>Best Practices for Scanning


Information that organizations need comes from many sources. Increasingly, that information arrives in electronic format, making it easy to include it in our repositories. Some information, however, still arrives in hard copy and should be scanned for ready accessibility by the appropriate people in your organization.

While the process of converting these paper documents to electronic images can be time consuming, it can be made easier by following best practices. Following are standards that will help you do just that:

ISO 10196, Document Imaging Applications – Recommendations for the Creation of Original Documents
AIIM MS52 , Recommended Practice for the Requirements and Characteristics of Original Documents Intended for Optical Scanning
AIIM TR15, Planning Considerations, Addressing Preparation of Documents for Image Capture
These three standards provide guidance on converting hard-copy, paper documents to electronic images by identifying issues you may encounter when preparing them for capture. They will also help you understand the physical characteristics of paper documents that can make scanning difficult.

If your organization is initiating a scanning operation, these documents will also help in the process design.

It’s not enough to simply have the right scanning processes in place, however; the legibility of the images captured is extremely important, especially when you intend to discard the original paper. The following standards will help you ensure that the quality of the images is the best it can possibly be by providing test targets to be used with your scanner as well as procedures for sampling the documents that have been scanned.

ISO 12653-1 , Electronic imaging – Test Target for the Black-and-White Scanning of Office Documents – Part 1: Characteristics
ISO 12653-2 , Electronic imaging – Test Target for the Black-and-White scanning of Office Documents – Part 2: Method of Use
AIIM TR34 , Sampling Procedures for Inspection by Attributes of Images in Electronic Image Management (EIM) and Micrographics Systems

When used correctly, test targets will help you ensure that your scanner operates at peak performance. If you’re conducting a large operation, it’s not feasible to inspect the image quality of each and every scanned document. The use of sampling, whereby you inspect the quality of a representative sample of the scanned images, as well as the indexed information, is an acceptable means of ensuring that the quality of the documents captured meets your organization’s requirements.


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