Adapted from A Federal Records Management Glossary. National Archives and Records Administration, 1993.

E-F

ELECTRONIC COPIES
As used in this bulletin, an electronic record created using word processing or electronic mail software that remains in storage on the computer system after the recordkeeping copy is produced.
ELECTRONIC DATA INTERCHANGE (EDI)
The communication or transmission of data as electronic messages according to established rules and formats in order to transact business.
ELECTRONIC DATA PROCESSING (EDP)
See AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING (ADP).
ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS
Recorded information that is recorded in a form that requires a computer or other machine to process it. Includes word processing documents; electronic mail messages; documents released under the Electronic Freedom of Information Act amendments; documents transmitted via Electronic Data Interchange; Internet and intranet postings; numerical and textual spreadsheets and databases; electronic files; optical images; software; and information systems.
ELECTRONIC MAIL
The process or result of sending and receiving messages in electronic form via remote computer terminals. Also called E-mail. See also TELECOMMUNICATIONS.
ELECTRONIC MICROIMAGE TRANSMISSION
The video transmission of digitized images. Also called microfacsimile or videomicrographics.
ELECTRONIC RECORDKEEPING
The creation, maintenance and use, and disposition of records created and stored by using a computer.
ELECTRONIC RECORDKEEPING SYSTEM
An electronic system in which records are collected, organized, and categorized to facilitate their preservation, retrieval, use, and disposition. (Source: 36 CFR 1234.2)

[Note: An electronic recordkeeping system may be either a distinct system designed specifically to provide recordkeeping functionality or part of another system. A distinct electronic recordkeeping system will comprise an application program which provides recordkeeping functionality, data and metadata needed for management of the records controlled by the system, and any electronic records managed by the system. An electronic recordkeeping system may be part of another system, such as an application system or an electronic document management system, when the design of that system includes recordkeeping functionality.]

ELECTRONIC RECORD
Any information that is recorded in a form that only a computer can process and that satisfies the definition of a Federal record in 44 U.S.C. 3301. (Source: 36 CFR 1234.2)
ELECTRONIC RECORDS SYSTEM
Any information system that produces, processes, or stores records by using a computer. Often called an automated information system. See also AUTOMATED INFORMATION SYSTEM (AIS), COMPUTER SYSTEM, INFORMATION SYSTEM.
E-MAIL
See ELECTRONIC MAIL.
EMERGENCY
A situation or an occurance of a serious nature, developing suddenly and unexpectedly, and demanding immediate action. This is generally of short duration, for example, an interruption of normal Agency operations for a week or less. It may involve electrical failure or minor flooding caused by broken pipes.
EMERGENCY DESTRUCTION
Eliminating records under abnormal circumstances, as provided by law or regulations. These circumstances involve a state of war or impending hostilities and also a continuing menace to life, health, or property. See also DESTRUCTION.
EMERGENCY-OPERATING RECORDS
That type of vital records essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an organization during and after an emergency. Included are emergency plans and directive(s), orders of successions, delegations of authority, staffing assignments, selected program records needed to continue the most critical Agency operations, as well as related policy or procedural records that assist Agency staff in conducting operations under emergency conditions and for resuming normal operations after an emergency. See also VITAL RECORDS.
EMULSION
A suspension of light-sensitive chemicals in a viscous medium to form a coating on photographic film or plates.
ENGINEERING RECORDS
See ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING RECORDS.
ERASING
See DELETING.
ESSENTIAL RECORDS
See VITAL RECORDS.
EVALUATION
(1) In records disposition, the process of assessing the value of records to recommend or determine their retention periods, making the records either temporary or permanent. See also APPRAISAL.
(2) The inspection, audit, or review of records management programs, either by the Agency or by NARA and/or GSA, to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
EVIDENTIAL VALUE
The usefulness of records in documenting the organization, functions, and activities of the Agency creating or receiving them. Considered by NARA in appraising records for permanent retention. See also INFORMATIONAL VALUE, PERMANENT RECORDS, RECORDS.
EXECUTIVE Agency
Any executive department or independent establishment in the executive branch of the U.S. Government, including any wholly owned Government corporation. See also FEDERAL Agency.
EXPOSURE
The act, process, or result of allowing light to reach photosensitive material.
EXTENDED BINARY CODED DECIMAL INTERCHANGE CODE (EBCDIC)
A binary code representing each letter, number, or other symbol with a unique 8-bit code. See also AMERICAN STANDARD CODE FOR INFORMATION INTERCHANGE (ASCII), BINARY CODE, CODE (2).

