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Records Liaison Newsletter| July 2022

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Legacy Records: So you have old files...

Do you have any old “legacy” documents, hard drives, floppy disks, jazz drives, etc. that have been lying around your department for years, even decades? If so, the longer you wait to determine what to do with them, the harder it will be to do something about them.

So, if the above is you, here are steps to help you determine if you can dispose of them or if you need to extract the data from them:

  1. Do they contain historical or permanent information?
  2. If yes, you will need to extract and preserve this information. If not, does your department have any need to hold onto this information?
  3. If you aren’t sure please contact Records Management for help.

*Records subject to a litigation hold can’t be destroyed until the hold has been lifted. When disposing of confidential records, always follow secure disposal practices. For more information click here.

If you no longer have the capability to read the format of the file and are unable to determine if you still need it without reading it OR need to get records off of old formats, Records Management can help. Email to inquire. If you know what’s in/on the file but aren’t sure what the retention is, call 2.6260 or email for help in figuring that out.

What is O.L.D. R.O.T.?

O.L.D. R.O.T. is an industry acronym that stands for, Orphaned, Legacy, Dormant, Redundant, Obsolete, and Transient Data/Records. The flow chart from the last newsletter was an introduction to this concept. It gave you a tool for how to cleanout this kind of data. Below are the definitions for the words in the acronym to help you as you use the flow chart (found here) to make sure your records are not just old rot;).

Orphaned Data with no context surrounding it. You no longer have any of the other documents with it and it no longer holds value.
Legacy Information that you inherited from either the previous system, or a previous employee that you aren’t sure what it is.
Dormant Data that hasn’t been used in over 3-5 years.(it is no longer in active use and hasn’t been for a long time).
Redundant Information that you have multiple duplicates of the same thing. You only need one official document, all others can be gotten rid of when no longer needed by the employee.
Obsolete Data that has no bearing at all on what happens in your department. It did... 20 years ago, but not anymore.
Transient Information that passed through your office, but isn’t worth holding on to. Example: lunch emails or invitations to events that your office didn’t send out.

Faculty Research Retention Change

Here’s the Facts:

  1. Personal Faculty Research should never be stored in the University Records Center.
  2. BYU or Department Sponsored* research may be stored in the Records Center for a reasonable time frame of 7 years. However after the 7 years, it will be subject to our normal destruction processes per the General Records Retention Policy or returned to the department.
It is recommended that research needing to be retained for longer than 7 years should not be stored in the University Records Center.

*Part of the grant money goes to BYU to pay for expenses such as lab space, etc.