This glossary already includes the additions that will be referenced in the second edition of the guide (2021). In the future, the glossary will only be maintained here as an online version (, because this allows the technical terms and links to be constantly updated. –> PDF Version


Storage – place / memory / directory where data is stored in the company, regardless of the medium (analog, digital).

Filing stands for:
– the registry (files) of the body specially entrusted with keeping the files
– the clipboard or the file path in IT

File/data owner – process role (operational function or organizational unit) represented by a responsible person who has the power of disposal over the relevant files or data and approves their business requirements (lead).

– (in the context of archival science, technical term) stands for: the registry (files) of the body specially entrusted with the management of written material.

AIIM – Association for Information and Image Management: Information Governance. http://www.

File, dossier, business transaction processing – In German-speaking countries, the terms are used synonymously. In Germany, the term file is commonly used, while in Switzerland the term dossier is used, or in public administration, the term business transaction processing.

File management – see records management, also called dossier management or document management.

Archive – Specially protected, purposefully organized environment for long-term storage of data / information.

An archive (Latin archivum ‘filing cabinet, official building’) is an administrative or organizational unit in which archive records are stored, made usable and preserved for an unlimited period of time (archiving).

Archive operator – organizational unit that takes care of the infrastructure of an archive.

Archiving – Proper transfer of data/information to an archive repository regardless of the medium; the term is compromised and ambiguous in operational practice, depending on the perspective from which the topic is treated (business, IT, specialist departments); from an archival science perspective, archiving – in contrast to temporary storage – refers only to permanent or long-term storage (secondary purpose of documents and files)

ARMA – Association of Records Managers and Administrators,

Retention – Organized and systematic management of business information for an appropriate (finite) period of time, taking into account legal, operational, or historical requirements; ARMA Principle “Retention” (GARP), which defines the requirements for proper retention.

Retention Schedule – generally a systematic list, organized by functional structure, of all document types that must be retained and are operationally worthy of retention, with the corresponding deadlines and trigger events, as well as additional relevant information, see also Principles,

Discarding – determining what happens to information objects at the end of the defined retention period; basically, there are three options: secure destruction, extension of the period (e.g., due to ongoing legal proceedings – legal hold), or transfer to permanent storage (e.g., historical archive).

Exchange format – standardized data format for the exchange of information, e.g. for electronic invoicing.

Authenticity – a records management principle that requires proof that a document actually originated from the person, organization, or other legally competent person who is also its originator or approving authority

AS – Official Compilation of Swiss Federal Law, indexed since 1998 via the website

AutoML – Automated Machine Learning; recursive learning of machine intelligence through mathematical-statistical methods and algorithms; simplifies machine learning by automating various machine learning processes.

AVV – Order processing contract (within the scope of the GDPR)

Findings, examination findings (forensics) – The determination of whether a written feature is consistent or provable in comparative material, or whether it differs.

Evaluation of evidence, evaluation of findings (forensics) – The evaluation of the examination results determined during the forensic comparison from the point of view of the hypotheses under discussion.

Strength of evidence (forensics) – Evidentiary value, also likelihood ratio: weight given to a forensic examination result. The more specific a result, the greater the strength of evidence, as a rule.

Big Tech – Short name for the Big Five named US technology companies Google (Alphabet), Amazon, META (ex-Facebook), Apple and Microsoft (GAFAM). They are increasingly viewed critically because of their oligopolistic market dominance, especially because of the capitalization of user data (surveillance capitalism).

Blockchain – A blockchain is a continuously expandable list of records, called “blocks,” that are chained together using cryptographic techniques. Each block typically contains a cryptographically secure hash (scatter value) of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. Blockchain technology can be used in information-processing processes as secure integrity protection (e.g., in records management).

BSI – Federal Office for Information Security of the Federal Republic of Germany; Website

Bookkeeping – see keeping the books

Business Intelligence (BI) – technologies, processes and methods of classical information and documentation (I&D) used for finding, storing, analyzing and accessing data in order to improve fact-based decision-making in the company.

