Derivative file

What is Derivative file?

Derivative file meaning in Digital terms is Often called service, access, delivery, viewing, or output files, derivative files are by their nature secondary items, generally not considered to be permanent parts of an archival collection. To produce derivative files, organizations use the archival master file or the production master file as a data source and produce one or more derivatives, each optimized for a particular use. Typical uses (each of which may require a different optimization) include the provision of end-user access; high quality reproduction; or the creation of textual representations via OCR or voice recognition. In many cases, the derivatives intended to serve end-user access employ lossy compression, e.g., JPEG-formatted images, MP3-formatted sound recordings, or RealMedia-formatted video streams. The formats selected for derivative files may become obsolete in a relatively short time.


reference: Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative – Glossary