FACILITATIVE DOCUMENTS
Facilitative documents are documents or messages that are exchanged to facilitate an action, decision, or transaction, but are not needed for the adequate and proper documentation of the Agency's activities.
FACSIMILE
(1) An exact copy of a document, drawing, photograph, or the like.
(2) A method or device for transmitting such a copy via telephone or radio for reproduction elsewhere. See also TELECOMMUNICATIONS.
FAX
See FACSIMILE.
FEDERAL Agency
Any executive Agency or any establishment in the legislative or judicial branch of the U.S. Government, except for the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Architect of the Capitol and any activities under the Architect's direction. See also EXECUTIVE Agency.
FEDERAL INFORMATION PROCESSING STANDARDS (FIPS)
U.S. Government standards issued by the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for computer hardware, software, and systems.
FEDERAL INFORMATION RESOURCES MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS (FIRMR)
Regulations on information resources management issued by GSA and applicable to Federal agencies.
FEDERAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS (FPMR)
GSA regulations. The part formerly applying to records management has been superseded by the Federal Information Resources Management Regulations and NARA records management regulations.
FEDERAL RECORDS
See RECORDS.
FEDERAL RECORDS CENTER (FRC)
A records center operated by NARA. See also RECORDS CENTER, STANDARD FORM 135.
FICHE
See MICROFICHE.
FIELD
See DATA FIELD.
FILE
(1) Usually an accumulation of records or nonrecord materials arranged according to a plan. Sometimes an accumulation of personal papers so arranged.
(2) A unit, such as a folder, microform, or electronic medium, containing such records, nonrecord materials, or personal papers.
(3) Storage equipment, such as a filing cabinet.
(4) See DATA FILE.
FILE BREAK
See CUTOFF.
FILE CODES
Numbers or symbols used to abbreviate lengthy file titles. See also CODING (1).
FILE COPY
See COPY (1), RECORDS.
FILE CUTOFF
See CUTOFF.
FILE DESIGNATION
A distinguishing symbol, subject, name, number, or date controlling the placement of a document in a filing system. See also CLASSIFICATION (1), CODING (1).
FILE GROUPS
See FILE TYPES.
FILE LAYOUT
In electronic records, the arrangement and structure of data in a file, including the sequence and size of its components. See also RECORD LAYOUT.
FILE PLAN
(1) See FILING SYSTEM.
(2) A plan designating the physical location(s) at which an Agency's files are to be maintained, the specific types of files to be maintained there, and the organizational element(s) having custodial responsibility.
(3) A document containing the identifying number, title or description, and disposition authority of files held in an office.
FILE SERIES
See SERIES.
FILE STATION
Any location in an organization at which records are maintained for current use.
FILE TYPES
Categories or classes of files. Include case, case working, general correspondence, reading, transitory correspondence, convenience, and technical reference files, along with vital records and special records. Each of these types is defined in this glossary.
FILES
A collective term usually applied to all records and nonrecord materials of an office or Agency. See also DOCUMENTARY MATERIALS, FILE, MASTER FILES, NONRECORD MATERIALS, PERSONAL PAPERS, RECORDED INFORMATION, RECORDS.
FILES CUSTODIAN
A files custodian, or records custodian, is an individual who has been assigned responsibility or is accountable for the operation of a file station or, in some cases, a particular records series.
FILES IMPROVEMENT
Taking corrective action to make sure that office files are properly organized and maintained, rapidly retrievable, complete, and ready for appropriate disposition. See also FILES MANAGEMENT.
FILES INVENTORY
See INVENTORY.
FILES MAINTENANCE
See FILES MANAGEMENT.
FILES MANAGEMENT