CGOC – Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council; ex-US professional association for information governance and lifecycle management (formerly sponsored by IBM).

COBIT – Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology, ISACA guideline on the proper use of IT.

Compliance – adherence to legal, operational and regulatory requirements for the purpose of (legally) compliant implementation of internal information management; ARMA Principle (GARP) defining the compliance requirements of an IG program.

Data – representations of facts, concepts, or instructions in a formal way suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing by humans or computers (Source: AIIM) Data is the smallest representation of facts that can be fixed on a medium and that can be interpreted in a given context. In computer science, data is defined as signs or as symbols (syntax) that represent information (semantics) and that serve the purpose of processing.

Data cust odianship – also stewardship or custodianship; refers to roles that assume the operational responsibility of data/information management; stewards, RM coordinators, or even archivists know the requirements of their business area and can thus ensure that information readiness is ensured at all times (“fit for purpose”). Data stewards are not the owners of the data, but they are responsible for the access, quality, security, and understandability of the data.

Congruence (Forensics) – The determination that two pieces of writing can be made to coincide exactly. Since type varies naturally, absolute congruence is extremely unlikely for sufficiently large, naturally produced type.

Digital signature – Cryptographic method for unambiguous assignment of a document to a specific person by means of asymmetric cryptographic algorithms.

Digital transformation – The sum of all strategies and activities to digitize an organization’s business model and processes; information governance is an integral part of this.

Digital twin – A digital twin is a virtual model, e.g. of a process, product or service, which links the real and virtual worlds. Digital twins use real data from installed sensors (IoT), which represent e.g. working conditions or position of machines.

Document Retention – Proper storage and archiving of business documents

Document management (DMS) – software and / or processes that organize and control documents in the enterprise; includes document capture, workflow, document storage, capture as well as document delivery.

DS-GVO – Data Protection Basic Regulation of the EU

eArchive – electronic archive; an OAIS-compatible system for long-term storage of business information -> s. Self-supporting eArchive

eCH – Association for the Promotion and Development of eGovernment Standards in Switzerland,

ECM3 – ECM Maturity Model (ecm3), Version 2.0 (2017); framework for measuring (self-assessment) the maturity level of an organization with regard to its handling of information resources; divided into 5 maturity levels (from “not managed” to pro-active” and 3 dimensions (“Human”, “Information”, “Systems”); implementation to Swiss conditions as a eCH-0232 standard (Maturity Model on Information Management) is available since 2.9.2021!

EFSS – Enterprise File Sync & Share: Classic data management in hierarchical folders in the file system. Playground for shadow IT.

EIF – European Interoperability Framework: The basic document on the architecture of eGovernment Switzerland (eCH-0122). The model includes four levels of interoperability: a legal, organizational, content (metadata), and technical level. The goal of the framework is to facilitate cross-border and cross-sector interaction between administrative units and to support their cooperation and enable electronic services.

E-discovery – The process of disclosing and preserving electronic data in legal or quasi-legal cases, including searching for, finding, securing, evaluating, and delivering digital evidence, such as e-mails or chat texts. In the U.S., e-discovery refers to the phase in the court process where the parties have the right to request documents / evidence from the other side.

EDRM (E-Discovery Reference Model) – describes the activities and processes used in e-discovery procedures or the search and preparation of electronic evidence:

E(D)RMS: Electronic (Document &) Records Management System (IT solution)

ECM – Enterprise Content Management; an ECM system is used to capture, manage, store, preserve and make available documents and data to support business processes throughout the entire lifecycle of data.

EDI – Electronic Data Interchange; collective term for all electronic procedures for the asynchronous and fully automatic transmission of structured and standardized messages between application systems of different institutions, in particular for the course of transactions in electronic business between industrial business partners.

