Considerations for Prospective Departments

Document Types

Whether it be a piece of paper or an electronic document (like a PDF, Word document, or an email), each document your department handles has a function. It may be a form that students or faculty fill out to request a certain action, or it may be an invoice that needs to be archived for your records, or it might be minutes from a committee or staff meeting. As you plan and prepare to join the document imaging system, please compile a list of every document your department touches. This list will be the starting point of your on-boarding process.


Much like documents in a physical filing cabinet, documents in Perceptive Content can be labeled to make them easy to find when conducting a search. Documents are assigned index keys at the point of capture during a process called "linking". Every document is first assigned a "Drawer" which serves as a container for similarly indexed documents. For example, accounts payable documents may be assigned to a "Finances" drawer, student documents may be assigned to a "Student Records" drawer, and meeting minutes may be assigned to a "Committee" drawer.

Index Keys

In addition to the "Drawer" label, documents can be assigned up to five other primary index keys. These index keys can be a name, ID number, hiring date, academic term, fiscal year, or any other informative label you want to assign to your documents. Carefully defining the index keys for each of your document types is important because they will be the primary pieces of information used to search for documents within Perceptive Content.

Users & Groups

Similar to the documents in your department, the people in your department also serve different functions. Consider compiling a list of all the users in your department and then categorizing those users into functional groups. Note that each participating department in the document imaging system is asked to designate two power users (one primary lead contact and a secondary back-up person) who will be given additional permissions to manage your department's documents. Other considerations for user groups would be department heads or team supervisors who may need additional security to view confidential or sensitive documents, general staff or sub-sets of staff by function, part-time or student workers, or even users from other departments who are involved in certain business processes and need limited view-only access to your documents.

Workflow Processes

One of the features available in Perceptive Content is the ability to pass documents through an electronic workflow. Instead of passing paper from person to person, office to office, or building to building, documents in Perceptive Content can be passed electronically from point to point through a defined business process. Many of your department's existing paper-based processes can be replicated and developed into an electronic workflow. If you don't already have well-documented step-by-step notes on each of your business processes, please consider taking a closer look at each process and take note of who touches the document and what action needs to take place at each step in the process. Such documentation will be very helpful in translating your existing processes into the electronic workflow.

Records Retention

The NDUS document imaging system contains an automated Retention Manager module that tracks retention for all of the documents stored in the system. Through a series of queries and reports, the Retention Manager will identify documents that have passed their active period of retention and flag them for review by a staff member with records management responsibilities. Reviewed documents approved for destruction may then be purged out of the system. Each document type your department works with will need to be assigned a record series title, record category number, period of retention, and a method of disposal so they can be included in the automated purge process. Please consult with your department's Unit Records Coordinator or contact NDSU Records Management if you have any questions about records retention of your document types.


HAVE QUESTIONS about Document Imaging?... Please contact:

A.J. Klein, 701-231-7983,

112 Morrill Hall
Enrollment Management Administrative Systems
NDSU Dept. 2835 / P.O. Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050

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