Applying records management principles and techniques to filing practices in order to organize and maintain documentary materials properly, retrieve them rapidly, ensure their completeness, and make their disposition easier. See also DOCUMENTARY MATERIALS, FILES IMPROVEMENT, RECORDS MAINTENANCE AND USE, RECORDS MANAGEMENT.
FILES MANUAL
See DIRECTIVE.
FILES OPERATIONS
See FILES MANAGEMENT.
FILING
Putting documents into their place in accordance with a plan, or filing system. See also ARRANGEMENT, FILE, RECORDS MAINTENANCE AND USE.
FILING FEATURE
A characteristic by which a document is filed and found, such as a number, date, title, name, or subject. See also CROSS-REFERENCE.
FILING SYSTEM
A set of policies and procedures for organizing and identifying files or documents to speed their retrieval, use, and disposition. Sometimes called recordkeeping system.
FINAL DISPOSITION
The end of the records life cycle in which temporary records are disposed of and permanent records are transferred to the National Archives. See also DISPOSAL (1), DISPOSING OF, LIFE CYCLE OF RECORDS, PERMANENT RECORDS, SCHEDULED RECORDS, SCHEDULED TRANSFER, TEMPORARY RECORDS, UNSCHEDULED RECORDS.
FINDING AIDS
Indexes or other lists, whether manual or automated, that are designed to make it easier to locate relevant files or retrieve information. See also INDEX (2).
FISCAL VALUE
The usefulness of records in documenting an Agency's financial transactions and obligations. See also ADMINISTRATIVE VALUE, LEGAL VALUE.
FIXING
A film-processing step that makes the material no longer light-sensitive in order to stabilize the developed image.
FLASH CARD
A target, generally with markings, photographed to index microfilm. Also called flash target.
FLAT FILE
In electronic records, a simple two-dimensional arrangement of data elements used in data bases to store all necessary descriptive information about the data in a location within the file itself.
FLAT MICROFORM
Microform consisting of microfiche, microfilm jackets, aperture cards, or microcards (micro-opaques).
FOLLOWUP FILES
See SUSPENSE FILES.
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
See ADMINISTRATIVELY CONTROLLED INFORMATION.
FORM
(1) A document with a fixed arrangement of captioned spaces designed for entering and extracting prescribed information. Categories of forms include internal, interAgency, public use, standard, and optional.
(2) See MEDIUM.
FORMAT
(1) The shape, size, style, and general makeup of a particular record.
(2) In electronic records, the arrangement of data for computer input or output, such as the number and size of data fields in a logical record or the spacing and letter size used in a document. Also called layout. See also FILE LAYOUT, RECORD LAYOUT.
(3) In microform records, the placement of microimages within a given microform (image arrangement) or the arrangement of images in relation to the edges of the film (image orientation).
FROZEN RECORDS
In records disposition, those temporary records that cannot be destroyed on schedule because special circumstances, such as a court order or an investigation, require a temporary extension of the approved retention period.
FUNCTION
The characteristic action or specific purpose of an organization or person.
FUNCTIONAL CLASSIFICATION
The division of records into categories and subcategories to reflect the programs, activities, and transactions carried out by the organization accumulating the records.
FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS
In electronic records, a description of an organization's computer processing needs to fulfill its responsibilities and to support users in performing tasks relating to those responsibilities.
FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATIONS
In electronic records, a detailed description of the hardware, software, communications, and human resources needed for an information system to be built, installed, tested, operated, and maintained. Also called specifications.