Managing Records

Records management responsibilities go beyond keeping and disposing of records at the appropriate time. Departments are responsible for efficiently managing records so that they are accessible during their active life. This entails creating, catagorizing, and saving records in a way that allows them to be easily located, retrieved, and used.

Box Best Practices

Box lets you store all of your content online, so you can access, manage, and share it from anywhere. The following best practices aim to help you make the most of this tool.

E-mail Management

E-mail that is sent or received and maintained by Emory University pursuant of its legal obligations or in the transaction of its business are records. Not all e-mail will be considered records, and in fact a significant proportion are likely to be non-records, such as personal mail, spam, or listserv traffic. The length of time for which e-mail is retained is based on its content. While you won't find a record series on the retention schedule specifically for e-mail, it's most often considered correspondence.

In order to manage e-mail efficiently, consider the following when composing messages.

  • Subject lines: Use a subject line that's short and descriptive. This will help your correspondents identify the incoming message and file and retrieve it for future use. If the topic changes, change the subject line as well.
  • Addressees: Ensure that messages are only sent to those who need to receive them. Be especially careful when using reply or reply-to-all functions and automatically completed e-mail addresses.
  • Attachments: Attachments use a lot of space and can be lost as an e-mail thread grows. When possible, use links instead of attachments or reference a file location on a shared drive. If you must send an attachment, include a description of it in the text of the e-mail to facilitate searching.
  • Signatures: Always use a signature block. This should include at a minimum your name, title, department, phone number, and e-mail address. Avoid using images in your signature block, as these will appear to be attachments, making the size of your e-mail larger and making it harder for recipients to search their e-mail for business-related attachments.

Employee Separation

When an employee leaves a position, all records - whether paper or electronic - under the control of that employee should be reviewed and dealt with according to University records procedures. Employees may keep records in their desk, local file cabinets, on their computer desktop, or on network drives, but the records remain University property. Records need to be transferred to another employee, into the office's filing system, or to off-site storage as appropriate. University departments must ensure that records in the possession of employees at the time of separation are managed properly so that important University information is not inadvertently destroyed, made public, or departs with the employee.


Prior to separation, the employee should provide his or her supervisor with a list of all University records in his/her possession and their location. If it isn't possible for the employee and supervisor to review the records and make decisions as to their disposition before separation, the employee's supervisor is responsible for ensuring the records are managed properly after the employee departs.

While IT personnel need to be involved to ensure proper transfer, protection, or deletion of electronic records, it's the responsibility of the employee's supervisor to ensure compliance with the University retention schedule as it applies to the employee's electronic records. IT personnel shouldn't delete or destroy University records without the approval of the separating employee's supervisor.


  • Active records should be transferred to the custody of other employees as appropriate.
  • Inactive records that have passed their retention period should be destroyed according to the retention schedule and in compliance with destruction procedures. Paper records that must be retained, but are not needed for day-to-day operations, may be sent to off-site storage for the remainder of their retention period.
  • Historic records should be transferred to the University Archives.
  • Non-records of a personal nature may be destroyed immediately.