If you are effectively maintaining digital records, can you dispose of the original, hard copy documents?
Public entities have the authority to decide in which medium they will maintain their records and can create schedules that divide a records series’ retention period based on storage location or media type. For example, a public entity’s record retention schedule could require it to “maintain the paper version of a record until it is scanned and quality control checked, then dispose; retain electronic version for 10 years.”
However, if records are required to be maintained permanently, public entities are discouraged from maintaining solely in a digital format. The Ohio History Connection has issued a statement on maintaining digitally imaged records permanently which states its recommendation that any digitally imaged records of permanent value also be maintained in either paper or microfilm format. There are several reasons for this recommendation because the technology surrounding electronic records are in a continuous state of change. Any record in electronic format cannot be considered stable and capable of remaining reliable, authentic, and accessible over any long-term or permanent retention period.
The Ohio Electronic Records Committee has also put together several resources that provide information on the requirements, guidelines, and best practices for digital document imaging projects. You can view these resources here: Document Imaging – Ohio Electronic Records Committee (ohioerc.org).