Managing Email Records

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The key to effectively managing email and electronic messages is to be proactive.

Electronic Messages

Electronic messages, such as email, texts and instant messages, are a convenient way to convey information, similar to sending paper mail through the postal service. If an electronic message documents university business, it must be managed as a university record. Not all records are equal in value or retention period. The retention period for each message is based upon the content and informational value of the message, not the technology through which it is transmitted or stored.

Keep in mind that email and other electronic messages are comprised not just of the textual message and attachments, but also metadata (e.g., to, from, subject, time, date, system) about the message and its transmission.

The key to effectively managing email and electronic messages is to be proactive. Delete the non-records and transient records that have outlived their administrative value so that what remains are the records, sent or received, that retention schedules require to be managed. Managing email and electronic messages should be approached in a manner similar to the way that paper mail is processed and starts with reviewing the message’s content.

Identify, Clean-Up and Organize Email Records

Determine if the electronic message (e.g., email, voice mail, text) is a record and should be retained per the records retention schedules.

Contact an Expert

Shannon Davis.

Shannon Davis

Records Management and Access Administrator

Policy, Compliance and Internal Controls

420 Crofts Hall

Phone: (716) 645-5464