According to the Council of Europe Archival Policy, there are 3 categories of documents for archival purposes:
- Referenced adopted documents: all referenced documents or publications bearing a serial identification number or an ISBN, appearing in their final, approved version
- Referenced preparatory documents: all referenced documents or publications bearing serial numbers or ISBNs, which do not yet exist in their final version and/or have not yet been approved by the responsible author
- Administrative documents: documents that are not in either of the above categories.
Any other information is limited to 3 categories:
- Record: Recorded information produced or received in the initiation, conduct or completion of an institutional or individual activity which comprises content, context and structure sufficient to provide evidence of the activity. This applies to all records regardless of format and medium
- Non-record: Council of Europe-owned information that does not fit the definition of a record
- Personal file: document containing personal data about an identifiable physical person.