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					     Email Management
     is not a Natural Act
  Managing the Digital University
Desktop: Introduction and Preliminary

  Megan Winget - Co-Project Manager
         Email As Record
• Email = considered “insignificant” mode
  of communication
• Appropriate user decisions
 The “insignificant” nature of
either their email or their job…
• “I don't think that I produce the kinds of documents that are
  legally of interest, it's not like I am discovering DNA or
  anything, [it’s] not of potential relevance to a broad enough
  spectrum of people to be worth it” [Sociology Faculty member]
• “[Email is] the equivalent of the pink "while you were out"
• “No, [archivists] have better things to do with their time”
• “There are a lot more interesting things happening at the
• “I don't think of [emails] as permanent documents”
• “It's not as though I transfer deep thoughts via email.”
   Important Emails Printed /
    Stored Somewhere Else
• “Things that are truly important typically have
  a hard copy somewhere that gets routed
  through records retention.”
• “I’d like to believe that everything that we
  have this is important we have in paper files.”
• “Whatever I think of as permanent I would
  print out, I’ve never considered email to be
       Technical / Monetary /
        Archival Challenges
• “It doesn’t seem like it’s worth spending
  resources to save that sort of stuff forever.”
• “My instincts say no…and that’s simply out of a
  belief about the relationship of that information
  to me. It’s all about context and what’s relevant
  at the moment.”
• “You could kind of say that anyone would want
  to save anything, but someone would have to
  write out a history of it.”
• “I just see that as an insurmountable amount of
   Email Should Be Saved…
•Historical Purposes: “That would be an
interesting thing to look at 1000 years from
•Legal Purposes: medical, student,
administrative records
•Institutional Memory: “After I leave, someone
will have to know how I did things.”
                                  Document Types
                                                   Fina ncia l m a te ria ls
                   4%                 22%
                                                   Adm inis tra tive R e co rds
                                                   Stude nt re co rds
                                                   C orre spo nde nce
              9%                                   Gra nt m a te rials
                                                   Le ga l m a te rials
                                                   P a tient reco rds
               9%                                  R es ea rch pa pe rs
                                                   Em a il
                                                   pres e nta tio ns

based on 59 responses
                Do You Follow a Retention Schedule?

                        I don't know
                            3%           Y es


based on 70 responses
      Storage, Organization &

1. Reliable Storage and Retrieval Mechanisms

2. Comprehensible Organization Schemas

3. Metadata to Provide Context
             Reliable Storage
           (digital preservation)
•“the practice of storing email messages with long-term
value on machine readable media such as CD-ROM,
3480 tape, or digital linear tape presumes that the
hardware and software required to read the data will
exist into the future.”
•Reserves the right to “accept into the State Archives
email stored only on those media it has the ability to
read” and that it might “delegate the responsibility of long
term maintenance and preservation to the creating
Comprehensible Organization
• The email messages must be organized
  in a system, so that one may determine
  the general topic to which the messages
                        How Many Emails in Your Inbox?

                               I don't know
                           ov er 1,000
                                                     1 to 50
                        501 to 1,000                  40%

                           101 to 500
                             22%              51 to 100

based on 97 responses
Number of Folders

Low (under 10)

                      High (over 51)

     Medium (11-50)
        No Folders People
• 25% have over 3000 messages in their inbox,
• 25% have between 200 and 1000 messages
• 50% have fewer than 20

• Tend to be most satisfied,
• None of them reported problems finding an
  older email
• Not compliant with state guidelines.
         Context / Metadata
For those messages that have
 “permanent, archival value…”

• Messages transferred to the Division must
  have metadata concerning the email and its
  related electronic records recorded on the
  Division’s electronic records inventory form.
               Methods for Preserving Relationship

                      6% 3%

                                                                    Store both in em ail
                                                                    cut and paste info
                                                                    print both together
                                                                    use nam ing conventions


3 2 res pons es . Res pondents c ould give more than one ans wer.
          User Knowledge
• “Users of email must understand the ways
  in which email has changed workflow and
  business practices in recent years.”
• These users, “as well as information
  technology (IT) professionals who will be
  asked to preserve [email] over time, must
  receive training regarding issues outlined
  in these guidelines.”