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The right, opportunity or means of finding, using or retrieving information, usually subject to rules and conditions.

Access examination

The process of examining records to identify any information that falls within the definition of exempt as prescribed by the Archives Act 1983.

Check-up PLUS

The National Archives’ online survey tool to collect data from Australian Government entities on their information management capabilities. Check-up PLUS replaced Check-up Digital, which has been decommissioned.


The responsibility for the care of records and archives, usually based on their physical possession. It does not necessarily include legal ownership.

Digital Continuity 2020

A whole-of-government approach to digital information governance developed by the National Archives that aim to integrate robust digital information management into all government business processes.

Open access period

The time when Commonwealth records are eligible for release under the Archives Act 1983. The public has a general right of access to Commonwealth records in the open access period subject to certain exemptions.


The processes and operations involved in ensuring the technical and intellectual survival of authentic records through time; encompasses environmental control, security, creation, storage, handling and disaster planning for records in all formats – maintaining accessibility and usability.


Any information created, sent or received in the course of carrying out the business of an agency. Records have many formats, including paper documents, photographs, audiovisual items and digital material.

Records authority

The legal instrument issued by the National Archives that defines the permissible disposal of records. Records authorities define how long records are to be kept, and identifies those records that must be transferred to the National Archives for permanent retention.


The National Archives’ public online database to help find records in its collection.

The Archives Way

The National Archives’ set of cultural principles.