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Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard: Record Identifier Element


Definition: A unique code for the record.

To uniquely distinguish one record or record series from others in the current domain, regardless of the level of aggregation.

To act as an access point to more information about the record.

Rationale: The identifier is an essential element which not only uniquely identifies the record, but also provides the "key" to all other (currently accessible) information about the record.
Obligation: Mandatory
Applicability: Applicable at the record and/or record series level.
Use Conditions:

The type and form of the identifier will be determined by the aggregation level of the record, which is documented under element 12. AGGREGATION LEVEL.

An identifier at a particular aggregation level, such as record or record series, may have to be combined with identifiers at other levels, or identifiers of other entities such as element 1. AGENT, sub-element 1.1 Agent Type and/or element 18. LOCATION, sub-element 18.4 Recordkeeping System, to ensure that a record continues to be uniquely identified if moved outside the original agency domain.

Repeatable: Yes
Sub-elements: -
Default Value: -
Assigned By: System-assigned or manually assigned by an authorized agent.
Schemes: Agency-defined schemes.

This element allows for a layered approach to identifying the record or record series. A record or record series will have an identifier which uniquely identifies it from all other records or record series in the system. A record may "inherit" the record series ID as part of its unique identifier.

Different unique identifiers may be assigned to the same record or record series, with each one serving a very different purpose. For example, a record may have a unique control symbol which reflects the sequence in which it was created, but it may also have a barcode number which is used to manage certain actions such as transfers to different storage locations. It is recommended that an authorized agent such as the Records Manager oversee and coordinate the assignment of identifiers to ensure consistency and uniqueness. Agencies that anticipate sharing records with others should consider assigning identifiers that are unique both within the agency and outside of it, most likely through the use of a unique agency prefix code. Agencies interested in such a code should consider coordinating with others using agency prefixes; for example, both InterTech and the Department of Finance (in the Minnesota Accounting and Procurement System (MAPS)) use such codes routinely.

Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard: Version 1.1, July 2002.

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