Scanning Records - Quality Assurance

Quick guidance on quality control measures for records scanning projects.


Quality Assurance


University (and Industry) standards for document imaging recommend the following quality control measures:

  • Documentation (or certification) verifying the integrity of the scanning/copying process, particularly when it is done by an external organization
  • Periodic testing and cleaning of scanning equipment
  • Careful preparation of the documents to be scanned such as staple removal and unfolding corners to ensure information is not obscured
  • Random sampling of pages scanned to check quality. Samples of 5-10% are acceptable, although 30% is recommended and high-risk documents may require 100% review. Check the pages to examine:
    • smallest detail legibly captured (e.g. smallest type size for text; clarity of punctuation marks, including decimal points);
    • completeness of detail (e.g. acceptability of broken characters, missing segments of lines);
    • dimensional accuracy compared with the original (i.e. can you still read the document);
    • scanner-generated speckle (i.e. speckle not present on the original);
    • completeness of overall image area (i.e. missing information at the edges of the image area);
    • density of solid black areas; and
    • color fidelity.

Image Enhancement

There are times when the final scanned image may be difficult to read for a number of reasons. If the scanned document is unreadable it is also essentially unusable. If the scanned document is to replace the original paper record these common problems must be corrected:

  • Skewed Images
    Images that are skewed or not properly aligned must be corrected by rescanning the records so that the image appears straight.  All portrait orientation pages should be rotated to read from left to right.  All landscape orientation pages should be rotated with the top of the page starting on the left.
  • Poor Quality
    If the scanned record is of poor quality and is not clearly readable reset the PPI (pixels per inch) setting on the scanner to a setting higher than 200 PPI and scan again. Keep increasing the PPI until the record is as readable as possible.
  • Poor Quality Original
    Sometimes the condition of the original paper record precludes a good quality scanned image from being produced. In these cases document the poor quality of the original record to avoid future confusion over the poor quality of the scanned image. This documentation can be accomplished by:
    • Tagging the image in metadata as "best scan possible" ; or
    • When indexing/naming the document include, "bestScanPossible"
    You may also need to keep the paper copy of the records that did not scan well.

Records and Information Management Services 


Urbana Office: Rm. 450 HAB M/C 359

Chicago Office: AOB B11

Keywordsscanning records, records management   Doc ID94804
OwnerMargaret N.GroupUniversity of Illinois System
Created2019-10-03 14:55:39Updated2024-02-19 10:10:57
SitesUniversity of Illinois System
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