Office employees are loath to give up the vast amount of paper stored in their filing cabinets, much to the chagrin of companies that sell scanners and electronic document management systems.

A recent survey by AIIM, an industry association representing vendors of such products, found that 62% of important documents are still archived in paper form. Even when documents are sent off to be scanned for archiving, 25% are photocopied beforehand "just in case," the survey found.

"We are at last in a situation where electronic archiving of records is efficient, effective and can save huge amounts of space, and yet most office staff seem to be hanging on to paper in the mistaken view that there is some legal reason to do so," said AIIM President John Mancini, in a statement.

"Despite the fact that the legal admissibility of scanned paper documents has been established for nearly 20 years and is nailed down in legislation and standards around the world, there is still this suspicion among users that they may need to produce the original paper copy at some stage," Mancini said.

The survey also found that many documents are "born digital," then printed out to be signed and later scanned into document systems.