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Electronic communication and collaboration tools

This guidance covers tools and systems such as email, instant messaging, text messaging and systems for sharing and collaboratively working on documents. A variety of these tools and systems are used at the university to produce records on a daily basis. Some of the records produced or stored in these systems have value as university records and must be removed and stored in an approved repository, in accordance with the Records Management Policy.

Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, any recorded information is considered a record. The Records Management Policy expects faculty and staff to determine whether those records are university records that must be retained or transitory records that may be discarded. This page will assist you in making those determinations for records created by electronic communication and collaboration tools. 

  • What electronic communication tools are in use at UOIT?

    Some examples include email, Google Hangouts, text messaging, and any other tools that may be used on an informal basis.

  • What collaboration systems are in place at UOIT?

    Workspace for Information Sharing and Collaboration (WISC), Google Drive, and any other systems that may be used on an informal basis.

  • Is it okay to continue to use these systems?

    Yes. These systems are an important tool for creating and sharing records efficiently.

  • How do I determine if a record of communication has value?

    A record of communication containing decisions or advice, one that sets expectations for students, staff or others or one that provides instructions is likely a university record. You must use your discretion to determine whether the communication has enough significance to be a university record. Unless otherwise determined in local processes, the sender (if sent by a member of the responsible unit) or first recipient (if it was sent from elsewhere) in the responsible unit is responsible for retaining the record.

    If a record of communication relates to an ongoing case, student file, or project and it is the only record documenting the interaction or content, it should be added to that file and managed accordingly.

  • What records of communication are transitory?