Running a committee and need to distribute meeting agenda and documents to a lot of people from several Tufts schools and divisions?
Working on a document with a group of Tufts colleagues across the University?
Part of a project with people outside of Tufts that requires a lot of document sharing?
Sick of emailing documents back and forth? Trapped in a document versioning nightmare?
There are a lot of document sharing and collaborative work options out there that people use to do their work. Some of of the tools are well known (like GoogleDocs and DropBox) and some of them you can happen to trip over (like your cousin’s wife’s brother’s best friend’s start-up company’s cloud-based service).
While using any of these cloud-based services can seem convenient, they come with risks that you may not have fully considered. Do you know the terms of service that you are agreeing to? Did you really read through the entire click-through agreement? Are you monitoring changes to the terms of service? Do you understand the service’s security provisions? What if your cousin’s wife’s brother’s best friend’s start-up goes out of business? Then what happens to your data?
In short, be careful about signing up for a self-provisioned cloud service to support your Tufts work because, as the draft Cloud Computing Services Policy notes, these services are “unvetted environments with significant unmeasured risks or are subject to changes in risk with or without notice.”
“But,” you say, “I need a document sharing tool for the work I have to get done at Tufts right now.”
And for you, there is the Tufts Enterprise Box Service.
Tufts Enterprise Box is a centrally provisioned cloud service that allows users to easily share and collaborate on files and other documents with people inside and outside of Tufts. The University has negotiated a Terms of Service with Box.com for this service, which means that it is an environment whose risks are better measured and accepted by Tufts.
“That sounds like what I need. What cool features does this service have?”
- Provides an online workspace for collaborative work with people inside and outside of Tufts.
- Includes tools for group discussions and comments.
- Includes version control.
- Files stored in Box are accessible from any computer, tablet, or mobile device.
- Log in uses Tufts Username and Tufts Password. No extra password to remember.
“Who can get a Tufts Box account?”
All members of the Tufts community.
“What am I waiting for? How do I get this Tufts Enterprise Box party started?”
Go to http://it.tufts.edu/box for more information about Box and on how to get an account started.
“What else should I keep in mind about using Tufts Enterprise Box?”
“What if I have questions about Box or need help using the service?”
If you have questions, request help via TechConnect, send email to email@example.com, or call the Customer Support Center at (617) 627-3376.
For support based on your school or division, see Help by Affiliation or view the Faculty and Staff IT Support Provider Contact List.
Class Day time capsule. ca. 1910
Like a time capsule, you can use the Tufts Enterprise Box to store documents. We recommend you use Tufts Box (or other Tufts services and systems such as Trunk or Network Storage) to store your documents instead of using a time capsule. Here are ten ways Tufts Box is better than a time capsule:
- Much easier to manage who can access your files in Box than in a time capsule.
- Don’t have to wait 50, 75, or 100 years to access files in Box.
- Much harder to lose track of your Box account.
- Can’t access your time capsule remotely.
- Can’t sync your time capsule files with your mobile device.
- Time capsule feature upgrades are non-existent.
- Time capsule collaboration tools are weak.
- Your time capsule is not connected to your Tufts user name and password. Instead you have to keep track of another key.
- Accessing files in a time capsule can turn in big production, usually requiring proclamations and speeches.
- Tufts Box: No digging required.
Tufts University has recently implemented its next generation Responsible Use Policy. University Information Technology recently announced the new Information Stewardship Policy and three supporting information policies. These policies will officially replace the Responsible Use Policy on May 7th. UIT has also provided a synopsis and a PDF version of each policy.
The Information Stewardship Policy is supported by the
The new Information Stewardship Policy and the three supporting policies provide a policy framework for managing information and developing other information policies that are specific to an administrative unit (school, division, or department) or to an information system/tool (such as email or mobil devices). The policy framework provides a structure and syntax that gives managers the flexibility to develop information and IT policies that meet the needs of a particular system or administrative unit while enabling connections to terminology and frameworks common to the entire University. The Information Stewardship Policy and three supporting policies also allow other information policies to speak a common language and logically “hang together” as a broader information policy framework.
The people who really need to read all four of these policies in full are those involved in information governance and information policy management. The vast majority of faculty, staff, and students who just want to know what they should and shouldn’t be doing with information and IT resources at Tufts can focus on the summary of all four policies at http://uit.tufts.edu/?pid=786.
The new Information Stewardship Policy and three supporting policies do not substantively change anyone’s rights concerning their use of information and/or IT resources at Tufts. Implementing these policies is about updating policy language and, most importantly, about establishing an information policy framework. The new policies do not shift the balance of rights between the individual and the institution.
