University records in digital formats are subject to the same retention and disposition instructions as records in other formats. The important factor in records management is information not format. Digital records should be evaluated using the General Records Retention Schedule.
Images: Bing Creative Commons Image Search and the Texas State Library & Archives Commission
It can be challenging to keep records of any format organized, but digital records often feel particularly challenging because it is so easy to make copies and share files in different locations. We also tend to work collaboratively with cloud based documents and shared storage which can lead to many different organization styles converging and conflicting online. Unfortunately there is no standard, easy way to keep digital records well organized, but there are some strategies that can help if used consistently.
Do you work at UNCW and have storage and back-up needs for your academic research projects? Contact ARC-Academic Research Computing.
How do I know if an email is a record?
It can be overwhelming to manage email records. The following strategies may be helpful:
If your email account is designated for archival retention, we'll work with you on the transfer process. In general, you'll export selected folders and/or emails from Outlook for transfer.
UNCW websites and UNCW social media accounts are considered university records and many will be preserved for historical purposes.
The University Archives uses a service called Archive-It to archive UNCW websites and some social media content. If your department is creating or significantly changing a website or social media account, please contact us by email. If we haven't archived your unit's website, please email us to nominate a website for archiving.
As dictated by ITS policies, employees will lose access to email, OneDrive, and Microsoft 365 applications after leaving employment. It is important that unique departmental records are stored in or moved to shared departmental storage as appropriate. Avoid having records requiring retention siloed in staff OneDrive accounts long term. Avoid using Teams for private or confidential information.
What digital records should we send to the archives?