E-mail archiving for records management
journal contributionposted on 12.12.2007, 17:19 by Garry BoothGarry Booth, Graeme FowlerGraeme Fowler, Carys Thomas
The business of universities is increasingly transacted by email, and the management and preservation of stored email is an important part of an institution’s records management process. Until recently at Loughborough University email was mostly sent from, and received into, email accounts assigned to individuals, and was stored and deleted by these individuals as they saw fit. Stored email was deleted when staff left. It was backed up for business continuity, but backups were kept for a short time, and not for archive purposes. In 2002 the University successfully bid for funding from JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) under the programme “Study of the Records Lifecycle, specialist electronic studies” for a project to examine institutional email. An overview of the findings of this project is given, along with results of surveys of UK universities in 2003, 2004 and 2006 into their practice in archiving email. In 2006 the University embarked on the process of replacing the staff email system, the intention being to implement email archiving as part of the rollout, drawing on the work of the earlier project which had produced a draft email retention policy for the University. The design of the archiving facility was determined by user consultation and by involving the University senior management in consideration of the risks to being covered. Technical issues to do with the choice of server and supported client platforms also heavily influenced the choice of solution that is now being provided. The University is currently in the early stages of rollout of the email upgrade, and we describe the method we are using to implement the archiving facility.
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