redaction [English]

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ Masking confidential or offensive information in a document.

General Notes

Redaction may make it impossible to discover masked information, completely covering a work or block of text. In other instances, especially to flag offensive content, information may leave a few letters that allow the reader to infer the hidden word.

Other Definitions

  • Black's 9th 2009 (†382 ): 1. The careful editing of a document, esp. to remove confidential references or offensive material. – 2. A revised or edited document.
  • OED Concise 10th (†440 ): 1. The process of editing text for publication. – 2. A version of a text.


  • Gartner IT Glossary (†298 s.v. "redaction"): The process of “redacting” documents has been used in the legal profession for decades to black out confidential or privileged information during the exchange of documents during litigation. In electronic documents, redaction refers to the permanent removal of information, not the masking or obfuscating of data. (†1590)
  • Wikipedia (†387 ): A form of editing in which multiple source texts are combined (redacted) and altered slightly to make a single document. Often this is a method of collecting a series of writings on a similar theme and creating a definitive and coherent work. ¶ The term is also used to describe removal of some document content, replacing it typically with black rectangles which indicate the removal, although this usage was not documented by authorities such as the Oxford English Dictionary as of 2016, though earlier editions gave only this definition. For example, originally classified documents released under freedom of information legislation may have sensitive information redacted in this way. This usage is discussed in the article on an alternative name for this practice, sanitization. (†2671)