Implement Records Management

You can manage records “in place,” which means that you can leave a document in its current location on a site, or store records in a specific archive, such as a Records Center site.

Before you implement records management, it is recommended that you first create a records management plan for your organization. To help you choose the right records management system for your organization, see Choose how to store and manage records.

Create and configure a Records Center site

This section provides an overview on the major steps you need to take to create and configure a Records Center site. Click the links to see specific guidance on each step.

  1. Create the Records Center site using the Records Center site template.
  2. Create record libraries or lists to manage and store each record type that is specified in your file plan (def: A file plan describes the types of documents or items that an organization acknowledges as official business records. It indicates where these records are stored, and it provides information that differentiates one type of record from another).
  3. Add an associated content type to your libraries and lists.
  4. Create and add site columns to the relevant content types to contain and display the metadata for each record type that is specified in your file plan.
  5. Add an information management policy to a content type on the Records Center site.
  6. Configure the Content Organizer to route each record type to the appropriate location.

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Create a Records Center site

You must have at least Designer permissions to create a site.

  1. Click Settings Settings button, and then click Site Contents.
  2. On the Site Contents page, click new subsite.
  3. On the New SharePoint Site page, type a Title and a URL name for the site.
  4. In the template gallery, select the Enterprise tab, and then click Records Center.
  5. Type the name of the site and the URL name.
  6. To set unique permission, click Use unique permissions.
  7. Click Create.
  8. On the Welcome to the Records Center page, click Site Actions and then click Manage Records Center.

Use the guide under Setup Tasks and File Plan Creation to finish configuring the Records Center site. The links and information below will help you accomplish these remaining tasks.

Create libraries or lists to manage records

Libraries and lists are important elements in records management. They serve as file cabinets for each type of record you want to store or manage. Associating content types (explained later) to libraries and lists further helps categorize your records. We recommend that you create one document library or list for each content type in your records file plan.

Add an existing content type to a list or library

When you add a content type to a list or library, you make it possible for that list or library to contain items of that type. When records are submitted to the Records Center, they are routed to the relevant list or library based on the document’s content type.

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Create and add site columns to lists, libraries or content types

Columns help you group, categorize, and track records or other items. A site column defines an item of metadata that can be associated with a content type, list, or library. For example, you might want add site columns to define “author” or “date completed.” Add a site column to a content type for records either to store an item of metadata that is submitted with a record, or to add metadata to help manage the record.

Create a site column

  1. On the Records Center site, click Settings Settings button, and then click Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, under Galleries, click Site columns.
  3. On the Site Columns page, click Create.
  4. On the New Site Column page, in the Name and Type section, in the Column name box, type the name that you want.
  5. Select the type of information that you want to store in the column — for example, currency, date and time, or text.
  6. In the Group section, select the existing group in which to store the new site column or select New group to create a new group to store the column. Groups provide a way to organize columns and make it easier to find them.

In the Additional Column Settings section, select the additional column settings you want. The options available in this section differ depending on the type of column that you select in the Name and Type section. For example, if the type of information to store in a column is Choice, you can define the choices to enumerate in the Additional Column Settings section.

  1. Click OK.

Add a site column to a content type for records

  1. From the home page of the Records Center site, click Site Actions, and then click Site Settings.
  2. In the Galleries section, click Site content types.
  3. On the Site Content Types page, click the site content type that you want to configure.
  4. After you have either selected a site content type from the parent site, or created a new site content type, on the selected site content type page, in the Columns section, click Add from existing site columns.
  5. On the Add Columns to Content Type page, in the Select Columns section, select the group that you want to filter on from the Select columns from list.
  6. Select the column that you want to add from the Available columns list, and then click Add.
  7. In the Update Lists and Site Content Types section, specify whether the child site content types that inherit from this site content type will be updated with your changes.
  8. After you finish adding the columns that you want, click OK.

 Note    If the content type you want to select does not appear as a link (greyed out) on this page, the content type belongs to a parent site of the Records Center site and, therefore, needs to be selected and configured from the parent site. You can do this by clicking the link under the Source column next to the greyed out site content type under the Site Content Type column.

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Create information management policies for records

An information management policy is a set of rules for a content type. Information management policies enable organizations to control and track things like how long content is retained or what actions users can take with that content.

 Note    You must be a member of the Owners group for the Records Center site to complete this task.

Add an information management policy to a content type

 Note    You cannot specify an information management policy for a core content type. Core content types are installed when a site collection is created. You must create a content type that is derived from a core content type and apply an information management policy to the derived content type.

  1. In the site, on the Site Actions menu, click Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, in the Galleries section, click Site content types.
  3. On the Site Content Types page, click the content type that you want to add an information management policy to.
  4. On the Content Type page, click Information management policy settings.
  5. On the Edit Policy page, type a description for the policy, and then write a brief policy statement that explains to users what the policy is for. A policy statement can be up to 512 characters.
  6. Next, you need to add one or more policy features to the information management policy.