FDPIC – Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner; the corresponding website offers numerous publications on data protection issues

record holder function – see record owner / data owner

ElDI-V – Ordinance of the Federal Department of Finance of 30 January 2002 on electronically transmitted data and information (Switzerland) SR 641.201.1.; since Jan. 2018 out of force

Electronic signature – data in electronic form that is attached to or logically linked with other electronic data and used to authenticate it, e.g. by digital signature (cf. ZertES Art. 2 lit.a). Electronic signatures are data linked to electronic information by means of which the signatory or signature creator can be identified in a certified process and the integrity of the signed electronic information can be verified. Serves as the equivalent of a handwritten signature; the digital signature serves as the basis for the electronic signature

Email archiving – Includes long-term unalterable and secure storage of electronic messages; increasingly, non-document information (rich media, chat) of an evidential nature must be included to track business transactions.

Email management – Includes the capture, processing, management, organization, and storage of email, taking into account legal and organizational guidelines, as well as contextual integration of electronic messages into business processes.

Disposal – Controlled and regulated process for the secure segregation and destruction of business information at the end of its lifecycle;ARMA Principle defining the requirements for systematic disposal (designation for segregation and destruction of information).

ESI – Electronically Stored Information ; ESI is a legally defined term in the U.S. (Civil Procedure Code – FRCP) for all electronically managed information; under conditions of a destruction stop by a court case (legal hold), any electronically stored information can temporarily become a “record.” This guiding principle in the context of eDiscovery has made the classic notion of record obsolete -> %28Federal_Rules_of_Civil_Procedure%

FTA – Swiss Federal Tax Administration

Lead management – see file owner / data owner

Folksonomy – free tagging of information objects by user’s own vocabulary (each user is an expert)

Keeping of books – keeping and preservation of books by the owner of a commercial, manufacturing or other business conducted in a commercial manner, who is obliged to be registered in the Commercial Register (Art. 934 para. 1 CO).

Functional structure – Process-oriented classification of internal business functions (Business Classification Scheme, BCS); the functional structure has two main purposes: a. Structuring business information to make consistent retention and destruction decisions based on the retention schedule, b. enable structured search for information

GARP – see Principles; the acronym GARP should no longer be used as it is copyrighted by another organization.

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation (see DS-GVO)

GeBüV – Ordinance of 24 April 2002 on the Keeping and Preservation of Business Records (Switzerland) SR 221.431

GEVER – Electronic Business Administration in Public Administration in Switzerland

GEVER terminology: cf. TERMDAT database of the Federal Chancellery

GOBD – Principles for the proper keeping and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form and for data access (counterpart to GeBüV in Germany)

GoDV – Grundsätze ordnungsgemässer Datenverarbeitung Grundsätze zur ordnungsmäßigen Führung und Aufbewahrung von Büchern, Aufzeichnungen und Unterlagen in elektronischer Form sowie zum Datenzugriff” (GZ IV A 4 S 0316 / 13 / 10003; DOK 2014 / 0353090) Federal Ministry of Finance, 14.11.2014.

Graphic content (forensics) – also author-specific content: information content of a writing performance, which serves in the investigation of the assignment to a writing author

HITL – Human-in-the-Loop, indication that even in complex processes (e.g. AI) human interaction is required in order to understand activities and goals.

Hybrid storage– record keeping is analog and electronic combined (this creates redundancy, risk of loss of control)

Hypothesis, hypothesis pair (forensics) – scenarios from the point of view of which the results (findings) are assessed in forensics. They often refer to the question of whether or not a trace was caused by a particular person or object.

Information – data which, through analysis, interpretation, combination, depending on the context, contain important information for the company and professionals; information constitutes the content and meaning of a message in textual, graphic and audiovisual terms, which can influence decisions, behavior or the course of events.

Information Governance – describes the processes, organization, and technologies needed to actively manage information throughout its lifecycle (capture, classify, store, use, delete) in accordance with the organization’s strategic direction and external and internal regulations; IG includes sub-areas of IM, IT governance, and risk management. IG is designed to optimize the company’s information-related risk management as well as to increase its value.

Information Management (IM) – the activities and organization necessary to manage, control, and destroy corporate data in any form, regardless of its source, origin, or nature; information can be accessed by as many authorized parties as possible. IM creates value and ensures that legal and regulatory requirements can be met at all times.

