Introduction to Scanning and Indexing (AO-136)

Tags: scanning paper records, scanning and imaging, scanning options, scanner options, what is imaging

What is scanning or imaging?

Scanning is taking paper files and putting them through a scanner which then creates an electronic file on a computer.  

What are the different options for Scanners?

Scanners come with different features, such as the speed and quality of images which is determined by by resolution.  Scanners are also classified as flat beds (1 page of scanning at a time) or feeder types (50-500 pages stacked).

To get more information about scanners you can contact the scanner manufacturers for a demonstration.   

What are my options when scanning?

There are many options on how scanning should be done.  The table above shows some of the most common options. 

It is all about what you are trying to achieve. For example if you want higher resolutions, the impact is slower scans and very high storage costs because the files generated are larger.

What is Indexing?

Indexing is attaching data to scanned files, so that you can search for specific files.  Indices are fields associated with a file.

To better understand the impact of indexing, consider this scenario.  A person has scanned 1 million pages worth of invoices.  These invoices will appear on a folder on a computer.  The challenge is; how do I find a specific invoice?

In order to solve this challenge, data is attached to a file. This is usually done by using a Document Management System (DMS), or if not an excel file will do for smaller requirements.  The excel spreadsheet should contain the name of the file, along with other fields such as the invoice number, invoice date, and customer's name. By having these (Indices or fields) you can search for a specific invoice number on the spreadsheet and get the file name for retrieval from the folder.

This approach to solving the challenge is fine for a relatively small number of files, but it can still get difficult for large archives or libraries.

For large archives it is recommended to use a Document Management System (DMS).

Archive One Team