An authentic record is one that can be proven

  1. to be what it purports to be,
  2. to have been created or sent by the person [system] purported to have created or sent it, and
  3. to have been created or sent at the time purported.

To ensure the authenticity of records, organizations should implement and document policies and procedures which control creation, receipt, transmission, maintenance and disposition of records to ensure that records creators are authorized and identified and that records are protected against unauthorized addition, deletion, alteration, use and concealment.


A reliable record is one whose contents can be trusted as a full and accurate representation of the transactions, activities or facts to which they attest and can be depended upon in the course of subsequent transactions or activities. Records should be created at the time of the transaction or incident to which they relate, or soon afterwards, by individuals who have direct knowledge of the facts or by instruments routinely used within the business to conduct the transaction.


The integrity of a record refers to its being complete and unaltered. It is necessary that a record be protected against unauthorized alteration. Records management policies and procedures should specify what additions or annotations may be made to a record after it is created, under what circumstances additions or annotations may be authorized, and who is authorized to make them. Any authorized annotation, addition or deletion to a record should be explicitly indicated and traceable.


A usable record is one that can be located, retrieved, presented and interpreted. It should be capable of subsequent presentation as directly connected to the business activity or transaction that produced it. The contextual linkages of records should carry the information needed for an understanding of the transactions that created and used them. It should be possible to identify a record within the context of broader business activities and functions. The links between records that document a sequence of activities should be maintained.


Records considered "famous," linked with important events, Unique, possessing artistic merit, of high monteary value, rare photographs or a unique photographic format.