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Email and Records Management
Transcript of Email and Records Management
This presentation available at: http://prezi.com/k6w8rxt4eusi/email-and-records-management/ Presenter Info (...but you are responsible for the ones that are!) You are responsible for all records you create as a state employee. Record: any document created or received by offices or employees that allows them to conduct business. Source: Wis. Stat. 16.61 Records are subject to Public Records Requests! Wisconsin Residents have the legal right to view any* public record
Offices must fulfill records requests in timely manner
Failure to fulfill request can bring legal penalties to the University! *There are exceptions to this:
Law Enforcement Records
Financial identifying information
Certain other record types defined by statute "Do I want the contents of this email on the front page of the Journal-Sentinel?" How does this relate to e-mail? E-mail is itself a record! E-mail is described as a form of "business communication" by the WI Public Records Board. Transitory Routine Historical Other schedules E-mail with little or no enduring value. Examples: scheduling meetings; emails sent with minor edits Should be destroyed 7 days after creation/receipt. Project-related email, or emails with other administrative value Examples: emails with comments on a report; emails with students re: grades Should be retained for 6 months, then destroyed. Email of ongoing interest; usually documents a decision or explains a policy Examples: discussion of tuition increases; responding to student protests Should be kept indefinitely-- but work with an archivist to identify Source: Wis. Stat. 19.31-19.39 What does Records Management mean for me? Do not destroy University Records without an approved schedule Be aware of retention, security, and disposition requirements for your records Be prepared to produce public records for a records request or subpoena Dispose of or archive records in a timely manner (i.e. when their retention period expires) (These can be found at http://records.uwm.edu) What do I do with electronic records? "A Record is a Record is a Record."
--Gertrude Stein, CRM E-records are treated the same legally as their paper counterparts. (i.e. if you digitize something you don't need the paper copy anymore, assuming you've done it right) In practice, e-records have some additional challenges. You must be able to find and access the records. E-records must be authentic. (That is, there must be proof that they haven't been tampered with.) The records must remain readable and be preserved sustainably. Can you still read one of these? (Are you sure you can meet the requirements of a 'paperless office'?) In general, for e-mail correspondence belonging to a different record series, the other series takes precedence. Examples: Scholarship notification e-mails; personnel-related e-mails Records Series: the Functional Unit of Records Management A group of records organized by function or activity. Examples: Official Personnel Files; Application Materials; Dept. Expenditures Records Retention and Disposition Authorities (RRDAs) Series Description: What records constitute the series? Retention Period: How long should records be kept? Disposition: what should be done with the records after they expire? Figure out which emails are "important". This chart shows one method, but it is by no means the only one. Reasons to keep e-mail: Statutory Example: If you discuss grades over email, you need to keep those under FERPA for at least a year. (This is , by the way, a good reason not to discuss grades over E-mail) Legal requirements to hold onto an email for some period of time. Litigation Holds: you may not destroy any records related to the hold until it is lifted. (Legal Affairs or the Public Records Custodian will inform you of these.) Example: correspondence on a project not yet completed Administrative You have some ongoing operational need to keep this email. If you haven't referred to the e-mail chain in 6 months, you can probably archive or delete it. Historical You know or suspect that your email will have research or reference value. Example: Your correspondence re: the Act 10 protests on campus If in doubt, ask an archivist for help appraising the 'good stuff.' Guidelines to snap-judging 'historical' emails Hierarchy In GENERAL, the higher up the hierarchy of either you or your correspondent, the more likely the email will be worth keeping. Historicity Is your correspondence regarding a major on-campus event or issue? The Budget Repair Bill is a good example of this. Decision-Based If your email sets, explains, or interprets policy, it's probably archival Determine your storage method. Off-Line Storage AKA "Printing Out Your Emails" Pros Best for ensuring longevity
Best for ensuring authenticity
Established method of transfer Cons Unwieldy/Wasteful
Does not preserve email metadata or attachments (So remember to print your headers if you do it this way) Recommendation: Use as secondary preservation choice. On-Line Storage AKA "Keep your emails in your mail client" Pros Simple-- no extra work required
Maintains original file structure and metadata/attachments Cons No good way to transfer these emails to archives
At mercy of email server/client What do you do when the server is down? When UWM moves to a new client? Recommendation: Avoid this method if possible. Near-Line Storage AKA "Move your emails out of the system to another drive/server" Pros Cons Maintains metadata and attachments
Can be converted to sustainable preservation formats*
Archives is able to ingest these files *This is usually a open-source, non-proprietary format, like RTF or EML By far the hardest method to maintain
May lose original file structure in migration process Recommendation: Use as a primary preservation method... but ask an archivist for guidance Get your e-mails to the archives! (This section assumes you will be exporting your emails.) Step 1: Get the emails out of your system! The easy way: Email clients Usually clients have a menu option or addon to allow this.
Some even let you drag emails directly to desktop folders! The less-easy way: Direct from PantherLink Accessible from Preferences>Import/Export
Saves as tarball files, so you'll need an tar-unzip program to read later Step 2: Get the files to the Archives! We can accept files on CD, Flash Drive, Hard Disk, or via PantherFile sharing. Normal rules re: Transfer Forms still apply. Make your emails themselves info-rich Use Descriptive Subjects. Good: "Project XYZ 4/11 Parameters" Bad: "Project Info" Keep reply chains in the email body. Why? It lets you (and others) follow the conversation. (Truncation of especially long emails may be appropriate... keep the headers if possible, though.) Headers Include a Signature Block. This helps with the "paper" trail later. Use classification tools. Tagging Most email clients (including PantherLink) have a tagging function to group similar emails together. Only use about 8 tags at most for ease of memory, upkeep (If an email doesn't fit into a tag, you need to create broader tags.) Tag emails AS THEY ARE CREATED. Consider collaboration with your coworkers Office-wide categories allow those categories to work more consistently. Foldering Generally allows for more specificity, easier searches than tagging. (...But there's usually also more work involved.) Use a filing scheme that makes sense for you: Subject-based? Good for reference
Chronological:? Good for activity tracking
Retention-based? "Fire and forget" for email retention; needs RRDAs to be in place Use your client's filtering tools! Subject terms? Sender? Date sent?
PARTIALLY automates filing-- you'll still have to move the odd stuff around Foldering also lets you QUICKLY identify and segregate personal or important emails. BE CONSISTENT! An inconsistent filing or classifying system is arguably worse than none at all. Resources UWM Records Management Email Guidelines http://www4.uwm.edu/libraries/arch/recordsmgt/email.cfm UW System Business Communications General Records Schedules http://www.uwsa.edu/gc-off/records/schedules/06.16.2008.UWS.General.Records.Schedule.Business.Communication.FINAL.pdf UWSA Desktop training: Business Communication http://www.uwex.uwc.edu/admin-services/audit/businessComm/ UITS Short Courses: E-mail, calendar, and file storage https://www4.uwm.edu/uits/services/training/courses/index.cfm#comnet *Usually. See, e.g. the Open Records request for William Cronon's emails, though notably most of his personal emails were not disclosed. Keep your inbox manageable. "Inbox Zero" is probably a pipe dream... "Inbox Low" is not "Touch Once" method: file or delete your email IMMEDIATELY after reading. Keep emails requiring quick followthrough in the inbox, as needed DON'T keep emails in your box as a "to-do" list Many clients have a "tasks" tab... use it! Get a handle on your BACN.* *BACN: "Email you want, but not right now" Listserv posts
Notifications and/or confirmations Filters were BORN to handle BACN. Select listserv name or sender
Filter them directly to dedicated folder
Keep BACN out of your inbox!