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Depositing Student Records with University Archives: Digital Citizenship Tips

A guide to help you deposit your student records annually.

What is Digital Citizenship?

Digital Citizenship is the practice of using computers, the Web, and digital devices responsibly. The majority of records created today are born-digital, and when you donate your records to the Archives it's important to keep digital citizenship principles in mind.

Privacy Options

There are many different ways and combinations of ways to protect privacy after records are donated. Below are a few options: 

  1. Access restriction: define who can/cannot access the records now or for a period of time
  2. Use restriction: limit what can be done with the materials when they are accessed; e.g., no copies distributed
  3. Redaction: identify what sensitive information in a document should be concealed (e.g., names, addresses)

Archival Digital Citizenship

Because digital records are at risk of being misused, altered, or even hacked, we practice digital preservation techniques that help prevent these risks once records are sent to the Archives. However, privacy concerns with digital records can be addressed at creation and prior to donation as well.

If you are donating materials for an organization, such as a student group or residential college, ask questions such as:

  1. Do we need individuals' permission to photograph, audio record, and/or video record them?
  2. Do our records contain personally identifiable information (PII) that needs to be protected? (e.g., addresses, class schedules, social security numbers, transcripts, etc.)
  3. Who currently has access to our data (e.g., shared cloud drive) and can alter, edit, or delete files?

Appraisal Assists Digital Citizenship

Maybe something controversial is important to archive but still has privacy risks. You can take some steps to help protect privacy.

  1. Talk to your others in your organization and appraise your records
  2. Assess the risks:
    • Whose privacy may be at risk?
    • How long might the risk exist?
  3. Determine whether donated records should have access restrictions, use restrictions, and/or redactions
  4. Work with the archivists to document these issues and create plans for preservation and access