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Frequent Questions about Web Sites/Wikis/Blogs and Records


Can information resources posted to the Internet or intranet be a record?

Yes. If information resources created by program offices and posted as Web content provide documentation of the Agency's organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures and actions, then they are records.

What kind of records related to Web sites must be maintained?

Web site administrative records including:

  • system software (e.g., Dreamweaver, FrontPage),
  • software documentation (e.g., software licenses, user manuals),
  • log files that document Web site activity (e.g., hits per day, keywords used for searches, most visited pages) and
  • site management and operations documents (e.g., reports or statistics about log file information, approvals for Web site activity or content, updating procedures).

Web content records including:

  • markup language and codes (e.g., HTML, XML) used to create the structure (e.g., headings, paragraphs) of the Web site,
  • textual and audiovisual files,
  • contextual hyperlinks to other sites or pages and
  • screen shots or snapshots used to capture the look and content of the site at specific times

Who is responsible for Web site records?

The office posting and maintaining the Web content is responsible for designating a records custodian to capture the record copy into an approved recordkeeping system. However, if your office is posting and maintaining Web content already captured into an approved recordkeeping system, then your documents can be considered convenience copies and be dispositioned as nonrecords. When more than one office is involved with the creation, posting and maintenance of Web content, they must work together as a team to establish procedures for capturing and maintaining the records.

The office that maintains the Web site is responsible for capturing the site's administrative records.

How are Web site records dispositioned?

Web site content records must be matched to an applicable records schedule and dispositioned according to the schedule's disposition instructions. If no schedule exists for the records, work with your Records Liaison Officer (RLO) and the National Records Management Program (NRMP) to prepare one.

The disposition instructions for Web site administrative records can be found in schedule 095. Content in blogs, wikis, and similar social media is covered by schedule 094.

How can Web site records be captured into an approved recordkeeping system?

Printed copies of Web site records can be filed in your office's manual recordkeeping system or work with your office information technology (IT) staff to create a snapshot of your Web site.

Special attention must be given to capturing Web content with potential legal impact (e.g., regulatory, enforcement) and those concerning historically significant events (e.g., World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina). Offices offering guidance to the regulatory community must retain a complete record of what the guidance was, how long it was posted and URLs referenced by hyperlinks.

How should changes to the Web site be tracked?

Changes to your Web site must be tracked by capturing the change as:

  • a printed update that is filed in your office's manual recordkeeping system or
  • an updated snapshot that is captured in your office's recordkeeping system.

Web site records must be updated when significant changes (e.g., additions, deletions) take place. Minor editorial or non-substantive changes (e.g., correcting typing errors) may not need to be documented depending on the risk of legal challenge to the trustworthiness of the record and unauthorized loss or destruction of the record.

Where can I get more information?

Contact your program office, region, or lab RLO, or the Records Help Desk. Also, see the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA's):


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