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Electronic Records Management
Brad Houstonon 20 February 2015
Transcript of Electronic Records Management
Thank you for your attention!
Brad Houston, University Records Officer
This presentation available at: http://prezi.com/rpg4z7wtugc9/electronic-records-management/
Treat your e-records the same as "normal" records for retention.
Have a systematic way of finding/accessing your e-records.
Always be mindful of your security needs.
Have a plan to keep your long-term e-records accessible and readable.
These are the "basics"-- how to deal with application documents.
Digital imaging CAN be a great tool for records management, but proceed with caution.
New electronic paradigm, new challenges
E-records ID and management
Digitization of paper records
Cloud computing and social media
But first, some vocabulary:
Electronic Record: any record created/maintained in a computer-readable format.
Born-Digital: Records that were originally created in electronic format.
Application document: a document created by a desktop application (e.g. Word or Acrobat).
Why keep electronic records at all?
It's easier to access and share your records.
The physical space requirements for storage are MUCH lower.*
*That said, robust electronic storage is neither free nor infinite.
It's easier to find older records.
Wisconsin ADM 12
Electronic records must have these 6 qualities:
The records can be retrieved for reference or access within a reasonable period of time.
The retrieved file correctly reflects the original record.
The electronic record correctly reflects the input of creators and editors and can be substantiated.
The electronic record reflects the initial record each and every time it is accessed.
The letters, numbers, and symbols in the document are uniquely identifiable.
The records can be opened on an accessible program and easily read by any and all users.
Two factors at play:
Appropriate File Naming
Appropriate File System
(In other words, how do we know you actually wrote this document?)
Solution A: Legal Presumption
Solution B: File Protection
All three of these pertain to long-term records access.
Can you still read one of these?
What happens once I don't need an e-record anymore?
Before you begin: Strategize
(In other words, why are you looking at implementing a digital imaging system?)
For your consideration...
Training and staffing needs
...Not to mention the records/legal issues!
At MINIMUM, talk to these people first:
Your unit IT department
UITS (large/high-bandwidth projects)
Information Security Office
Purchasing (if using a CMS)
See also Records Management Digitization Guidelines:
Include, at minimum, the following in your file names:
Date (e.g. "052912")
Type (e.g. "report", "minutes", etc.)
Unique Identifier (Project name, committee name, etc.)
Avoid "forbidden" characters (@#$&*%/?)
The filing system you choose will depend on your needs:
Alphabetic: simple subject files, case files
Automatic Arrangement, Low Control
Chronologic: financial records, activity tracking
Good for keeping track of disposition periods
Subject: Administrative/Reference Files
Usually tiered organization
Most versatile, requires most vigilance
An example combining all three:
Tagging is another option for organizing your files.
Build a "tag library" of a few main categories of documents.
If your office relies on the record to conduct business, it is
to be authentic. (FRE 803(6))
This rule assumes that you're making good-faith efforts to maintain authentic records.
The easiest way to guarantee a file's authenticity is to
Most programs have settings to make a file read-only.
OneDrive has Versioning and Audit tools that show how files have been changed.
Keep your files on robust, sustainable media.
Good examples: Dept. server; External Hard Drive
Bad examples: CD-Rs; DVDs; Flash Drives
Keep your media in good condition and check it periodically to make sure it still works.
Save record copies of archival documents in sustainable, open-source formats. (Or PDF)
If your records will be kept for longer than 5 years,
In general, migrate records every two versions of the software that originally created them.
You should follow all applicable Records Retention and Disposition Authorities (RRDAs) when destroying records.
If a record belongs to a particular series in its paper form, its electronic form is part of that series as well.
Just hitting "delete" may or may not be enough!
If a record has been created or maintained digitally, the UWM Archives prefers to receive it in that format.
We can accept electronic records via a number of media:
Internal or external hard drives
Removable media (CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, Flash drives)
Direct transmission (E-mail attachments, PantherFile, OneDrive)
The procedure for transferring electronic archives is mostly the same as for paper records...*
*But you should be prepared to answer more questions about your e-records-- creation, arrangement, etc.
Will your digitized records supplement or replace your paper copies?
How does digitization improve your business processes?
What kinds of records are you digitizing? How does that change what information you need to provide?
How many records do you need to digitize? What is your annual accumulation?
How long must digitized records be retained?
Don't assume that digitization will NECESSARILY save your office money!
Formats such as images, maps, etc. will require additional metadata.
Storage is cheaper than it used to be-- but not free. Budget for future additions!
Do all digitized records have RRDAs? If these are long-term records, how will you keep them readable?
Your systems should include,
Open Systems Architecture
Controls and System Auditing
Image Authenticity Tools
Appropriate Scanning Resolution
Indexing System Database (for access)
Most of the expense of a digital imaging system comes from training and staff operations.