Information Security / Assurance – Procedures and activities to physically and logically protect business data / information and the intangible assets it contains; ARMA Principle defining the requirements for securing and protecting business information in an IG program.

Integrity (data) – ensuring that data and information are kept unchanged, secure and complete; evidence must be able to withstand legal challenge (legally defensible).

Invisible Governance – has two meanings: a. Information processing should be as automated as possible in the background so that employees are freed from tedious data entry tasks, b. through a practiced high degree of self-governance, governance activities should run as “invisibly” as possible by being embedded in the culture.

ISACA – Information Systems Audit and Control Association:

ISO – International Organization for Standardization:

IuD – Information and Documentation

IT Governance – management’s ability to control IT strategically as well as operationally, to measure its performance, and thus to support the company’s strategic goals; leadership, structures and processes, and technology are necessary to dovetail IT with the core business, to achieve value, to minimize risks, to deploy resources optimally, and to make IT performance measurable.

IoT – Internet of Things – is a collective term for technologies of a global infrastructure of the information societies, which makes it possible to network physical and virtual objects with each other and to let them cooperate through information and communication technologies (above all sensor technology).

KGI – Key Goal Indicator; provides information on the degree of completion of the result, in contrast to KPI.

Classification – see Functional Structure and Taxonomy

SME – Small and medium enterprises

KPI – Key Performance Indicator; allows the measurement of the resources used (KGI = Key goal indicator)

krm – Competence Center Records Management

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to systems that exhibit intelligent behavior by analyzing their environment and taking actions – e.g., through machine learning and appropriate algorithms – to achieve specific goals. AI-based systems can be purely software-based and operate in the virtual world (e.g., voice assistants, image analysis software, search engines, speech and facial recognition systems) or AI can be embedded in hardware devices (e.g., advanced robots, autonomous cars, drones, or Internet-of-Things applications). To emphasize the differences to human biological intelligence, we now also speak of machine intelligence (quasi-synonym).

Life cycle management (information) – phase model of managing business records according to a retention and destruction scheme; usually three phases are defined based on the frequency of access to the data: active, semi-active, inactive. The inactive phase can be further divided into a finite and a permanent phase of retention (archiving).

LINDAS – Linked Data Service, is a service of the swiss. Federal Archives for data conversion and data integration using semantic technologies (Triplestores as data repositories):

LOD – Linked Open Data, is open networked data that is freely available on the World Wide Web, is identified by Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), and can be accessed directly via HTTP through it, and also links to other data by URI. The goal and purpose of LOD is to make open networked data resources freely available for use, redistribution, and reuse without restriction of any kind, in the public interest of the general public of society.

Traces of manipulation (forensics) – traces that indicate a (subsequent) alteration of a document.

MATRIO Method® – Procedures, organization, instructions and tools for handling information governance initiatives (registered trademark of Wildhaber Consulting, Zurich) :

ML – Machine Learning (machine learning through AI)

MoReq – Model Requirements for the Management of Electronic Documents and Records

MWSt – Value Added Tax

Impersonation (forensics) – forgery technique in which a forged signature is imitated using a template.

Nestor – Kompetenznetzwerk Langzeitarchivierung: http://www.

NLP – Natural Language Processing

OAIS – Open Archival Information System (ISO 14721:2003)

OASIS – Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards . Is an international, not-for-profit organization engaged in the advancement of e-business and Web services standards.

Ontology – Ontologies (in information science) are linguistically framed and formally ordered representations of a set of concepts and the relationships that exist between them in a particular subject or domain. They are used to represent and exchange “knowledge” in digitized and formal form between application programs and services. Ontologies specify “knowledge” while taxonomies primarily classify “knowledge”.

