SOAS University of London

Records Management - ten tips to get control of your information

Get control of Information!

Ten things you can do to better control and manage your records and information!

  1. Set time aside....

Set aside time at least once a year to review your electronic and paper records against the retention schedule and dispose of any records that can be destroyed

  1. Use the SOAS Retention Schedule….

Use the SOAS retention schedule to decide whether records can be destroyed or need to be retained

  1. Make a record of destructions….

Use the simple online Record Disposal Form to list any record disposals, electronic and paper. This will make it easier when searching for records and also answer FOI requests

  1. Dispose of records correctly….

Use confidential waste bins/bags or shredders to dispose of paper records you no longer require. For large disposals, please log a request with Estates and Facilities through the job request system

  1. Use off-site storage….

If records are not used very often but need to be retained, they can be stored in our off-site facility with a next day delivery service. For more information email: or read the Records Transfers guidance

  1. Avoid using personal drives for SOAS records….

Personal drives such as MyDocuments or OneDrive should only be used to store personal records and documents. All SOAS business records should be stored on shared drives or SharePoint where they can be shared with colleagues on a needs must basis (if you need help managing network file shares or SharePoint sites, please contact the IT helpdesk at

  1. Arrange records systematically….

Make sure your filing system is arranged in a simple and systematic way so that staff can find information easily and quickly. Think about how easy it is to retrieve information from your current system, is it adequate?

  1. Name electronic documents consistently….

Use the Naming Electronic Documents guidance to name electronic documents in a standardised way

  1. Delete emails when no longer required…

You should delete emails when they are no longer required for operational purposes and are not the primary or only version of a record that we are required to retain in line with the retention schedule

  1. Destroy duplicates and working papers when no longer needed…

Identify and destroy duplicate records, or information you can access elsewhere, that you no longer require for instant reference purposes, eg committee records (if you’re not a committee secretary), information you can find on the website or on another organisation’s website, books or journals that you can access through the Library

For further advice, please contact the Records Manager and Archivist (