Records Management Section
The University of Edinburgh Records Management Section

Paper Filing Procedures

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Audience and purpose

  1. This document sets out the steps that Records Management Section (RMS) staff should follow when providing the Central Records Registry (CRR) filing service.

Receiving filing

  1. Papers for filing are either sent to the CRR through the internal mail system or delivered to CRR in person by the customer.
  2. When papers arrive for filing put them in the wire tray labelled “Filing In”. The wire trays are on the table next to the CRR door.
  3. At the end of each day the Records Officer will place the coloured sheet of paper marked with the appropriate day of the week on the top of the tray. The coloured sheets say “Filing that arrived on: ___day” and are kept in a plastic wallet at the bottom of the tray. This ensures that filing is dealt with in the order in which it arrived and that service delivery targets can be monitored.

Arranging papers received for filing

  1. Sort into file reference order.
  2. Do not spend time reading the documents or checking filing references unless the customer has specifically asked for assistance or you do not know the identity of the customer and are trying to ascertain this.
  3. If papers are sent for filing without a reference, with an incomplete or incorrect reference contact the customer explaining the problem, asking for a correct reference to be provided and offering assistance to do so.
  4. If you do not know who has sent the filing, email each office in turn, starting with the most likely given the subject matter. Please see Appendix A for a model email to send under these circumstances.
  5. Whilst waiting for a response from the customer place the papers and a note of the query (e.g. a printout of the email sent to the customer) in the wire tray labelled “Queries From CRR To Customers”. The wire trays are on the table next to the CRR door.
  6. Any papers to be filed on a new folder should come to the Central Records Registry with the new file request form attached. If the folder has not yet been created, place the papers with the form in the wire tray labelled “Folder Requests (with filing)” until you are ready to make up the folder. The wire trays are on the table next to the CRR door. Follow the procedures in the Central Records Registry Manual for opening new folders.
  7. Check if the papers are vital records. If so they need to be scanned prior to filing using the photocopier Can-2 which is found on the right hand side of the GaSP Office.
    • To scan a paper document place the document in the feeder at the top of the machine and select "send".
    • Select your name from the list that will appear on the photocopier menu screen.
    • If your name does not appear on this list contact the Management Support Officer for advice.
    • Press the green button to start the document scanning.
    • Once the scan is complete take the document back to your desk, the electronic copy of the document will be in the "scanned documents" folder on your desktop.

Putting papers into a folder

  1. Unless indicated otherwise on the papers, arrange all papers in date order with the newest documents on top for putting on file.
  2. Customers may request the use of dividers or flags for certain papers. Our practice is to avoid this if possible. However you should contact them to discuss their requirements; if it is clear that a divider is needed then this should be done. For example the use of dividers would be appropriate on a folder that is organised by reference to individuals, for example a folder containing application forms from different individuals where a divider is required between the records relating to each person.
  3. Customers may have included coloured paper in the batch of filing. The purpose of this is to highlight certain papers once they have been put on file. They should be filed in the order and position that they have been sent in.
  4. If papers are to be kept together secure with a plastic coated treasury tag in the top left corner.
  5. Remove all staples, elastic bands and paper clips from papers. Papers in plastic wallets should be taken out of them. Staples can be left on folders with a retention period shorter than 10 years.
  6. For bulky items such as booklets there are three options:
    • For light items use a Filefix strip.
    • For most items use a magi-clip.
    • For very large items, get a sturdy envelope large enough for the item with about 2 cm to spare down one side. Put the item in that, label it clearly and punch holes in the envelope, taking care not to put the holes through the item.
    All these items can be found in the stationery cupboard next to the kitchen area in CRR.
  7. Put papers on the folder.
  8. Keep a running tally of the thickness of filing you have got through (300 sheets of paper equals 1 inch of filing). Once the filing has been completed navigate to this month's cell of the "No of Sheets Filed" column in the "Monthly Tally" worksheet in the filing statistics spreadsheet which is found in the folder T/2/2/42. In the fx bar at the bottom of the menu screen you will see "Sum= (X+X)" with a series of numbers where the X's are.  Add "+Y" where Y is the running tally you have been keeping just before the closed bracket in this sequence. Save the filing statistics spreadsheet.

Filing papers on a folder that is out on loan

  1. Sometimes papers are sent to be filed on folders that are out on loan.
  2. Place the referenced papers in the wire tray marked “Filing for folders that are currently on loan”. The wire trays are on the table next to the CRR door.

Filing Administration

  1. On the first Thursday of every month check whether any of the folders for which filing is waiting have been returned and if so file the papers. If the folder is not back after a week email the customer in possession of the folder and explain the situation. Check whether they would like the additional papers to go to them, send the folder back to CRR to be updated, or wait until the folder is returned to CRR for it to be updated. Please see appendix A for a model email to send to customers under theses circumstances.

Appendix A: Model Emails

Model Email 1: Determining whether a set of filing belongs to a specific office

  • Dear [Name]
    We have received papers for filing concerning [Subject] and I am writing to establish whether these papers originated from your office. If not, do you have any suggestions as to who may have sent it to us?
    Many thanks for you cooperation in this matter.

Model Email 2: Informing the borrower of a folder that there is additional material to be filed in it waiting in CRR

  • Dear [Name]
    We have received a set of papers to be filed in folder [File Ref] which our records indicate is currently in your possession. Would you like us to send you this additional material, or alternatively you can send us the folder and we will add the material to it for you before sending it back to you.
    Many thanks for you cooperation in this matter.

Author: Kiara King and Ellie Greenhalgh
Version 7, January 2011

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Page last updated: Thursday July 05 2012