Frequently Asked Document Management Questions

We’ve accumulated the most common questions new customers have when looking to outsource their document management.

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The most common type is microfiche, which are flat strips of microfilm images stored in a clear Mylar sleeve, or “jacket” (where jacket fiche gets its name). Jacket fiche comes primarily in two formats, 16mm and 35 mm, and are roughly 4 inches x 6 inches each.

COM fiche (computer output microforms ) are created by printing a computer generated data stream direclty on film. The result is the equivalent of hundreds of miniaturized paper documents, arranged in a grid pattern.

There are two different formats, 24x and 48x, each having to do with the amount of reduction on each image ( 1/24th or 1/48th respectively). Each COM fiche is approximately 105 mm x 148 mm, and holds up to 300 images, thanks to the high reduction rate.

Microfilm or roll film are wound onto a standard size reel, and can accommodate both 16mm and 35mm film. 35mm is more commonly u

A simplified outline of our microfiche scanning process generally consists of the following steps.

First we will retrieve your microfiche at your location with our document transportation team, who will securely transport your microform archive to our processing facility. Each container will be tagged and tracked at every step of the process for full accountability and a record of the chain of custody.

Next, a scanning specialist will assess your project and create a workflow that meets your specific needs. This includes reviewing a sample of your fiche, measuring the density and determining the quantity of images per sheet.

Then, we will calibrate our equipment to a sample of your fiche to optimize the quality of the final output.

After calibration, we scan your microfiche in batches, converting each image into a digital file.

Once your fiche has been digitized, we will conduct quality assurance checks and review the framing and quality of each image, making corrections or adjustments as needed.

Then, if requested, we will conduct OCR processing to extract text and convert it into text searchable metadata.

Once the quality of the images has been reviewed, each image will be tagged with key identifiers, making it easy to locate any file by name, ID, or any other data you choose.

Last, we can load your digital images onto an encrypted USB drive or upload them to a secure FTP repository.

Microforms are scaled-down reproductions of paper or film documents, often used for storing large amounts of data in a reduced amount of space when compared to their physical counterparts. Microform images are commonly reduced to about 4% or one 1/25 of their original size. In some cases, greater reductions may be used, including 1/48th.

Microform images are almost always film negatives.

Microfiche and microfilm is said to have a shelf life of up to 500 years. Unfortunately, that often hasn’t been the case, as these estimates assume the film has been stored in perfect conditions, which is very rare. In the real world, film begins to break down and decay much sooner, even more so with film that is handled regularly.

So check in on your film and fiche. Do you notice any:

  • Bumps, bubbles, or blemishes
  • Has a vinegar odor
  • Fragility or brittleness
  • Stickiness
  • Signs of mold or fungus

Your best bet is to digitize film that shows any sign of wear and tear as soon as possible, to ensure the information is preserved before any further damage occurs.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law passed in 1974 that protects the privacy of personally identifiable information contained within a students education records by giving full control over the disclosure of these records to parents and students.

FERPA (sometimes called the Buckley Amendment) provides students and parents with 4 basic rights:

  1. The right to access the information that an educational institution possesses about him/her.
  2. The right to request an amendment to those records.
  3. The right to consent to disclosure of his/her records.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the FERPA Office.

Read more about FERPA requirements.

FERPA applies to any educational institution that receives funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

If such an institution does not comply with FERPA, 34 CFR §99.67(a), the government may:

  1. Withhold further payments under any applicable program;
  2. Issue a complaint to compel compliance through a cease-and-desist order; or
  3. Terminate eligibility to receive funding under any applicable program.

Yes, our on-site team follows strict protocols to ensure that all scanning procedures are performed to in full compliance with state and federal data privacy laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Yes! Our standard document scanning service includes the transportation of your documents to and from our secure scanning facility for imaging. We can also provide packing and preparation services for businesses who prefer white glove service, as well as paper shredding services for those who do not wish to have their documents returned.

Mailroom automation is a process in which all inbound physical mail is forwarded to a central location, where it is opened, categorized, scanned, and then distributed digitally to the relevant recipients.




SecureScan provides secure curbside shredding services to businesses throughout the Capital Region and surrounding areas, including Clifton Park, Cohoes, Latham, Menands, Rensselaer, Rotterdam, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Troy.