Six Things To Consider When Beginning A Scanning Project

Often there is such a mess of documents and they are in disorder. You do not know what you need to scan and what to throw away. The documents take up space and and are a mess!

Before you can tackle a scanning project, the documents should be cleaned up. Throw away documents which are no longer needed and pair down to exactly what needs to be scanned.

Once you know what needs to be scanned, there are 6 things to consider:

  1. Document Preparation
    – Removing staples, bindings, paper clips
    – Repair damaged paper by taping it
    – Prepare small sized documents such as Post-It notes, receipts, etc
    – Document preparation is extremely labor intensive
    – Taping a damaged sheet
  2. Filing Structure
    – Decide how to organize the folders
    – Naming conventions (how are the files going to be named?)
  3. PDF Formatting
    – DPI (Dots per Inch)- The higher the DPI the sharper and larger the image. For example, photographs often require a higher DPI (300) because they are often viewed larger than the original. As a rule of thumb, if a document is viewed at 100% in size or smaller, 200 DPI is sufficient.
    – OCR (Optical Character Recognition)- Do you need your text to be searchable?
    – PDF or PDF/A- PDF/A is an archive PDF that is not designed to be modified.
  4. Added Data
    – Metadata- Data which is imbedded into the document properties
    – PDF Bookmarks- Creates a built in table of contents
    – Separate Database or Spreadsheet- Beneficial when there are many fields of data
  5. End Product
    – Where is the newly digitized information going?
    – External Hard Drive
    – Network
    – Cloud
    – Document management system
    – Where do the paper documents go? (Shredded, archived, Returned to original location?)
  6. Sustainability
    – Plan for the future
    – How will archive be maintained?
    – Who is responsible? Librarian? Continual Scanning Contract?
    Good luck! Contact archSCAN to discuss your scanning project.

Vivica Williams

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