Tips to Clean Up Electronic Records from University Records Management
As we begin the migration of employee H: Drives to OneDrive, University Records Management (URM) has compiled the following tips on cleaning your H: Drive to make the migration easier.
1. Know how long your records need to be kept.
Consult the University Records Retention Schedule to determine how long your records need to be kept. If they are past the recommended retention period, you can delete them so they aren't migrated to OneDrive. If you have specific questions not answered by the Retention Schedule, email URM at email@example.com.
2. Purge drafts and working documents for projects that are completed.
Once a project is completed, delete all drafts or working documents. These are fine to keep while the project is ongoing to see the progression of the work, but once the final document or report is completed there is no longer a need for “Final_Report_version2” or other versions.
3. Know the difference between Reference or Personal Copy, Department Copy and Official Record.
Each of these terms has a different retention length, so know which copy you've created.
- Reference or Personal Copy – Your own copy of a document or record that you have submitted to someone else for approval. This can be a reimbursement request, a draft of a report, etc. These are documents that you created for someone else. Once the approval or action has been taken, these documents are not required to be kept. A good rule of thumb is 1 year to ensure that there aren’t questions or audits.
- Department Copy – The “middleman” of a records keeping. Many Departments create a document that is then sent on to Human Resources, Registrar’s Office, or the Comptroller’s office for approval or action. Sometimes an employee submits their Personal Copy to the Department to be forwarded, other times it’s part of the Department’s process. Examples include: college-held student records, invoices, and personnel documents. Department Copies do not need to be kept as long as the the retention length ranges from 1 – 7 years for the Official Copy.
- Official Copy – The final stop for a record. For example, the Registrar’s Office holds all Student Transcripts or Human Resources holds employee benefit and personnel records. This is the copy of the record that will be used if there is a request, audit or legal hold.
4. Understand where to store your records – G: Drive vs. H: Drive/OneDrive
For electronic records, answer these questions before you decide where to store records:
First: Will these records be needed after I am no longer employed by the University? Are these records helpful to my department or only to me? If they would be needed or helpful to your department or a project you are working on, then they should be stored on the G: Drive or another shared workspace. If they are only helpful or understandable to you, then they should be stored on your H: Drive or OneDrive.
Second: Are these records held by another department? Which department is the official record holder? An example of this would be an invoice that you paid and were reimbursed for. Who else holds this? Most likely it was also submitted to your department business/finance team and to the Comptroller’s office. Both the Comptroller and department copies have defined retention lengths per the University Retention Schedule, and they are required to keep those records accordingly. Your personal copy is considered a reference copy and is only required to be kept as long as needed, usually no more than a year in the event of an audit requiring back up information. In this example, both the department copy and the Comptroller’s copy should be kept on the G: Drive or another location that can be accessed by those who need the information to conduct their business. Your personal reference copy should be kept on the H: Drive or OneDrive.
What should be stored on your Department’s G: Drive or Shared Drive?
- Project files
- Business files
- Grants and contract information
- Legal documents
- All records that are needed to conduct the business of your department or unit These records should all be kept according to the University’s Retention Schedule
What should be kept on your H: Drive or OneDrive?
- Research for projects
- Drafts of reports
- Reference material
- Historical background