subjective sample

n. a portion, within a body of records, selected for permanent retention through an appraisal process that identifies those records or types of records within that series that are expected to be more important to save


Subjective samples may be created via a set of thoroughly vetted criteria designed to identify those records of the highest importance or by a relatively unsystematic process. In either case, subjective samples are never statistically valid, so they are useful only in cases where the body of records is heterogeneous and there is a clear distinction to be made between records that are strong candidates for retention and those that are not.