Scanning Services Definitions
The following are definitions related to litigation scanning services. Defined terms are grouped by related concepts. Please see below for a particular definition. Pages of other legal definitions associated with related concepts are listed on the left.
"Bates Numbering" or "Bates Stamping". A system of sequentially numbering document pages in paper or electronic form as part of litigation discovery to uniquely identify each page scanned or processed. A Bates stamp is often in the form of the first three letters of a litigation party, followed by a number, e.g. SMI 0005426. By marking each document (or photograph) with a unique alphanumeric identifier, one may demonstrate that a document has been produced. Bates numbering documents also helps to track discovery responses over time. Use of a numbering system also helps you better identify documents which you are withholding on the basis of privilege or work product. Bates numbering is also used to track what documents you have given to your consultant or expert. Finally, alpha-numbering documents also gives you a handy way of referring to them on the record at depositions. Bates numbers may be applied manually through a self inking stamp that incremented a sequential number each time it was pressed down on a document, or increasingly, though software that applies a Bates number to an electronic document.
Document Coding. The process of reviewing documents and summarizing key elements into a structured database format. Examples include document date, document type, Bates number, document description, to whom addressed, from whom, etc.
Document Imaging. The conversion of paper based documents to electronic images of the documents through a scan. Document imaging is used to replace paper-intensive operations, so that documents can be shared by multiple users on a network. Document images are generally stored as bitmapped graphics. Litigation vendors offer imaging as part of document scanning services.
Document Repositories. Application specifically designed for litigation document management following scanning and processing of documents. Sometimes document repositories will be web-based and bundled with a viewer or other tool to allow image based files to be viewed. tool specifically designed for document management or it could be a web-based application allowing search and download capability.
Document Scanning Services. A process of creating electronic files based on a paper copy original. Software is used to create a representative bitmapped image of the original document page. Popular scanning formats include PDF and TIFF. OCR may also be conducted in connection with document scanning to make the resulting electronic files searchable.
Litigation Support Manager. Person within a law firm who administers automated litigation support.
Objective Coding. The process of manually reviewing a document and completing database fields with easily ascertainable information about the document. Objective coding, unlike subjective coding, does not require that the coder exercise discretion or have a familiarity with a particular case in order to correctly code the document. Common objective coding fields include Bates, author, recipient, cc, date, title, type, source, characteristics and keywords.
OCR or 'Optical Character Recognition'. The process of taking scanned images (from documents) and electronically converting them into editable text. The output may be a text files (flat ASCII files), or it may be embedded in a more complex file, such as a searchable PDF.
PDF. Developed by Adobe Systems, Inc., 'PDF' stands for 'portable document format'. PDF is the de facto standard for the exchange of electronic documents. PDF preserves the fonts, images, graphics, and layout of any source document, regardless of how the original document was created. PDF files can be shared, viewed, and printed with Acrobat, a viewer application available free from Adobe Systems. Documents can be converted to PDF using software products created by Adobe and others. Depending on how they are created, PDFs can also be searchable PDF, either by retaining text from the source document or by having a source image file converted by OCR. Depending on capture methodology, PDFs may retain some metadata.
Scanning Services. Services that create an electronic image or electronic document version of a paper-based document.
Subjective Coding. Data entry that requires knowledge about the case and is usually done by trained legal professionals, such as paralegals and attorneys. Examples of subjective coding include: key document, issue, privilege and relevance.
Raster Image. An electronic representation of a page expressed in pixels. This pixel representation of a printed page is like a picture of the page. As such a raster image file does not retain the text of the page. For example, if a Word document is converted to a series of raster images, then the text would not be directly computer readable. To recover readable text, OCR would need to be performed on the file. Examples of raster images are BMP, TIFF and JPG files.
TIFF. TIFF (“Tagged Image File Format”) is an electronic copy of a paper document in the form of a raster image, and as such contains no embedded text, fonts, images, or graphics (cf. PDF format). TIFFs are also compatible with a wide range of hardware and software platforms, and future development is not tied to any single company. TIFFs do not retain metadata from a source electronic document.