Propriety (storage) – safe and protected from harmful effects storage of all books, vouchers and other relevant files, which must be stored in order to comply with the general regulations. Duty of care acc. Further requirements concern the readability of the data and its retrievability within a reasonable period of time (Art. 6 GebüV) as well as the appropriate organization (separation between current and archived information and access within a reasonable period of time (Art. 7 GebüV). GebüV) and further requirements from teaching and practice

Classification system – see Functional structure Ownership – see File owner / Data owner

OWL – Web Ontology Language, is a specification of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to create, publish and distribute ontologies using a formal description language. It is about formally describing terms of a (subject) domain and their relationships in such a way that software (e.g. agents) can also process (“understand”) the meaning. OWL is technically based on RDF syntax but goes beyond the expressive power of RDF Schema.

Ownership s. File / data owner (owner)

Tracing forgery (forensics) – forgery technique in which an authentic signature or writing is traced.

PDF – Portable Data Format (Adobe), standardized text and image data recording format.

PDF / A – Portable Document Format for long-term archiving (ISO 19005-1:2005)

PKI – Public Key Infrastructure; in cryptology, refers to technology and procedures for the management of digital certificates / keys (for the use of digital or electronic signatures).

Principles ® (The) – Generally Accepted Record Keeping Principles (GARP) ®; maturity model for information governance/information management from ARMA:

Erasure (Forensics) – The deletion of an entry (on a physical document) by chemical means or by removing the writing medium deposits.

RDF – Resource Description Framework, is a data model with defined formal semantics based on directed graphs. Data in RDF format is used to formulate logical statements about arbitrary things (resources). These statements are thereby modeled as triples. The set of triples forms a (mathematical) graph and is called an RDF model. The triple in the RDF model is a statement consisting of subject, predicate, and object. Meanwhile, RDF is considered a fundamental building block of the Semantic Web.

Record – Business data in printed, electronic or other form that contains both an evidential value and an informational value and represents a corporate asset

Retention Schedule – see Retention Schedule; in the GEVER concept identical with the filing system.

Auditability – a term invented by the vendor industry to describe the regularity or legal compliance of a system / solution.

Records & Information Management (RIM) – includes the planning, management and control of activities for the proper storage and archiving of business-relevant data and documents (Source: Practice Guide 2, Records Management).

RM system – paper-based or digital system and organization for the management of business documents Schriftgutverwaltung – term for records management or file management (Germany)

RiC – Records in Contexts, is an international archival cataloging standard of the International Council on Archives (ICA) that allows archival holdings (or records) to be indexed multi-dimensionally using semantic technology.

RM system – paper or digital system and organization for managing business documents.

RED – Redundant, Out of Date, Trivial, is a designation of data that has become obsolete and therefore can be destroyed.

RPA – “Robotic Process Automation” – RPA is a process automation technology. RPA is particularly well suited to automating clearly structured, repetitive and rule-based tasks. RPA software robots automate processes by mimicking human interaction with enterprise software, sometimes combined with artificial intelligence (AI).

Writing medium differentiation (forensics) – examination performed using optical and chemical analytical methods to determine whether one or more writing media have been used.

Schriftgutverwaltung – no longer contemporary term for records management or file management (Germany)

Writing feature (forensics) – features of (hand) writing that are systematically collected by the handwriting expert. They are divided into general features (spatial treatment, size proportions, flow of movement, stroke texture and printing) and special features (shaping of individual characters).

Handwriting variation (forensics) – The characters of a handwriting are subject to a natural variation (e.g. in shaping), which can go so far that several different design variants of the same character are produced by the same person.

Writing Disguise (Forensics) – The attempt to alter the writing or signature so that the writing performance can later be disputed.

Self-containing eArchive (self-containing or self-describing archives) – Features Self-containing archive:
– eArchive is an integrity-protected storage environment,
– which allows access to the stored archive objects,
– without the need to involve a delivery system,
– Delivery systems can be turned off without affecting the retrievability of archive objects.
– In addition to the user data, the archive objects contain all additional information that is required to fulfill the legal requirements.
– Access to the archive objects must be possible by the archive user (without intervention of the manufacturer, implementation partner, etc.).

Semantic technology – semantic technology helps machines (computers) understand data. To enable the encoding of semantics with data, there are well-known technologies such as RDF (Resource Description Framework) and OWL, among others, that formally represent the meaning of information. For example, an ontology can describe concepts, relationships between things, and categories of things. These semantics embedded with the data offer significant advantages, such as visualizing data and handling heterogeneous data sources.

