HBP Part 20.8. Records Management Terminology

Handbook of Business Procedures

Date published: October 23, 2012
Last revised: May 23, 2023
Issued by: Records Management Service


Archival (also known as archival requirement). Records that have historical value are identified in The University of Texas at Austin Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS) with a requirement for archival review or transfer to archives. Record series marked with archival review codes "I" or "O" in the Archival column must be transferred or evaluated for archival preservation, and Records and Information Management Services (RIMS) must be contacted to begin the appropriate process.

I – transfer. The records must be transferred to the university archives when they are no longer needed in the department and the retention period has been met.
O – review. The university archivist must review records before disposal. Some or all of the records in a record series may be selected for transfer to the archives in lieu of destruction once the retention period has been met or the record is no longer used by the department.

For more information, refer to 20.2.3. Archival Requirements.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Code of Federal Regulations are regulations of federal agencies adopted under authority of laws enacted by the United States Congress.

confidential records. Any state record to which public access is or may be restricted or denied under the Public Information Act, Chapter 552, or other state or federal law. For more information, refer to 20.7. Records that Contain Controlled or Confidential Information – General Information.

controlled records. Records that do not meet the legal definition for confidential records but contain information that should only be available through a request for public information.

convenience copy. Any copy of a master record created for the purpose of reference or research. If a convenience copy is kept after the master record has been destroyed, the convenience copy becomes the master record. For more information, refer to 20.6.1. Master Records and 20.6.2. Convenience Copies.

disposition request control number. The control number is assigned by the records management officer (RMO) to authorize a Request to Dispose of Records Form and is included in the letter of authorization sent by the RMO to the department. The control number is in the format DRYY-XXX; the Y numbers reference the year the approval was granted; the XXX number is the sequential number of the request. The control number must be included by the department when notifying RIMS that the records have been transferred to archives or destroyed.

final disposition (also known as disposition, disposal, disposed of). The end stage of the lifecycle of a record. Final disposition of a record is either the transfer of the record to archives or the destruction of the record.

lifecycle (also known as records or information lifecycle). The entire process that composes the stages of the creation, use, retention, and final disposition of a record.

master record (also known as master copy, official record, state record, or university record). The master record is the record that is retained, subject to university requirements and disposition policies. For more information, refer to 20.2.2. How to Use The University of Texas at Austin Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS). When the same record serves different business purposes in two or more departments, each department must manage the record as a master record. This is known as dual master records. For more information, refer to 20.6.1. Master Records.

record series. A category of related records that have a similar purpose and the same retention period, e.g., payment vouchers for travel, payroll, purchasing, etc.

record series title. A description of the type of records for which retention requirements are being set. A broad or general title is chosen to include records with similar functions that have the same retention requirements.

records management officer (RMO). The person appointed to administer the university records management program. Responsibilities include:

  • developing records management procedures and policy
  • providing training for all university staff
  • developing and maintaining the university records retention schedule
  • overseeing and authorizing disposition of university records and maintaining the disposition log

responsive records. The set of records that responds to a request, whether for public information or for a discovery request.

retention code. The first two characters of the retention period that specify when to begin calculating retention. Retention codes are listed in The University of Texas at Austin Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS).

AC – after close (of event). The record is related to a function or activity with a finite closure date that is defined in the AC Definition field, which indicates the trigger event, e.g., AC = termination of employment, graduation, or publication of report.
AV – as long as administratively valuable. The department determines when the purpose for which the record was created has been fulfilled and any subsequent business need for the record has been satisfied. Information about record series with AV retention designation must be included in the department’s records management plan.
CE – calendar year-end. December 31.
FE – fiscal year-end. August 31.
LA – life of asset. The record is retained until the disposal of the asset.
PM – permanent. The record must be preserved permanently by the university.
US – until superseded. The record is retained until it is replaced by an updated version.

retention period. The length of time a record must be retained before destruction or archival preservation. The retention period may be stated in conjunction with a retention code that determines when the retention period begins. Retention periods are listed in The University of Texas at Austin Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS). This may be expressed as years, months (MO), or as a retention code plus a number of years, e.g., FE+3. Note: All numbers used with retention periods are expressed in years unless otherwise indicated. 

retention requirement. Retention requirement composes retention period, archival review or transfer requirements, or other retention instructions for a record series.

state item number. State item numbers (e.g., 2.1.002 Master Files) are assigned to the State of Texas Records Retention Schedule (RRS) by the State and Local Records Management Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. When a UT item corresponds with a state item, the state item number appears in the State Item column of The University of Texas at Austin Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS).

state record (also referred to as university record, official record, or master record). Recorded information created or received in the conduct of official university business. State records include (1) a record that is created or maintained by the university and (2) a record that is created or maintained for the university, and the university owns the information or has a right of access to it, e.g., a state record in the possession of a private contractor to the university.

Texas Administrative Code (TAC). The Texas Administrative Code comprises regulations adopted by state agencies under authority of laws enacted by the Texas Legislature.

Texas Government Code (TGC). The Texas Government Code comprises statutes enacted by the Texas Legislature.

transitory information. Records of temporary usefulness that are not an integral part of a record series of an agency, are not regularly filed within an agency’s recordkeeping system, and are required only for a limited period of time for the completion of an action by an official or employee of the agency. A record must not be classified as transitory information if it can be listed as part of another record series. For more information, refer to 20.6.3. Transitory Information Records.

The University of Texas at Austin Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS). The UTRRS is a list of all of the records created in the course of university business and provides requirements for how they must be retained before final disposition. The retention periods given in the UTRRS are required minimums and are also recommended as appropriate maximum retention periods.

UT item. The UT item is an alphanumeric code (e.g., AALL025, REG329) assigned by The University of Texas at Austin records management officer (RMO). The UT item is composed of a UT item prefix and a set of three numbers to identify the record series. For more information, refer to UT Item Codes.

UT item prefix. The UT item prefix is a two-, three-, or four-letter prefix that is combined with three numbers to form the UT item in The University of Texas at Austin Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS). The prefix shows which university department creates this unique record series in the course of its programs and activities. For more information, refer to UT Item Codes.

vital records. Vital records are essential to resume operations and recreate the legal and financial status of the university in the event of an emergency or disaster. Vital records are not necessarily permanent records. Vital records may be disposed when all retention requirements have been met. 


Part 20. Records Management - Table of Contents