Questions and Answers
How to manage electronic records on file shares/network drives
Storing electronic records
Managing electronic records on file shares/network drives
Migrating records to new file shares/network drives
A. Any record created or received by employees of the University in the course of conducting their University duties is considered to be a University document or record.
A. Records are kept to ensure that we have evidence of the University's business and decision making. All staff are responsible for managing their documents and records under the University's Records Management policy. This policy is designed to ensure that the University complies with all legal requirements and reflects best practice standards in relation to managing our records.
A. Staff must keep any records that are created or received in the course of conducting their University duties in accordance with the Records Management Policy and related procedures. This includes documents that require approval or authorisation, information relating to projects or activities, formal business communication to and from third parties including other staff, students or external parties.
A. Different types of records need to be kept for different periods of time. How long different types of records need to be kept is detailed in the University Records Retention and Disposal Authority.
Certain types of records and information can be destroyed without reference to the Retention and Disposal Authority under Normal Administrative Practice (NAP).
More information about records disposal is available here: http://records.unimelb.edu.au/resources/disposal
A. Both. Records need to be kept if they reflect University business, including records that have informed decision making.
A. Heads of Budget divisions are responsible for ensuring records are kept appropriately for their business area. In most instances this will mean the head of Budget Division will nominate a records coordinator who can liaise with Records and Compliance to ensure local practices comply with all relevant requirements.
A. If the University doesn't have records to support its position, then it could face litigation and adverse judgements against it. Some of these may include the loss of millions of dollars, and there are instances of staff being gaoled for failing to meet records management requirements in some jurisdictions. Apart from legal outcomes, poor records management can also open the University to high risk to its reputation and scrutiny as to its probity and competence.
Storing electronic records
A. Electronic records should be stored:
- in a function specific enterprise business system (e.g. Themis, ISIS)
- in HP Records Manager (formerly known as TRIM)
- in your file share or network drive, using the Enterprise Classification Scheme
A. No. Email is a record too, and storing emails in an email system doesn't meet our legislative requirements for records storage. Email must be captured into one of the storage areas identified above.
A. No, University records and documents must be captured and stored into one of the storage areas identified above. You can use media like this to transport records, but they must only be a copy, and you must make sure that you secure the portable media to keep the records safe.
Managing electronic records on file shares/network drives
A. The ECS is the recommended tool to use in managing and storing electronic records on network drives in accordance with the University's Records Management Procedure. The ECS is based on the functions and activities of the University (what we do), rather than organisational charts (who we are). This means that files are managed according to the context in which they are created and used, with the same types of files kept together, making it easier to find and share files and reducing the duplication of information across the University. More information on the ECS is available here: http://records.unimelb.edu.au/resources/classification
A. The ECS divides up the University's work into 14 functions, each of which has activities underneath it. Some of those activities are repeated across two or more functions, and some are very specific and only under one function.
Using the ECS, you classify where your file will sit by first working out the function it relates to. This may, or may not, be your unit's core business – it depends entirely on the records that you're filing.
Next, work out the activity that your file should sit under. Activities narrow down the functions to more specificity, so you should be able to find one that fits.
If you can't find an activity, consider whether or not you have the right function.
After you've identified your activity, create your file under the location. Use your area's document titling conventions to ensure that you title your file correctly.
A. Firstly check that you have chosen the correct function for the activity that you're looking for. Remember that the ECS doesn't reflect organisational structure – instead it reflects what the University does.
If you're not sure you have the right function – contact Records Services for further help.
A. Yes, the Scholarly Information and Research and Collections teams (formerly the University Library) in Academic Services have used the ECS to manage their electronic documents for many years.
The best name for a file or document is one that makes sense to you and anyone else who needs to know the file. Consider including the following:
- The date of the document. You can best do this as YYYYMMDD as this helps to sort the records into date order.
- A version number. We advise that you use the following numbering system –
For drafts before the first significant milestone use version 01 version 0.2, version 03 and so on.
When you reach the first significant milestone – for example distribution for feedback - the first number goes up by a whole number and the versions start again – for example version 1.1, version 1.2, version 1.3. The version that's released is the whole number – version 1.0.
When the next significant milestone is reached, then the numbering increases by a whole number again – to version 2.1, 2.2 etc.
- A guide to the content of the record – a very short summary
- The names of any parties involved depending on the type of document
- The type of document that it is.
For example – a good title would be:
20150514 – Report – S Holmes and J Watson – The Case of the Missing File version 0.3
Migrating records to a new file share/network drive
A. You should migrate all the records you need to do your job, making sure that you only take those that are relevant to your current role and tasks on hand. However – don't forget less frequent activities! If there's something that you only do once a year, and there are records that you will need next time you do that task – take those records with you too.
You will have access to the records that you leave behind in the future.
However, you need to ask yourself some important questions first.
- Should all the records that you are migrating go in the same folder in the new structure?
Generally the answer for this should be yes… but it's good to check.
- Do you need everything that's in the folder that you're migrating?
It may be that you've bundled stuff in together that actually doesn't need to be together.
- Does the file title that you're using make sense in the new structure?
If you've kept something in a folder that gives context that is lost when it's moved – make sure you include that context in the file title by using right-click – rename. The same may also apply to individual documents.
The University has a responsibility to make sure that no records are destroyed illegally. This means that the records that you don't migrate will be held until a disposal program can be run to see whether or not they can be destroyed.
Of course, if you can undertake disposal on your records that would be the best solution! You can find disposal support here: http://records.unimelb.edu.au/services/disposal_advice including the Records Disposal Toolkit. Remember – records are format neutral – the same rules apply whether they're hardcopy or electronic.
If you need access to material that is still on the old network drive, you will need to log a job online for the Windows Server Team to manually access records stored in the old network drives.
A. If you need support to help you, or your business unit meet its records management obligations, then contact Records and Compliance who will assist you. Phone ext 43534 or email firstname.lastname@example.org