The Sedona Conference® Glossary, 3rd Edition, Copyright © 2010, Reprinted with permission.
Backbone: The top level of a hierarchical network. It is the main channel along which data is transferred.
Backfiles: Existing paper or microfilm files.
Backup: To create a copy of active data as a precaution against the loss or damage of the original data. Many users backup their files, and most computer networks utilize automatic backup software to make regular copies of some or all of the data on the network.
Backup Data: An exact copy of active ESI that serves as a source for recovery in the event of a system problem or disaster. Backup Data is generally stored separately from Active Data on portable media. Backup Data is distinct from Archival Data in that Backup Data may be a copy of Active Data, but the more meaningful difference is the method and structure of storage that impacts its suitability for certain purposes.
Backup Tape: Magnetic tape used to store copies of ESI, for use when restoration or recovery is required. Backup tapes typically use data compression, which increases restoration time and expense, given the lack of uniform standards governing data compression.
Backup Tape Recycling: Describes the process whereby an organization’s backup tapes are overwritten with new data, usually on a fixed schedule determined jointly by records management, legal, and IT sources. For example, the use of nightly backup tapes for each day of the week with the daily backup tape for a particular day being overwritten on the same day the following week; weekly and monthly backups being stored offsite for a specific period of time before being placed back in the rotation.
Bandwidth: The amount of data a network connection can accommodate in a given period of time. Bandwidth is usually stated in kilobits per second (kbps), megabits per second (mps), or gigabytes per second (gps).
Bar Code: A small pattern of vertical lines or dots that can be read by a laser or an optical scanner. In records management and electronic discovery, bar codes may be affixed to specific records for indexing, tracking, and retrieval purposes.
Batch File: A batch file is a set of one or more instructions that are created in a computer program to perform a particular type of computer system function (.BAT is the DOS batch file extension).
Batch Processing: The processing of a large amount of ESI in a single step.
Bates Number: Sequential numbering used to track documents and images in production data sets, where each page or file is assigned a unique production number. Often used in conjunction with a suffix or prefix to identify a producing party, the litigation, or other relevant information. See also Production Number.
Baud Rate: The number of times per second a communications channel changes the carrier signal it sends on a phone line. A 2400-baud modem changes the signal 2400 times a second.
Bayesian: Refers to the statistical approach of Thomas Bayes, an 18th century mathematician and clergyman. Bayes published a theorem that describes how to calculate conditional probabilities from the combinations of observed events and prior probabilities. Many information retrieval systems implicitly or explicitly use Bayes’ probability rules to compute the likelihood that a document is relevant to a query.
BBS (Bulletin Board System): A computer system or service that users access to participate in electronic discussion groups, post messages, and/or download files.
BCS: Boston Computer Society, one of the first associations of PC/Apple users (one of the largest and most active).
Beginning Document Number or BegDoc#: A unique number identifying the first page of a document or a number assigned to identify a native file.
Bibliographical/Objective Coding: Manually recording objective information from documents such as date, authors/recipients/carbon copies, blind copies, and associating the information with a specific document. See Coding and Indexing.
Binary: The Base 2 numbering system used in digital computing that represents all numbers using combinations of zero and one.
BIOS (Basic Input Output System): The set of user-independent computer instructions stored in a computer’s ROM, immediately available to the computer when the computer is turned on. BIOS information provides the code necessary to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives, and communication ports in addition to handling certain miscellaneous functions.
Bit: Binary digit – the smallest unit of computer data. A bit consists of either 0 or 1. There are eight bits in a byte. See Byte.
Bitmap: A Bitmap provides information on the placement and color of individual bits, as well as allows the creation of characters or images by creating a picture composed of individual bits (pixels).
Bit Stream Backup: A sector-by-sector/bit-by-bit copy of a hard drive. A Bit Stream Backup is an exact copy of a hard drive, preserving all latent data in addition to the files and directory structures. Bit Stream Backup may be created using applications such as Encase, SnapBack, and Ghost. See Forensic Copy.
Bitonal: A bitonal image uses only black and white.
BMP: A Windows file format for storing bitmap images.
BMS (BlackBerry® Messaging Service): A text message protocol for use between two or more BlackBerry® devices and addressed using the devices PIN, a unique address assigned to all BlackBerrys®. May also be referred to as BBM.
Bookmark: A stored link to a Web site or page previously visited.
Boolean Search: Boolean Searches use logical operators such as “and”, “or,” and “not” to include or exclude terms from a search. See Natural Language Search.
Boot: To start up or reset a computer.
Boot Sector/Record: See Master Boot Sector/Record and Volumn Boot Sector/Record.
BPI (Bits Per Inch): A unit of measure of data densities in disk and magnetic tape systems.
bps (bits per second): A measurement of the rate of data transfer. See Bandwidth.
Broadband: Commonly used in the context of high bandwidth Internet access made available through a variety of quickly evolving technologies; the ability to divide bandwidth for sharing by multiple simultaneous signals increases transmission speed. Total available bandwidth may vary among providers.
Brontobyte: 1,024 yottabytes. See Byte.
Browser: An application, such as Internet Explorer or Safari, used to view and navigate the World Wide Web and other Internet resources.
Burn: The process of creating a copy of information onto a CD, DVD, or other storage media.
Bus: A parallel circuit that connects the major components of a computer, allowing the transfer of electric impulses from one connected component to any other.
Business Process Outsourcing (“BPO”): Business process outsourcing occurs when an organization turns over the management of a business function, such as accounts payable, purchasing, payroll, or information technology, to a third party.
Byte (Binary Term): A Byte is the basic measurement of most computer data and consists of 8 bits. Computer storage capacity is generally measured in bytes. Although characters are stored in bytes, a few bytes are of little use for storing a large amount of data. Therefore, storage is measured in larger increments of bytes. See Kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte, Terabyte, Petabyte, Exabyte, Zettabyte, Yottabyte, Brontobyte, and Geopbyte (listed here in order of increasing volume).