If you have questions about the policies you can send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of key strategies for protecting personal information is ensuring that we are not unnecessarily keeping records with confidential or sensitive information. These are records that no longer have a business, legal, financial, or historical value and that should be destroyed. These records provide no benefit, only risk.
Determining when records can be destroyed, what records need to be keep, and what records need to be preserved for the life of the institution can often be a complicated task. The most important tool at Tufts for helping people determine what to keep and what to destroy is the general Records Retention Schedule. This policy, administered by the Digital Collections and Archives, lists types of records and defines how long to keep records and what one should ultimately do with those records.
Some important characteristics of the Records Retention Schedule:
- It describes 50 types of records that are organized into ten categories.
- It is format neural and applies to electronic, paper, and microform records.
- It is a general policy that describes how long to keep and what to ultimately do with records; it does not get down to the details of how a particular office should manage and store its records. The policy provides a framework for managing people’s records, it does not manage your records for you.
- It applies to the entire University. Some schools and departments have their own records retention schedule or records policy that gives them more detailed information about retaining their records. If a division, school, or department wants to create a specific records schedule for itself, it should consult with the Digital Collections and Archives. These schedules should not conflict with the general Records Retention Schedule.
- It identifies many types of records that have enduring value that should be permanently retained. These records, both paper and electronic, can be transferred to the Digital Collections and Archives for enduring preservation. See the transfer instructions for more details.
Using the general Records Retention Schedule to destroy records comes with a very important caution: Do not follow the Records Retention Schedule to destroy records that are currently part of–-or you are aware that they are going to be part of-–any legal action or proceeding, litigation, audit, investigation, or review. For more information, see the Subpoenas for University Records Policy.
People who have identified records that they should destroy can also consult the guidelines on Confidential Records Destruction.
If you have questions about interpreting the general Records Schedule or developing a schedule specific to your division, school, or department please contact Eliot Wilczek, University Records Manager (email@example.com | 6-2439).
In the course of doing our work at Tufts, we create or receive a lot of records in paper and electronic form. Many of these records are drafts, copies, or other records that we will need to dispose of at some point. (See the general Records Retention Schedule for rules on how long to keep records and when to destroy them and which records to transfer to the DCA for enduring preservation.) A lot of records we handle at Tufts has confidential or sensitive information that we need to protect. So when we need to get rid of these records we should’t just throw them away in the recycling bin or just leave them on thumb drives or computers that we later throw or give away. This exposes the University to the unnecessary risk of a data breach.
We should all take care to destroy these records confidentially. Fortunately, Tufts has a new set guidelines that explain the best way to destroy records confidentially at Tufts.
- Confidential records destruction should be a habit rather than an exceptional activity.
- Use a cross shredder or Cintas’ destruction bins. Cintas is Tufts’ vendor for confidential records destruction services. More details about using Cintas are in the guidelines.
- Contact your IT support group about what to do with old workstations and laptops. Computers store data in a complex manner that is not readily apparent to end-users. Don’t assume you have manually deleted all confidential or sensitive data on your computers.
- Contact your IT support group about disposing of CDs, flash drives, or other media. One should not give flash drives or other memory devices to family or friends for reuse. Memory devices store data in a complex manner that is not readily apparent to end-users. Deleting files may not fully destroy files on these memory devices.
The rest of my department is off at the annual conference of the Society of American Archivists, and I’m sitting here watching the twitter hash tag #saa10 and getting all jealous. Which reminds me, we now have a twitter account: @dcatufts. I can’t promise we will be as entertaining or erudite as @FEMINISTHULK, but we’ll try.
I have a question for all of our earnest readers: do you ever worry about preserving any of your personal papers or ephemera? And if you do, what is the purpose? Is it just for your own happiness? Is it for your children? Is it because you need to retain the papers for legal or financial reasons? Do you think that you have items in your house that are of interest to scholars and historians?
I ask because I do, and I wonder how unusual this is. For example, I have a small set of family materials which tells something about the history of butchers in the Boston area, and I’m thinking of finding and archives to donate it to because I would rather the collection had utility for researchers than that it sat in a box in my house. So tell me, would you ever consider giving your papers to an archives if they had potential scholarly value?
(Incidentally, when I was looking for illustrations for this blog post, I came upon the fascinating Story of Nakohi-waa, Dance Drumming for Butchers. This transcript is part of Professor David Locke and Alhaji Abubakari Lunna’s in-progress project Dagomba Dance Drumming, which collects sound recordings, staff notation, and text materials on the dance drumming of the Dagomba people of northern Ghana.. The transcript I found came from Nakohiwa, the butcher’s dance.)