Student Records: transcripts, degree verification, etc.
Call (208)282-2661

Search This Site:
Advanced Search
April 23, 2015 (Website Under Construction)

All About a Record

What is a Record?

A record is recorded information, in any form, including data in computer systems, created or received and maintained by an organization or person [at or near the time of] the transaction of business or the conduct of affairs and kept as evidence of such activity. A record can exist in a number of formats, including various sizes of paper (original or photocopy), microfilm or any microform, electronic media, optical disk media, CD, mylar, sepia, blueline, photograph, audio and video tape, punched cards, books, and maps.

What is a Public Record?

A "Public record" includes, but is not limited to, any writing containing information relating to the conduct and administration of the public's business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics. (Idaho Code, 9-337.12)

Writing, as a public record.

"Writing" includes, but is not limited to: handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing and every means of recording, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums or other documents. (Idaho Code, 9-337.14)

What are "education records"?

Education records are defined by FERPA as any record (written, printed, taped, filmed, etc.) maintained by the institution that is directly related to a student except for (1) personal notes kept in the maker's sole possession, (2) certain campus law enforcement records, (3) alumni records, and (4) certain medical records used only for treatment purposes. Thus, with few exceptions, almost any record that is made on this campus about a student must be handled in compliance with FERPA.

Are the files on my computer records?

This is a broad, but common question. Computer-based records, or electronic records, are the fastest growing type of record today. To answer this question reliably requires knowledge of the content and purpose of a given file. Knowing what the file contains, or what it is about, determines its classification as a record, not whether or not it is on a hard drive, a server, a CD-ROM, or other storage device.

What is the difference between a historic record, an archival record, and a permanent record?

These are closely related concepts. Historic records are those that institutions have determined have significance due to their ability to document the history of the organization. An archival record is material determined to have permanent value, due to standards of practice (transcripts), significance (building floorplans), or legal requirements (lawsuits). A permanent record is one with a life span in excess of 50 or more years, due to the preservation and management requirements associated with maintaining them. In some states, records with a retention over 25 years are considered permanent, although they have an eventual destruction.

Which records are considered Vital?

Records essential to:

When is a document or a file a non-record?

Duplicate copies of final reports, printouts or copies of permanent files made for reference, distribution copies of a publication, or routing copies of a memo or letter are all considered "non-records". Material acquired solely for the purpose of reference, that is, copies of other institutions' course catalog, programs from meetings, etc., are also non-records. It should be noted that often, due to carelessness, a distribution copy (non-record) in a secondary office is the only lasting version of an essential document. Because this happens, it tends to encourage 'hoarding' by others than the office of record.

What files are most often confused with records?

Reference materials, stocks of publications and brochures, quasi-official notices, unsolicited announcements, invitations, or other materials not filed as evidence of office or University operations.

Preliminary drafts, worksheets, informal notes that do not represent significant steps in the preparation of record documents.

Routing slips that contain no information or approvals, used to direct the distribution of papers.

Extra ("convenience") copies of records in addition to the "official" copies maintained elsewhere, as long as they do not contain additional information.

Blank Forms, templates (supplies on hand).

What is a record series?

A group of records, performing a specific function and organized in a succession of like, correlated, or corresponding items, occurrences, or events; also a sequence of things having a progressive order or arrangement. A records series has a common sequence that relates to a particular subject or function, results from the same activity, or documents a specific kind of transaction.

What is a retention schedule?

A listing of records series that indicate the full record series title, function/purpose, location of official record copy, time to retain it in originating office and/or records center, as well as the disposal instructions, i.e., whether the record series should be microfilmed, destroyed, and/or transferred to the State Archives for retention.

What rules and regulations govern higher education in Idaho?

Idaho Public Records Law: The primary legislation, or rule of law, applicable to state agency records in Idaho is the Public Records Law, or Title 9, Evidence, Chapter 3, Public Writing, commonly noted as 9-337 through 9-347. These codes include language detailing public records definitions, rights of the public to examine public records, some exemptions (which do not relate to typical higher education conditions), and the directive requiring agencies to have guidelines on how to manage their records.

Other Laws: While the Public Records Law is quite broad, some records-related areas have been further specified in additional Idaho Code.

Federal Regulations

Oversight Organizations

Return to Top