What is digitisation?

Digitisation is the process of converting hardcopy or non-digital records into digital formats. It can involve scanning or photographing an original source record.

What are the potential benefits and risks of digitisation?

Potential benefits

Potential risks

  • Accessibility enhanced, remote access possible and business processes improve
  • Records become integrated into the wider University’s recordkeeping system
  • Physical office storage space can be regained when hardcopy original is destroyed
  • Secondary storage costs reduced when hardcopy original is destroyed
  • Complex and time-consuming to implement
  • Costly to the business unit (equipment, software, staffing etc)
  • Requires physical processing space
  • Digital records need active management, preferably within a recordkeeping system with assigned metadata
  • Original hardcopy version cannot be destroyed as it has intrinsic value, is required for litigation etc

Can I destroy original source records after they are digitised?

Important: Specific conditions must be met to authorise destruction of original source records after they have been digitised. These conditions are outlined in PROS 19/07 Converted or Digitised Records Retention and Disposal Authority (RDA).

Records and Information (R&I) can work with University business units to help determine and interpret the conditions outlined in the RDA.

For guidance about hardcopy records destruction, see Destruction of temporary records.

How do I plan and prepare for digitisation?

R&I has developed a Digitisation Plan template to help University business units plan and prepare for digitisation activities.

R&I will work with business units to complete the plan. See the Digitisation Plans web page for further information.

Note: The University Digitisation Centre offers a range of digitisation services. It may be more suitable to engage with the Centre when a business unit has a smaller, one-off collection of records to digitise.

How do I digitise hardcopy records?

See the Digitise hardcopy records Promapp process (accessible to University staff) for guidance.