Deleting and archiving web content procedure

Procedure

Intent

This procedure provides direction for the archiving and deletion of web content, in compliance with the University’s recordkeeping standards.

Scope

RMIT staff members who are responsible for determining the lifespan of content and performing archiving and deletion activities on the RMIT web presence.

Exclusions

This procedure does not apply to:

  • courseware, including scholarly work, student work and learning and teaching materials
  • websites that have no relationship to RMIT (for example, personal or private sites)

Procedure steps and actions

Procedure (including Key Points)

Responsibility

Timeline

Archiving and deletion process

1. Planning for Archiving

1.1 During the planning of content creation within the RMIT web presence the Web Manager should assess the archival value against the following criteria:

1.2 Business value needs to be archived in a records management system.

1.3 Historical value may need to be archived in a records management system.

1.4 No archival value where archiving is not required.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Ongoing

The following table provides examples of the archiving criteria for different categories of content:

Value of Content

Archiving Requirement

Examples

Business value

Must be archived

  • Policies, procedures, instruction
  • Forms
  • Strategies, plans, frameworks
  • Reports
  • Memos

Historical value

Can be archived

Organisation charts/staff listing pages

Value during the content’s life-span only

No archiving requirement

  • Buttons, decorative design elements
  • Photos for illustration purposes
  • Timetables
  • Events
  • Web scripting files (such as HMTL or CSS)
  • Contact information

Procedure (including Key Points)

Responsibility

Timeline

1.5. While significant changes to content must be archived, it is not necessary to archive minor changes such as spelling and grammar corrections as these present an acceptable or low level of risk.

1.6. There is no need to archive web content replicated from print publications, for example PDF copies of brochures. Refer to the Transferring Records into the RMIT Archival Collection Procedure and its supporting instructions for direction on storing printed materials.

1.7. Content Type Instruction specify archiving and expiry requirements for different content types.

1.8. While content may be automatically backed up by systems this does not constitute an archival record, which must be added to the records management system in accordance with Step 2.

1.9. During the planning process, the expiry date for the content is determined with reference to the Content Type Instruction, determining the lifecycle of the content including when it will be due for archiving.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Ongoing

2. Deleting and Archiving Outdated or Expired Content

2.1. At least two months before the expiry date for content, the Web Manager (as a delegated authority of the content owner) ensures:

2.1.1. any links to the content are understood and that content owners of referring pages are informed of deletion dates

2.1.2. content has been identified within the web publishing system for deletion

2.1.3. the web editor is informed of expiring content that it is due for deletion.

2.2. Where content is created with an expiry date of less than two months, archiving must be considered as part of its creation (i.e. the content's business or historical value must be determined before it goes live).

2.3. Content with historical or business value is prepared for archiving.

2.3.1. The content may need to be converted to a format that is readily storable on the document management system. For example, in TRIM web pages must be converted to PDF prior to their being archived, but digital assets such as MS Word documents, spreadsheets, videos and images can be archived using their existing formats.

2.3.2. The document management system record must include metadata to reflect the date of publishing, context and placement on the web.

2.4. When performing more complex or large-scale archiving activities (for example archiving entire sites or databases), consult the Manager, Records and Archives for advice on:

2.4.1. assessment for historical value

2.4.2. retention of University records

2.4.3. appropriate destruction of electronic files.

2.5. On the content’s expiry date, the Web Manager:

2.5.1. verifies that content that was identified as having historical or business value has been archived

2.5.2. checks whether there is a need to extend the lifespan of the content on the web presence

2.5.3. archives content into the document management system.

2.6. Once the web manager is satisfied that all archiving requirements have been met, they approve the deletion.

Content Owner

Web Content Creator

Web Editor

Web Manager

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy

Ongoing

[Next: Supporting documents and information]