD-ROMs.

Ablative: Unalterable data. See Ablate.

Acetate-base film: A safety film (ANSI Standard) substrate used to produce microfilm.

ACL (Access Control List): A security method used by Lotus Notes developers to grant varying levels of access and user privileges within Lotus Notes databases.

ACM (Association for Computing Machinery): Professional association for computer professionals with a number of resources, including a special interest group on search and retrieval. See www.acm.org.

Active Data: Information residing on the direct access storage media (disk drives or servers) that is readily visible to the operating system and/or application software with which it was created. It is immediately accessible to users without restoration or reconstruction.

Active Records: Records related to current, ongoing, or in-process activities referred to on a regular basis to respond to day-to-day operational requirements. See Inactive Records.

ADC: Analog to Digital Converter. Converts analog data to a digital format.

Address: Addresses using a number of different protocols are commonly used on the Internet. These addresses include email addresses (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or SMTP), IP (Internet Protocol) addresses and URLs (Uniform Resource Locators), commonly known as Web addresses.

ADF: Automatic Document Feeder. This is the means by which a scanner feeds a paper document.

Adware: See Spyware.

Agent: A program running on a computer that performs as instructed by a central control point to track file and operating system events and takes directed actions, such as transferring a file or deleting a local copy of a file, in response to such events.

AIIM: The Association for Information and Image Management, www.aiim.org. It focuses on ECM (enterprise content management).

Algorithm: A detailed formula or set of rules for solving a particular problem. To be an algorithm, a set of rules must be unambiguous and have a clear stopping point.

Aliasing: When computer graphics output has jagged edges or a stair-stepped, rather than a smooth, appearance when magnified. The graphics output can be smoothed using anti-aliasing algorithms.

Alphanumeric: Characters composed of letters, numbers (and sometimes non-control characters, such as @, #,

$). Excludes control characters.

Ambient Data: See Latent Data and Residual Data.

Analog: Data in an analog format is represented by continuously variable, measurable, physical quantities such as voltage, amplitude, or frequency. Analog is the opposite of digital.

Annotation: The changes, additions, or editorial comments made or applicable to a document - usually an electronic image file - using electronic sticky notes, highlighter, or other electronic tools. Annotations should be overlaid and not change the original document.

ANSI: American National Standards Institute, www.ansi.org - a private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system.

Aperture Card: An IBM punch card with a window that holds a 35mm frame of microfilm. Indexing information is punched in the card.

API (Application Programming Interface): Interface implemented by an application to enable interaction with another application. See MAPI.

Applet: a small program typically designed as an add-on to another program, allowing greater functionality for a specific purpose other than what the original program intended, e.g., a game applet for a Web browser.

Appliance: A prepackaged piece of hardware and software designed to perform a specific function on a computer network, for example, a firewall.

Application: A collection of one or more related software programs that enable an end-user to enter, store, view, modify, or extract information from files or databases. The term is commonly used in place of "program" or "software." Applications may include word processors, Internet browsing tools, spreadsheets, email clients, personal information managers (contact information and calendars), and other databases.

Application Metadata: Data created by the application specific to the ESI being addressed, embedded in the file and moved with the file when copied; copying may alter application metadata. See also Metadata.

Application Service Provider (ASP): An Internet-based organization hosting software applications on its own servers within its own facilities. Customers license the application and access it over the Internet or via a private line connection. See SaaS.

Architecture: Refers to the hardware, software or combination of hardware and software comprising a computer system or network. "Open architecture" describes computer and network components that are more readily interconnected and interoperable. "Closed architecture" describes components that are less readily interconnected and interoperable.

Archival Data: Information an organization maintains for long-term storage and record keeping purposes, but which is not immediately accessible to the user of a computer system. Archival data may be written to removable media such as a CD, magneto-optical media, tape, or other electronic storage device, or may be maintained on system hard drives. Some systems allow users to retrieve archival data directly while other systems require the intervention of an IT professional.

Archive, Electronic: Long-term repositories for the storage of records. Electronic archives preserve the content, prevent or track alterations, and control access to electronic records.

ARMA International: A not-for-profit association and recognized authority on managing records and information, both paper and electronic, www.arma.org.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): The subfield of computer science concerned with the concepts and methods of symbolic inference by computer and symbolic knowledge representation for use in making inferences - an attempt to model aspects of human thought process with computers. It is also sometimes defined as solving by computer any problem once believed to be solvable only by humans. AI is the capability of a device to perform functions that are normally associated with human intelligence, such as reasoning and optimization through experience. It attempts to approximate the results of human reasoning by organizing and manipulating factual and heuristic knowledge. Areas of AI activity include expert systems, natural language understanding, speech recognition, vision, and robotics.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange): Pronounced "ask-ee," a non-proprietary text format built on a set of 128 (or 255 for extended ASCII) alphanumeric and control characters. Documents in ASCII format consist of only text with no formatting and can be read by most computer systems.

Aspect Ratio: The relationship of the height to the width of any image. The aspect ratio of an image must be maintained to prevent distortion.

Attachment: A record or file associated with another record for the purpose of retention, transfer, processing, review, production, and routine records management. There may be multiple attachments associated with a single "parent" or "master" record. In many records and information management programs, or in a litigation context, the attachments and associated record(s) may be managed and processed as a single unit. In common use, this term often refers to a file (or files) associated with an email for retention and storage as a single Message Unit. See Document Family, Message Unit, and Unitization.

Attribute: A characteristic of data that sets it apart from other data, or property of a file aspect such as location, size, or type. The term attribute is sometimes used synonymously with "data element" or "property."

Audit Log or Audit Trail: An automated or manual set of chronological records of system activities that may enable the reconstruction and examination of a sequence of events and/or changes in an event.

Author or Originator: The person, office, or designated position responsible for an item's creation or issuance. In the case of a document in the form of a letter, the author or originator is usually indicated on the letterhead or by signature. In some cases, a software application producing a document may capture the author's identity and associate it with the document. For records management purposes, the author or originator may be designated as a person, official title, office symbol, or code.

Avatar: A graphical representation of a user in a shared virtual reality, such as Web forums or chat rooms.

AVI (Audio-Video Interleave): A Microsoft® standard for Windows animation files that interleaves audio and video to provide medium quality multimedia.

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