Add policy features to the information management policy

The policy features you can add to an information policy are labels, auditing, expiration, and barcodes.

Add a retention policy feature to an information management policy

  1. On the Edit Policy page, select the Enable Retention check box.
  2. Click Add a retention stage and select one of the following retention period options to specify when documents expire: To set the expiration date based on a date property, select This stage is based off a date property on the item, and then select the action (Created or Modified) and the time period (days, months, or years).
  3. Type a value in the box between the lists to specify the time period.
  4. Select the action that should occur when the document expires.
  5. If you want the selected action to repeat, select the check box in the Recurrence section and then select the recurrence period.
  6. Click OK.

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Add an auditing policy feature to an information management policy

  1. On the Edit Policy page, in the Auditing section, select Enable auditing, and then select the check boxes next to the events for which you want to keep an audit trail.
  2. Click OK.

 Note   To view the audit logs, on the Site Collection Settings page, click Audit log reports, and then select the report to view.

Add a barcode policy feature to an information management policy

  1. On the Edit Policy page, in the Barcodes section, select Enable Barcodes.
  2. Select the Prompt users to insert a barcodecheck box if you want Office client applications to require users to insert a barcode into their documents.

Add a label policy feature to an information management policy

  1. On the Edit Policy page, in the Labels section, select the Enable Labels check box.
  2. To require users to insert a label before saving or printing a document, select Prompt users to insert a label before saving or printing.
  3. To prevent labels from being changed after they are added, select Prevent changes to labels after they are added.
  4. In the Label format box, type the text you want to appear on the label. You can use any combination of fixed text or document properties, except calculated or built-in properties such as a globally unique identifier (GUID) or Created By. To start a new line, use the \n character sequence.
  5. Select a font, font size, font style, and justification for the label text.
  6. Type a label height in inches in the Height box and a label width in inches in the Width box.
  7. Click Refresh to view your changes.
  8. Click OK.

Configure in-place records management

When you use the Records Center, you are working in a locked down repository and can use a Send To operation to get records into that repository. However, any site can be enabled for in-place records management can be configured as a records management system. In this type of system, unlike with the Records Center, you can store records along with active documents in a collaborative space. Some additional benefits of using an in-place records management system are:

  • Records can exist and be managed across multiple sites.
  • With versioning enabled, maintaining versions of records is automatic.
  • eDiscovery search can be executed against both records and active documents at the same time.
  • Broader control over what a record is in your organization and who can create a record.

There are three major steps to configure in-place records management:

  1. Activate in-place records management at the site collection level.
  2. Configure record declaration settings at the site collection level.
  3. Configure record declaration settings at the list or library level.

 Note    You must be a list contributor or administrator to manually declare items as records.

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Activate in-place records management at the site collection level

The first step in configuring an in-place records management system is to activate the feature at the site collection level. Activating the feature enables the Declare/Undeclared Record command on the ribbon.

 Note    You must be a Site Collection administrator to perform this task.

  1. At the top most site level, click the Site Actions menu and click Site Settings.
  2. Under Site Collection Administration, click Site collection features.
  3. Next to In Place Records Management, click Activate.

Configure record declaration settings at the site collection level

  1. At the top most site level, click the Site Actions menu and click Site Settings.
  2. Under Site Collection Administration, click Record declaration settings.
  3. On the Record Declaration Settings page, if you want to place a restriction on what can be done to items that are declared as records, select one of the options in the Record Restrictions section.
  4. In the Record Declaration Availability section, choose whether or not the manual declaration of records should be available in lists and libraries by default. If you choose the Not available in all locations by default option, records can only be declared through a policy or workflow.
  5. In the Declaration Roles section, select the roles that can manually declare and undeclared records.
  6. Select OK.

Configure record declaration settings at the list or library level

You can have more control over where items can be declared as records by configuring record declarations for a list or library. When configuring a list or library for record declaration, you can have items automatically be declared as records when they are added to the list or library.

  1. From the list or library where you want to configure record declaration settings, click the Library or List tab on the ribbon.
  2. For libraries, click Library Settings and for lists, click List Settings.
  3. Under Document Library/List Settings page, under Permissions and Management, click Record declaration settings.
  4. In the Manual Record Declaration Availability section, select:
  • Whether you want the list or library to use the default record declaration settings used by the site collection,
  • whether users should always be allowed to manually declare items as records for the list or library, or
  • whether or not users can never manually declare records within the list or library.
  1. In the Automatic Declaration section, select the check box if you want all items that are added to the list or library to be automatically declared as records.
  2. Click OK.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Online Enterprise (E1), SharePoint Online Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E1 & E2), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise