Minutes (minutes)

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A protocol records, records or prescribes at what point in time or in what order which process was or is initiated by whom or by what.

Logging or filing refers to the recording or writing of a document with the three log components first time, second identifier or persons involved and third process. The written record is also called the record . In addition, logging can also generate an electronic document or an audio or video document. If no people are involved in the logging, this is done automatically, for example in the case of flight recorders or accident data memories .


The word protocol is detectable in standard German vocabulary since the 16th century and from the Middle Latin protocollum borrowed, in turn, even from the middle Greek πρωτόκολλον, protókollon (from πρώτος Protos "first" and κόλλα, Kolla , "adhesive, glue") with the original meaning "[The official papyrus rolls] pre-glued sheet" was borrowed. A protókollon was initially a sheet of bibliographical data stuck to the front of papyrus rolls, which roughly corresponds to today's folder . The term was later carried over to other chronological records, up to and including French diplomacy, where the word finally referred to a “collection of rules”.


A record is made by a secretary or recorder or a technical recording device. Protocols can be differentiated according to the time of their creation, their content and the type of recording.

In terms of time, there are three basic types:
  • the advance log ("a priori logging"), the regulation of a future process (concept),
  • the now logging , the immediate observation of a current process (monitoring),
  • the memory log ("a posteriori logging"), the evidence of a previous sequence.

If a correct implementation of defined processes should also be able to be checked in retrospect, the advance log is linked to a now log or memory log, for example in the form of a checklist .

With regard to their content, a distinction is made:
A classification of the minutes is also possible according to the way in which they were filed:


High demands are placed on logging to secure evidence . This includes in particular the following aspects:

  1. the correctness of the content
  2. the completeness
  3. the relevance of the recorded processes or events
  4. the authenticity of the authorship
  5. the validity of the protocol

If the content of the protocol is guaranteed to be correct, it has positive evidential value . The positive conclusiveness proves that the logged processes or results took place as recorded. If the completeness is ensured, a protocol can also be assigned negative evidential value . This provides evidence that non-certified processes did not take place and non-certified results did not occur. The authenticity of the protocol depends on its entire evidential value. Proof of forgery invalidates the entire protocol. The validity of a protocol is usually established with the signature or some other final and identity note of the person taking the minutes or another person responsible.

These requirements must be determined by the time at which it was created (a now protocol is more reliable than a memory protocol), the way in which it is recorded (technical device or recorder), when the data is recorded (sensors, objectivity ) and the data is stored ( archiving , stable medium with controlled accessibility).


Records are those records that are made according to a defined, usually constant, scheme .

At meetings , conventions , negotiations , etc., a formal summary of the discussions and events is written. For this reason, clubs , associations and similar organizations appoint a minute taker or secretary who is responsible for this. A distinction is made between a progress log and a result log for these recordings.

In the book Understanding Film by James Monaco, such devices are referred to as protocol techniques with which audiovisual processes can be automatically recorded and accessed using a film camera or projector and tape (or their multimedia developments).


Logs have a fixed external form:

  • Protocol header: The header of the protocol contains precise information:
    • Occasion (title of the event, organizer)
    • Date, start and end, place, people present, absent, mailing list , recorder, chair of the meeting, topic and list of items on the agenda (TOP)
  • Main part: the actual writing
  • End: Place, date and signature of the minute taker on the right and that of the chairman of the meeting on the left (often after approval in the next meeting or - in the case of minutes of results - in the same meeting). With two signatures the protocol becomes a certificate (a document produced by only one person is essentially a note or a memo).


Common: In the head are the name and date of the meeting, start and end, plus participants, apologists and mailing list. The agenda is sorted in the text, perhaps also in the head. The recorder signs on the right, the chairman on the left.

  • Word protocol : In a verbatim record of each predicted word is co-written (eg. German Federal ). Expressions of emotion and words said several times such as and, and, and; or or; yes, yes, yes, however, are not included in the minutes. The creation of verbal transcripts is increasingly being taken over by computer stenographers who can use a shorthand keyboard or speech recognition software to write down the spoken word in real time, a task that was previously performed by speech-to-text interpreters . A word fairly conversation protocol is as Verbatim referred.
  • History log : Exact reproduction of the course and result of a session. Short or detailed factual reproduction in the actual order; see also process log .
    • Tense: present tense , also past tense is possible;
    • Conversations: indirect speech (contributions to the conversation in indirect speech)
  • Minutes of results : reproduction of the resolutions and possible further results;
    • Tense: present tense;
  • Lesson protocol : It is a mixture of course and result. It is structured thematically according to TOPs , i. In other words, various statements on one topic are summarized, even if they were expressed separately from one another in the conversation.

Areas of application


A test protocol describes the implementation of a scientific test and documents possible results. It includes the execution of the experiment, possibly observations and an explanation as well as evaluation of the results.


The treatment of patients can be specified as a protocol (treatment protocol, therapy protocol), as can a planned and standardized diagnosis (examination protocol ).

Automotive sector

The standardized detection of errors in automotive technology can be done using diagnostic protocols.


Minutes are drawn up about the oral hearings in court proceedings , such as the main hearing minutes in criminal proceedings . The logging can be replaced by a reporter's note under certain conditions . Incorrect records can be corrected at any time upon request or ex officio .


  • Melanie Moll: The scientific protocol. From seminar discourse to type of text: empirical reconstructions and requirements for practice (= Studien Deutsch 30). Iudicium, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-89129-141-8 (also: Munich, Univ., Diss., 2001).
  • Michael Niehaus, Hans-Walter Schmidt-Hannisa (Ed.): The protocol. Cultural function of a type of text. Lang, Frankfurt am Main et al. 2005, ISBN 3-631-50315-6 .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Protocol  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Kluge Etymological Dictionary of the German Language , 24th edition
  2. Thieme E-Journals - manual therapy / abstract. Retrieved July 2, 2020 .
  3. Standardized diagnostic protocols in the automotive sector. Retrieved July 2, 2020 .