Personnel should be trained on
aspects of using the system before they are granted access to add or dispose of records.
Only personnel who require access to digitized records for their daily job duties should have access to the digital imaging system.
Be aware of your data's security classification!
If you are digitizing student data, for example, you will need greater security than if you are only working with meeting minutes.
Contact UWM Information Security before starting any digitization project to determine your network security requirements.
What kind of storage are you using for your digital images?
Make sure you're selecting ROBUST media, such as removable hard drives.
Again, CDs, DVDs, etc. are not reliable for long-term storage.
Lean towards larger storage media if possible-- the better to not accidentally walk away with.
If you're using your departmental drive, make sure it can handle the storage load (plus any future additions).
Cloud drives are an option, but there are usage and security concerns (more on this in a bit).
What do we mean by "Cloud Computing"?
Essentially, 'cloud computing' refers to any sort of distributed (i.e. non-local) computing.
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
Cloud storage (Dropbox, Google Docs, etc.)
Cloud Utilities (E-mail, Scheduling applications, etc.)
Why should I care about the cloud?
It becomes MUCH easier to collaborate on documents with officemates/team members.
You are able to reduce the storage burden on your personal hard drive or dept. server.
The distributed nature of cloud applications brings down the cost for any one person or office.
You sacrifice a certain amount of physical and intellectual control over your records.
Not all cloud applications are willing or able to provide the security you need.
The application you use may not be flexible enough for your particular needs.
Some cloud applications assert ownership of any records managed within.
Application employees may purposefully or inadvertently access your confidential records.
If the application/service goes away, so do your records.
The Cloud can be useful, but use it for the right things.
Use the cloud for:
Informal communication with other employees
Sharing content/publications with the public
Services that have been provided through a contract with the provider
Avoid the cloud for:
Long-term storage of any university records
Official communication with specific members of the public
Storage of or collaboration on any confidential records (student, health-related, personnel, etc.)
What do I do with Social Media?
Social media posts are records!
You are responsible for managing content as records
Your content reflects on both you and the University
Your content is potentially discoverable through Open Records Requests
Social media etiquette
If you have a personal social media account, clearly identify it as such.
Make sure your tone reflects positively on UWM!
Post information that is helpful and useful to your followers and fans.
Be responsive to feedback and inquiries.
Social media management
Most social media records are covered by RRDA UWBC0002 (destroy when superseded).
*Certain kinds of social media content, such as direct messages, may have longer minimum retention.
Social Media is a record when a post:
is unique and unavailable elsewhere.
contains evidence of your policies/procedures.
is being used to conduct work.
contains information for which there is a business need.
Non-UWM posts on UWM sites (e.g. a Facebook Wall post) are also records and must be managed.
Do not post any information to social media that is protected by FERPA, HIPAA, or other state or federal statutes.
Periodically export or download your office's social media content for backup and archiving.
Both Facebook and Twitter now have native export functions in preferences.
Most people won't notice records management for day-to-day social media use.
Having said that, awareness of social media as a record will help you remember to use it responsibly.
Is it a Record?
Does your file:
Support or document a transaction?
Document the formulation or execution of a policy, interpretation of a policy, or change of policy?
Document Actions taken in response to an inquiry?
Relate to the substantive business of your office or work unit?
Provide information regarding the historical development of UWM programs or people?
If “yes” to any of the above, it is a record!
Value of a record determined by content, not format!
Student paper submitted in class or via mail
Student paper (e-mailed or D2L-submitted)
Memorandum of conversation
Instant message log
Accession card catalog
Museum accessions database
Form master copy
Memo, typed letter
UWM social media guidelines
E-records at UWM
Email Management (so complex, it has its own prezi):
UWM Information Security
Examples of Sustainable Formats
PDF, docx, odt
PDF, odp, pptx
mp4, AVI, mov
odt, csv, xlsx
The archives is capturing some--not all-- social media accounts in its web collection.
(We will add your department's feed on request.)
In cases of particularly sensitive information, you may want to reformat, or even destroy, your hard drive!
As of October 2012, we have been archiving the UWM website (and some affiliate sites)
If you're putting records on the UWM domain, they're being captured (in theory)!
The flip side of this: if a document has been captured, it can come off the web server if not immediately needed.
"Yeah, but is this really an ARCHIVAL record?"
Yes! Provides a great record of how the university presents itself in informal settings.
Library of Congress is archiving all tweets, but mostly for Big Data purposes--it's not really useful for individual accounts.
There are a couple of ways to archive social media-- more in a bit.
"Is Storify good enough for archiving social media?"
Storify *curates* social media, which is not quite the same thing.
If you can get it out of the online Storify environment (even by printing!) it will suffice for archival purposes.
(Office 365/OneDrive has features to help with this)
(OneDrive can do this too-- sort of...)
(You CAN use OneDrive to collaborate, but be sure to check your permissions first)