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Document Management

Document Management Terms

Here is a brief primer of document management terms:

Document imaging is accomplished by using a scanner to create a computer image file, much like a digital photo of a hard-copy document.

Image files are not searchable, which is where OCR conversion comes into play. OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition, a process by which a computer program analyzes an image file and interprets the patterns of light and dark as letters and other characters, rendering an image file searchable. C

Coding refers to summary information about a given document that is entered in an electronic document database and allows lawyers to search for and annotate information relating to a given document. The phrase “bibliographic coding” represents data input of objective document data, such as date, author, subject, and so forth. The process of autocoding uses software to extract this objective coding information. (“Subjective coding” refers to attorney impressions of a document, such as relevance to particular issues and assignment of privilege designations.)

Electronic evidence, or e-discovery, firmly ensconces computers in the litigation arena. In contrast to scanned paper, documents created by means of a computer program, such as word-processed letters or electronic spreadsheets, contain embedded information reflecting the date and time of creation and subsequent modification, identification of the author, and so forth. These properties, known as metadata, provide additional evidentiary material that can prove very valuable in building a case. Certain litigation support programs import these kinds of files and make the metadata, as well as the document text, available for searching.

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