Mar
15
2016

Polopoly is dead. Long live EdWeb

With the end of the long migration of content from Polopoly into EdWeb now in sight we are looking at how important website content can be preserved and potentially archived. The decommissioning of Polopoly will start 1 June 2016 and editors will have full access up until then.

We are communicating with the web publishing community to make sure any important data and documents are moved into EdWeb or archived locally.

Why does website content need to be saved?

University retention guidelines

Some website pages will need to be saved as they fall under the guidelines the University has for retaining certain content. This is especially important if the content is the golden copy or only source of that  information for the University.

University Records Management have identified from the retention criteria the following as high risk information likely to be only held in the website and not anywhere else:

  • Academic advice and guidance given to students.
  • Summary information about research projects.
  • Dissemination information about research projects of national or international importance and/or of major significance to the development of the University.
  • Procedures or best practice guidance for a major University activity.

Web content retention guidelines

The University has guidelines for retaining some web content for a minimum of 7 years after it has been removed from the website:

Web content retention guidelines

Legal considerations

While there are no legal obligations for the University to keep ALL web content there are a number of issues and risks that need to be addressed or mitigated before the decommissioning process starts. The University does of course have responsibilities and obligations for retaining records in general and this is set out in the Records Management Framework.

By retaining some data the University can prove what it said on the website at a particular time. If the University does not retain this information and is later challenged on what it said or did at a particular point in time the University could be open to litigation.

Records Management Framework

Information about the University Records Management Framework

Data retention for historical reasons

Currently there is no University policy or provision for keeping all data and website versions for purely historical reasons apart from those set out in the Records Management Framework.

Moving data to a digital repository

The possibility of moving content to a University digital repository has been investigated but there is currently no facility for this to happen.

Next steps for the publishing community

We are currently communicating with all our lead publishers around the University to begin an audit of website content in the Polopoly CMS. If the audit identifies web pages that need to be retained under the retention guidelines and to mitigate the risk of litigation, this content will be saved into a central archive repository. This will be a manual process undertaken by Colleges, Schools and business units.

The risk of data loss will also be mitigated by:

  • All current published content being migrated into the new CMS.
  • Important content, flagged to be archived, will also be migrated and be fully available to the University.
  • Communication will go to all Schools, Colleges and business units on the importance of archiving content, especially around the issue of saving historical page versions where necessary.
  • Some content will be available on third party internet archives (Waybackmachine – http://bit.ly/1RqorzB).

Guidance on the Polopoly decommissioning process

Guidance for lead publishers on the Polopoly decommissioning process (requires EASE login)

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