SKOS – Simple Knowledge Organization System, is a formal language based on RDF and RDF Schema (RDFS) for encoding documentation languages such as thesauri, classifications, taxonomies, ontologies, or other controlled vocabularies. SKOS is intended to enable the easy publication and combination of controlled, structured, and machine-readable vocabularies for the Semantic Web.

SPARQLSPARQLProtocol And RDF Query Language, is a graph-based query language, for the semantic network (eg RDF). SPARQL is suitable for querying arbitrary data. For this purpose, tripartite logical combinations of terms (“semantic triples”) are used. ( see wikidata SPARQL tutorial: )

Taxonomy – assignment of objects (entities) and events to conceptual groups (from Greek táxis and nomos). In the RM environment, the classification of data according to operational criteria or categories; see functional structure.

Time Stamp – cryptographic procedure for the exact determination of the time during an archiving process.

Transparency – requirement for transparent, understandable documentation of the processes and activities of an RM/IG program that is accessible to all stakeholders; GARP principle that defines the transparency requirements of an information governance program.

Triage – selection process (usually for determining files for disposal at the end of the life cycle – evaluation of archival value).

Trigger Event – time, event, when the retention period starts.

Author identity, author disagreement (forensics) – Refers to the fact whether two (or more) writing achievements were written by the same person or by different persons.

Accountability – Role-based accountability and liability (of the organization) for information management processes and activities; GARP principle defining accountability requirements in an information governance program.

Procedural documentation – is a documentation on the procedures of storage and archiving (in Switzerland according to the requirements of the Business Records Ordinance, GeBüV). The basic requirement here is to understand and be able to trace the core processes of archiving and retention. The primary purpose of the documentation is to be able to verify the regularity of the processes, systems and procedures used (especially ICS). What this documentation should look like is not determined and is left to practice. Swiss law focuses on the entire life cycle, i.e. from the creation of the data to its destruction. The scope and content of documentation depends on the type of business and risk exposure. In this respect, there can be no generally applicable instruction as to what this documentation should look like.

Availability – ensuring that business information can be retrieved at any time and from anywhere in an appropriate form and quality; ARMA Principle defining the requirements for the availability of information (timeliness, efficiency, accuracy).

Networked management – is acc. eCH standard 0126 an organizational concept that describes how the modernization goals of the “eGovernment Strategy Switzerland” (administrative relief for companies and private individuals (“end-to-end processes”), productivity and overall cost-effectiveness), can be achieved.

VUCA – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity (common term for dynamic and disruptive conditions that have an impact on the resilience of an organization)

WebTIFF – Tagged Image File Format; openly accessible, standardized image recording format.

Wikidata – freely editable knowledge database, which among other things aims to support Wikipedia; it operates on the basis of semantic technology and is also suitable for intranet solutions

Knowledge graph – A knowledge graph is a model of a knowledge domain created by domain experts using intelligent machine (semantic) learning algorithms. It provides a structure and common interface to an existing data management and allows the development of intelligent multilateral relationships with other data (-banks, -collections). Knowledge graphs can sit on top of existing data as an additional virtual data layer to link all data together – whether structured or unstructured. The purpose of knowledge graphs is to establish and operationalize a commonly agreed upon understanding of content and context in an operational setting and/or domain of expertise.

Knowledge management – Knowledge management aims to enable knowledge flows within an organization or among peers (sharing and reusing tacit knowledge), with the purpose of generating the greatest possible business (intangible) added value. There is no explicit knowledge per se, explicit knowledge is always information in processable form.

WORM – Write Once Read Many: unchangeable storage medium

XAIExplainableArtificial Intelligence, is a form of artificial intelligence that is humanly explainable and therefore comprehensible; the system does not contain black boxes, but all algorithms and the methods (design) in machine learning are comprehensible by natural intelligence. XAI therefore only works with human interaction (Human-in-the-Loop, HITL), which permanently checks and improves corresponding results.


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